Bromazepam Addiction and Abuse

Bromazepam is a benzodiazepine derivative that can be found on the market under brand names such as Lexotan, Lexilium, Lectopam, Brazepam, Lexaurin, Somalium, Rekotnil, Bromage, and Lexotanil. The drug was patented in 1963 by Roche and made available for clinical use in the 1970s. Bromazepam is often administered as an anti-anxiety medication and its effects are quite similar to those of diazepam (Valium). It can also be administered as a premedicant before minor surgery.

Bromazepam is typically available in tablet form. Like other benzodiazepines, despite its medicinal qualities, it has a dark side in that it can easily lead to substance dependence in users. Physical dependence on bromazepam typically occurs if taken in doses beyond what is prescribed by a doctor or for longer than prescribed. The drug’s addictive properties are so potent that physical dependence can occur even if it’s used according to prescription. This is why it is recommended that bromazepam only is used for the shortest time possible.

Elderly patients – as well as adolescents with a history of substance abuse disorders – are at greatest risk of developing a bromazepam addiction. Recognised for its addiction risk, the use of bromazepam is strictly regulated by a variety of country-specific regulations, as well as international law.

What is Bromazepam?

Bromazepam can be described as an intermediate-acting tranquilizer and is typically administered for the treatment of short-term insomnia, or moderate to severe panic and anxiety disorders. Unlike benzodiazepines such as alprazolam, bromazepam possesses no antidepressant qualities.

When applied in minimal doses, bromazepam can reduce anxiety and tension, while in higher doses, it has a pronounced sedative and muscle-relaxant effect. Bromazepam is classified as a Class C drug in the UK (available only on prescription) and a Schedule IV drug under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

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Deadly Bromazepam Drug Interactions

The abuse of alcohol, antidepressants, antihistamines, narcotics, and other benzodiazepines alongside bromazepam can lead to an increase in the depressive effects of the drug on the central nervous system (CNS). Combining bromazepam with stimulant substances can result in health risks with potentially fatal consequences, which is why it’s advisable to consult your doctor before using bromazepam with any other substances.

The following drugs can lead to the increased possibility of bromazepam toxicity and poisoning:

  • Digoxin
  • Disulfiram
  • Ketoconazole and other related antifungals
  • Cimetidine
  • Isoniazid
  • Oral contraceptive
  • Propranolol
  • Valproic acid
  • Isoniazid

If you’re taking any of the aforementioned medications, be sure to inform your doctor as it could potentially save your life. If your doctor concludes that combining bromazepam poses a health risk, they might recommend any of the following:

  • Quitting one of the medications
  • Switching medications
  • Changing how medications are being used

Bromazepam Addiction

As with other benzodiazepines such as diazepam, bromazepam has a high risk of misuse. Bromazepam can be abused either in pill form or by injection. The drug is typically abused because of the intoxicating, quick euphoric effect induced, which is recognised amongst abusers for its strong ‘high’. However, abusing bromazepam comes at a hefty price, as the drug can quickly lead to physical dependence and addiction, which in turn presents a host of health risks.

People who are addicted to bromazepam tend to expose themselves to HIV/HCV-related risk-taking behaviors, and to be at greater risk of polydrug abuse (combining illicit drugs for greater effect), as well as possess a higher level of social and psychological disorders. Bromazepam is commonly abused by individuals who consume multiple drugs, including alcoholics and heroin addicts. In many cases, bromazepam is the primary substance of abuse and it is commonplace among the elderly and teenagers

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When addicted to bromazepam, if you try to quit suddenly, withdrawal symptoms can arise that can range from mild to intense in severity, thus making it very difficult to kick the habit on your own.

A study into the abuse of bromazepam indicated that people with a psychological and physical dependence on the drug were likely to experience rebound anxiety after four weeks of chronic use if they attempted quitting ‘cold turkey’. On the other hand, those who quit by gradually reducing their dose (tapering) experienced little to no withdrawal symptoms.

Some studies have further indicated that bromazepam has a greater abuse potential than most other benzodiazepines due to its rapid onset. Because it’s a short-acting drug, bromazepam withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe and frequent in comparison to longer-acting benzodiazepines.

If you are addicted to bromazepam, there’s a high chance you’ll engage in anti-social behavior in order to acquire more drugs to feed your habit. Withdrawal symptoms that occur once an addict fails to take a new dose of bromazepam could motivate further drug-seeking behavior to alleviate the symptoms.

Causes and Risk Factors for Bromazepam Addiction and Abuse

Some prominent factors that contribute to the development of bromazepam addiction include:

  • Genetics. Your genetic makeup plays a key part in determining the development of addiction to substances like benzodiazepines. If you have a family history of abusing benzodiazepine or some of the other forms of addiction, the risk of you developing substance dependence when using bromazepam is much higher.
  • Environmental. Individuals who live in an environment which gives them greater access to benzodiazepines – or people who are frequently surrounded by others with an addiction – are more likely to engage in similar behaviors.

Risk factors that can lead to the development of a bromazepam addiction include:

  • Suffering from a mental health condition
  • Using benzodiazepines for longer than prescribed or in higher doses than prescribed
  • Self-medicating with bromazepam or other benzodiazepines

How Bromazepam Addiction Starts

Addiction can be caused by using bromazepam in higher doses or more frequently than recommended by your doctor. Also, combining the drug with alcohol, opioids, and other stimulants greatly increase the risk of developing an addiction.

