Opioids are powerful pain relievers designed to help people deal with severe pain after surgery. Benzodiazepines are a type of opioid used to treat extreme anxiety. Both opioids and benzodiazepines are highly dangerous and addictive drugs when used outside of the prescription directions. When comparing opioids vs. benzos, taking high amounts of either drug can prevent people from functioning in society. Mixing opioids and benzos can be life-threatening due to overdose risks.
Both opioids and benzodiazepines work by depressing the central nervous system. Opioids bind to receptors in the brain and spinal cord to block pain signals from reaching the brain. Benzodiazepines work by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, which slows down nerve cell activity in the brain.
Opioids and benzodiazepines should only be taken as prescribed by a doctor. At Greater Boston Addiction Centers, we provide comprehensive opioid addiction treatment, benzodiazepine addiction treatment, and polysubstance addiction treatment. For more information, call 877.920.6583 or contact us online.
Opioids and Benzodiazepines Are Different But Dangerous Drugs
The effects of opioids and benzodiazepines are similar, but there are some key differences. Opioids are more likely to cause drowsiness and constipation, while benzodiazepines can cause confusion and memory problems. Opioids are more likely to be addictive, while benzodiazepines are more likely to be abused.
Benzos and opioids are some of the most misused prescription drugs. While both have legitimate uses, it is very easy to become dependent on higher and higher doses. Long-term use of opioids and benzodiazepines lowers people’s threshold for pain and anxiety. While chronic pain and anxiety are real conditions that often require medication, it is essential to find a medication that doesn’t impair the user’s social and occupational functioning or put them at unnecessary risk.
If a person in your life seems incapable of functioning, they may have developed a chemical dependency on opioids or benzodiazepines. A Needham opioid addiction treatment program offers inpatient and outpatient assistance to help people who are addicted to the following types of drugs:
- Benzos include Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin. These drugs are tranquilizers or sedatives designed to treat panic attacks and severe anxiety.
- Opioids are used for pain relief and include drugs such as morphine, hydrocodone, and OxyContin.
- Opioids also include non-prescription drugs like heroin.
Professional treatment is often necessary to break the cycle of addiction and dependency.
How to Know When Opioids and Benzodiazepines Use Is Unsafe
For those individuals taking both of these prescription drugs, it can be a bit confusing to know when the use of the drugs is safe and within the doctor’s guidelines and when the use becomes compulsive. There are some warning signs of addiction to these drugs:
- Running out of the medication before they should, taking more than prescribed
- Doctor shopping – seeing multiple doctors in order to get more than one prescription
- Purchasing drugs illicitly or using heroin
- Being unable to stop using even though they’ve tried
- Withdrawal symptoms and cravings when not using the drug
In situations where there is a risk for addiction or dependence, do not stop taking the drugs. Stick with just the prescription dose and work with a medical professional to slowly and safely reduce your dependence. Both drugs can cause intense withdrawal that may carry some risk when stopped suddenly. If tapering on your own hasn’t worked, contact Greater Boston Addiction Centers.
If You Take Opioids or Benzos, Please Don’t Drink Alcohol
Taking opioids, benzos, or both can be extremely dangerous—especially when mixed with alcohol. Greater Boston Addiction Centers is available to work closely with you to provide exceptional support and guidance. To learn more about our services, call our team, schedule an appointment, and start on the healing path you deserve.
You can also take the time to learn more about each of our programs and therapy options, including these:
- Partial hospitalization program
- Intensive outpatient program
- Outpatient treatment program
- Women’s treatment program
- Men’s treatment program
- Employee assistance program
Seek Help for Addiction Now by Calling Greater Boston Addiction Centers
Recognizing the difference between opioids and benzodiazepines is the first step on the journey to healing. Addiction recovery becomes possible once you understand the risks of continued abuse and get help to stop using them. If you are using either drug and cannot stop, reach out to Greater Boston Addiction Centers. Allow our compassionate counselors to provide you with an appointment today. Call 877.920.6583 or reach out to us online.