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Yes, use or misuse of prescription CNS depressants can lead to problem use, known as a substance use disorder (SUD), which takes the form of addiction in severe cases. Long-term use of prescription CNS depressants, even as prescribed by a doctor, can cause some people to develop a tolerance, which means that they need higher and/or more frequent doses of the drug to get the desired effects. A SUD develops when continued use of the drug leads to negative consequences such as health problems or failure to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home, but despite all that the drug use continues.

Those who have become addicted to a prescription CNS depressant and stop using the drug abruptly may experience withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms-which can begin as early as a few hours after the drug was last taken—include:

  • seizures
  • shakiness
  • anxiety
  • agitation
  • insomnia
  • overactive reflexes
  • increased heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature with sweating
  • hallucinations
  • severe cravings

People addicted to prescription CNS depressants should not attempt to stop taking them on their own. Withdrawal symptoms from these drugs can be severe and—in the case of certain medications-potentially life-threatening.

How can people get treatment for prescription CNS depressant addiction?

Individuals addicted to CNS depressants should undergo medically supervised detoxification because the dosage they take should be tapered gradually. In addition counseling through a rehab program should follow detox. One type of counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, focuses on modifying the person's thinking, expectations, and behaviors while improving ways to cope with life's stresses. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has helped people successfully adapt to stop using benzodiazepines.

Often prescription CNS depressant misuse occurs along with the use of other drugs, such as alcohol or opioids. In those cases, the person should seek treatment that addresses the multiple addictions.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance addiction and would like to explore treatment options, feel free to give us a call at (800) 851-3291. Florida Center for Recovery (FCR) offers addiction treatment with specialized therapies for individuals 18 and older through private inpatient rehab services. Established in 2002, FCR is a medical detox and rehabilitation facility providing comprehensive therapeutic programs to treat addiction and its underlying related mental health conditions. Our addiction treatment programs offer variable lengths of stay, which allows each client to anchor recovery behaviors needed for lasting change.

For more information about our rehab programs, you may also visit our online booklet Florida-Center-for-Recovery-Booklet for a better insight into our diverse comprehensive therapies.

Florida Center for Recovery
Helping Individuals Struggling with Substance Addiction Recover Since 2002.

Category: Drug Information on 18 July 2019

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