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Benzodiazepine Risks and Side Effects

Feb 14, 2023

Benzodiazepines might be prescribed by your doctor but they don’t come without risks or side effects. Untreated benzodiazepine misuse can affect every aspect of a man’s life: career, physical health, mental health, relationships, and sex life. If you’re using a form of benzodiazepine, such as Klonopin or Xanax, it’s important to be aware of the potential threats to your health and well-being. Let’s look at some of the most common risks and side effects related to these tranquilizers used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and more.

Benzodiazepines are a commonly prescribed tranquilizer used in treating anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and more. Tolerance can develop in a matter of months with a rapid risk of addiction. Also, they do present a risk of accidental overdose, and drinking alcohol while on “benzos” can be a deadly combination. An overdose may be noticeable through drowsiness, slurred speech, and difficulty breathing. Men using this drug may experience erectile dysfunction (ED) or other sexual side effects. If you need help ending harmful benzodiazepine use, a medical detox can help you safely experience withdrawal, avoid the risk of seizures, and prepare you for a treatment program.

Benzodiazepine Side Effects

Side effects of benzodiazepine misuse can be mild to start. You may experience drowsiness or dizziness. High doses can produce greater side effects, of course. Taking more than prescribed at one time or using benzos more frequently can lead to significant risks as well. The following is a list of some of the most common side effects.

Common Benzodiazepine Side Effects

● Anxiety
● Blurred vision
● Coma
● Confusion
● Difficulty breathing
● Dizziness
● Drowsiness
● Headaches
● Insomnia
● Lack of coordination
● Slurred speech
● Weakness

Additional Benzodiazepine Risks

Abuse of benzodiazepines, including crushing the pills and snorting them, comes with other significant risks for men. You may experience problems with sexual dysfunction. Men like you who misuse benzos may lose their desire to have sex, and the loss of sex drive isn’t the only possible issue. The inability to achieve an erection that’s firm enough for sexual intercourse is another risk related to the abuse of benzos.

Beyond sexual side effects, misuse of benzodiazepines can lead to changes in your behavior. Friends, family members, and coworkers may notice you appearing irritable or hostile. You may experience amnesia periods marked by struggling to remember past experiences or having trouble forming new memories. Your sleep may be disrupted regularly by having vivid and disturbing dreams, too.

Alcohol and Benzodiazepine Interaction

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports the abuse of benzodiazepines typically occurs with other substances. Alcohol is among those substances, and the interaction of the two depressants can be deadly. Experiencing difficulty breathing is a potential result, and a lack of medical attention can mean depriving the brain of oxygen. Other possible outcomes are injuries from falls and accidents due to a loss of physical coordination, memory problems, and liver function issues. Drinking while regularly taking benzos also can increase drowsiness and make it difficult to wake you up.

As both alcohol and benzodiazepines are taken orally, they are slower to metabolize, which means they stay in your bloodstream longer. The longer they remain in your system, the more side effects you may face. The two also increase the intoxicating effects on your brain.

Seeking Help for Benzodiazepine Misuse

Help to end benzodiazepine misuse is available for men at Origins Recovery Center. You may have already attempted to quit and found it challenging, especially if you’ve used the drug for more than six months. Medical detox is a valuable first step in getting on the road to recovery. Origins Recovery Center provides medical detox to help patients experience withdrawal safely and comfortably under round-the-clock medical supervision.

Following detox, a treatment program at Origins Recovery Center can help you learn the strategies to start and sustain a sober living. Through individual and group counseling, co-occurring mental health treatment, and gender-separate care in a beachside and bayside setting, you can find peer support, work on improving relationships, and discover healthy ways to express emotions. For men whose benzos misuse is related to past trauma or PTSD, trauma therapies are a helpful way to replace substance use with healthy responses to feelings of anger, panic, or isolation.


Origins Recovery Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety.

For information on our programs, call us today: 866-875-1558.

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