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Drug Detox Could Be The Least Of Your Worries If You Abuse Benzodiazepines
Someone needs to make it very clear — to kids and adults of all ages — that benzodiazepines mixed with other drugs or alcohol kills a lot of people every year. In fact, if you’re regularly mixing benzos with other drugs or alcohol, you’re probably lucky if you only become dependent and need drug detox to get off them.
This week in Tampa, FL, a young adult found his 42-year-old father dead in his bedroom, his face and ears partially eaten off by the family’s three pit bull puppies. A family friend said the deceased had spent the evening drinking heavily, and had then taken Xanax, one of the worst of the benzo’s, before going to sleep. Authorities haven’t yet determined if the man was still alive when the dogs got at him, but chances are he wasn’t. After drinking excessive alcohol and taking Xanax, both of which are central nervous system (CNS) depressants, it’s too late for drug detox, and one’s chances of survival can be slim to none without emergency medical aid.
Meanwhile, up in Brooksville, FL, just north of Tampa, a 17-year-old boy was arrested for trying to sell Xanax pills to another kid at the local high school. The wanna-be pusher was arrested and taken to jail. It wasn’t reported where he got the more than two dozen Xanax pills, but data from law enforcement and drug detox and rehab providers indicates a lot of prescription drugs are swiped from parents and relatives. It’s also becoming all too easy for kids to get prescriptions from doctors by faking symptoms — they see it in movies and on TV all the time — and more and more kids are getting dependent on benzos and winding up in drug detox centers themselves. Drug detox for kids as young as 12 is becoming more prevalent across the US.
Xanax is one of the most abused benzodiazepines around, frequently associated with recreational polydrug mishaps. Judging from statistics, the danger message is not being delivered strongly enough that two or more CNS depressants have cumulative effects, and can shut down your breathing and your heart. Just think Heath Ledger, Anna Nicole Smith or even Elvis Presley, who died with 14 drugs in his system.
CNS depressants include benzos, opiates such as heroin, morphine and methadone, and prescription painkillers such as Vicodin, Percocet or OxyContin. Dependencies and addictions to all these kinds of drugs are routinely treated at drug detox centers across the country.
Alcohol is also a CNS depressant and should never be mixed with benzos. Cocaine, normally associated with “speeding up” rather than slowing down one’s system, has frequently figured in lethal drug toxicities when mixed with Xanax or other benzos.
Benzos are just plain dangerous drugs. Dependency is extremely common, especially when taken for extended periods of time, but can occur in a surprisingly short time, too. You know you’re dependent if you get withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it. Withdrawal from Xanax can cause agitation, panic attacks, severe anxiety, muscle cramps, and seizures which can be life-threatening. Medical drug detox is an absolute must for anyone who has become dependent on benzos.
The bottom line is, when Xanax or any benzodiazepine is prescribed, the doctor or the pharmacist should make absolutely sure that the person understands all the dangers. Of course, in a perfect world, no one would be taking these drugs at all. But as long as we live in an imperfect world, someone needs to sit everyone down, especially high school kids, and give them the straight facts about the dangers of benzodiazepines so they really get it once and for all. No kid should have to grow up knowing they contributed to someone’s trip to an emergency ward, or worse, the morgue. They shouldn’t have to live with the responsibility of anyone needing a
drug detox program, either.
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