If you’ve found yourself having trouble getting a refill of anxiety medication, you’re likely running into the effects of a benzo shortage. That’s due to a supply issue affecting a pharmacy’s ability to fill and dispense medication to patients. That forces your doctor to recommend alternatives that may not be as effective. If you’re feeling the effects of withdrawal due to the benzo shortage, it’s critical to reach out to our men’s addiction treatment center today at 866.457.7590.
What is a Benzo?
Benzo is short for benzodiazepine, which is a class of drugs that affect activity in the brain and nervous system. They work by producing more gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which helps relax the body. Doctors typically prescribe benzos to help alleviates anxiety and sleep disorders in patients.
Doctors may also recommend certain benzo medications to help with other health conditions like panic disorders. Most drugs in this category contain anticonvulsants, which can make them effective for helping people who have a seizure disorder.
Other useful treatments for benzo medications include alleviating the most severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal during detox. They can also relieve muscle pain and spasticity and treat nerve disorders like multiple sclerosis. The dosage amount varies depending on the drug type and why the doctor is prescribing it.
Potential Benzo Side Effects
There are side effects associated with certain forms of benzo drugs, including:
- Feelings of lightheadedness
- Problems with memory
- Sexual dysfunction
- Dry mouth
- Weight gain
Side Effects of Benzo Abuse
People can develop an addiction to benzos if they use them for an extended period. Side effects that can result from benzo abuse include:
- Low blood pressure
- Thoughts of suicide
Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms
People dealing with a benzo addiction can suffer withdrawal when they attempt to wean themselves off the medication. They may find themselves experiencing symptoms like:
- Heart palpitations
- Sleep disorders
- Problems concentrating
- Heightened anxiety
- Muscle pain
- Panic attacks
Anyone suffering through the effects of benzo abuse should seek help from a mental health or substance use specialist.
How a Benzo Shortage Can Be Dangerous
One of the primary reasons for a benzo shortage is production issues with drug manufacturers. Only a handful of manufacturers produces most of the drugs used in the United States. If there is a problem with the ingredients used in benzo drugs, it can lead to a prolonged benzo shortage until the drug producer has time to fix it.
That’s what happened with Mylan Pharmaceuticals, manufacturer of the popular anxiety benzo drug buspirone. Contamination at a West Virginia facility created a benzo shortage that affected patients across the country.
A lack of available benzos means that you might not get the medication you need to deal with your anxiety. That could disrupt your ability to function normally, exacerbating your feelings of anxiety. Medical facilities and rehabs would not be able to use benzos to help patients manage withdrawal symptoms, leading to a more prolonged and painful experience.
Benzo shortages can lead to an increase in people seeking them out through illegal means. That can put you in a dangerous situation or cause you to purchase a drug mixed with something else. Ingesting a form of benzo that contains other illegal substances can lead to an overdose or even death.
Get Help With Your Mental Health or Addiction Issues
If you need help managing a benzo addiction or have a mental health disorder, Red Oak Recovery® can assist you in finding a path to better health. Our facility provides a variety of programs to help young adults and other individuals find more effective ways of managing their issues, including:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Group therapy
- Adventure therapy
- Yoga therapy