Anxiety Disorders and Tranquilizer Abuse

Anxiety Disorders and Tranquilizer AbuseAccording to the National Institute on Mental Health approximately 40 million Americans ages 18 and older suffer from an anxiety disorder each year. Anxiety disorders include the following:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Social anxiety disorder

The main characteristic of anxiety disorders is severe anxiety that interferes with daily life in Chicago.

What Are Tranquilizers?

Tranquilizers are medications that depress the central nervous system. The two main types of tranquilizers are minor tranquilizers and major tranquilizers. Minor tranquilizers, or benzodiazepines, are anti-anxiety medications used to treat anxiety and panic attacks and are among one of the most popularly prescribed medications worldwide. Major tranquilizers include neuroleptics, which are used to treat severe mental illnesses. Tranquilizers have the potential to be psychologically and physically addicting.

How Are Anxiety Disorders and Tranquilizer Abuse Related?

Minor tranquilizers include Xanax, Valium and lorazepam. These medications are prescribed to help manage the symptoms of anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders are related to an imbalance of neurotransmitters. Tranquilizers work by affecting the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid, more commonly known as GABA. The neurotransmitter GABA reduces anxiety by depressing specific transmissions in the brain. Tranquilizers enhance GABA, which means these drugs cause GABA to slow the nervous system even more than it does normally.

Tranquilizers give Chicago residents feelings of calmness and relaxation; however, they are only recommended for short-term use because of their high potential for abuse and addiction.

If I Have a Prescription, Can I Still Abuse Tranquilizers?

You may wonder if you can really abuse tranquilizers when you have a prescription for the drugs. The answer is yes. Sometimes tranquilizer abuse is intentional while other times it is unintentional. If you use your prescription drug in any way other than as it is prescribed, that is considered drug abuse. If you are prescribed tranquilizers to use for panic attacks and you decide to use them to help you fall asleep, this can be considered abuse. You should never take tranquilizers at a higher dosage than prescribed. If you feel that your prescribed dose is no longer adequate to meet your needs, discuss this with your doctor. Do not take it into your own hands. A prescription does not make you immune to drug abuse. In fact, you are more susceptible to tranquilizer abuse because the drugs are readily available to you.

Where Can I Find Help for Tranquilizer Abuse?

If you or a loved one is struggling with an anxiety disorder and tranquilizer abuse, call our toll-free helpline today. Our recovery professionals will help you find a Dual Diagnosis treatment program that will address both your specific anxiety issues and your tranquilizer abuse. We are available 24 hours a day to answer your call. Remember that you are not alone in this. We will help you in any way we can. Call today.