The first indication of a developing bromazepam addiction is usually an increase intolerance. This indicates a need for higher ongoing doses of bromazepam to achieve the desired effect.

Even if bromazepam is used according to prescription, there is still a very high possibility of developing an addiction. This is why it’s generally advised that the drug is used for the shortest time period possible in order to avoid any complications.

Why is Bromazepam so Addictive?

Bromazepam is especially addictive due to how its active component of benzodiazepine modifies the chemical structure of your brain after extended abuse. The longer you abuse bromazepam, the more severe addiction usually is and the harder it usually is to quit. The best way to avoid addiction is to use the drug only (and always) according to the instructions of your doctor.

How Bromazepam Affects the Mind and Body

Bromazepam is used in clinical medicine as a tranquilizer with intermediate action. The drug is mostly prescribed to individuals whose anxiety is so severe and disabling it subjects the patient to extreme stress. The drug can be prescribed to treat moderate or severe anxiety and panic disorders, or for the short-term treatment of insomnia.

Bromazepam functions by affecting your body’s release of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is a brain neurotransmitter that can influence your internal system by causing a sedated or tranquilized effect, as well as inhibiting transmission of nerve signals. By increasing the effects of GABA on the brain, bromazepam will reduce the nerve signal transmissions.

Its effects can be felt within two to three hours of ingestion and could last for anywhere between eight and twelve hours, depending on your physiology. Because bromazepam is addictive, it’s recommended never to be used for longer than six weeks. Abrupt cessation is also discouraged, as this can bring about withdrawal symptoms. Instead, gradually reduce the dosage over time until you finally quit.

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Signs, Symptoms, and Effects of Bromazepam Abuse and Addiction

Addiction can be described as drug-seeking behavior that is compulsive. Such a condition leads an addict to spend a significant amount of time seeking and using the substance of abuse, as well as recovering from its effects.

Withdrawal symptoms and increased tolerance might not always signify addiction but are clear signs of the development of physical dependence. However, addiction has taken hold if you witness any of the following symptoms:

  • Use of bromazepam in greater amounts or for longer than intended
  • Drug cravings
  • Unsuccessful attempts to quit bromazepam
  • Using or abusing bromazepam, despite being aware of it negatively impacting your life and overall health
  • Withdrawal from activities enjoyed previously
  • Drop in production at school or work, and failure to fulfil familial obligations

Short-Term Effects of Bromazepam on the Body

If used for a short period of time and as prescribed, benzodiazepines like bromazepam are quite safe. However, abusing the drug recreationally or failing to use it according to a doctor’s prescription could lead to the following short-term side effects:

  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Depression
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Memory issues
  • Mental confusion
  • Mood swings
  • Motor coordination impairment
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Shallow breathing
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Slurred speech
  • Tremors
  • Vertigo

Long-Term Effects of Using Bromazepam

Abusing bromazepam long-term can lead to lasting side effects on the brain and body. Aside from the risk of physical and psychological addiction, long-term side effects can include problems with memory, learning ability, sensory perceptions, and processing speed.

According to the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal), there’s also a link between abusing bromazepam and an increased risk of dementia in the form of Alzheimer’s.

Physical Signs and Symptoms of Bromazepam Abuse and Addiction

If you have already developed a physical dependence on bromazepam, you will likely begin to manifest the following side effects and symptoms of abuse:

  • Poor coordination
  • Excessive sweating
  • Issues with balance
  • Lethargy and drowsiness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Visual problems
  • Slowed or shallow breathing

Psychological Signs and Symptoms of Bromazepam Abuse and Addiction

Psychological signs of abuse and addiction can include:

  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Poor judgment
  • Hostility
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Issues with memory
  • Confusion
  • Dementia-like symptoms

Depending on the severity of your addiction, you may also experience a symptom known as delirium tremens (DT), which is often characterized by a sudden change in your mental state that leaves you disoriented and confused. DT can also be accompanied by extreme anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and decreased attention span.

Signs of Bromazepam Withdrawal and Overdose

Bromazepam is typically prescribed as pills ranging from 1.5 to 12 milligrams in strength. It can be recommended for use two to three times daily. Going beyond the prescribed dosage or frequency of use can lead to an overdose. A bromazepam overdose can be fatal. Therefore, if you suspect an overdose, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Signs that indicate a possible bromazepam overdose include: tremors, poor coordination, loss of consciousness, slowed breathing, drowsiness, slow reflexes, slurred speech, and confusion.

Also, if you take too much bromazepam for longer than necessary, you put yourself at risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you try to quit or reduce your dose. Bromazepam withdrawal can lead to the manifestation of physical and psychological symptoms, such as aggravated anxiety, seizures, and chest pains.

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Social Impacts of Bromazepam

Criminal elements have been known to be under the influence of bromazepam whilst participating in serious offenses such as homicide, robbery, and sexual assault. Moreover, bromazepam (and similar benzodiazepines) are often the cause of car accidents, especially when the driver has consumed the drug with alcohol.

Abusing bromazepam doesn’t just affect the individual, but also society at large. This is especially evident considering addicts tend to develop hazardous behavior that puts those around them at risk. Said behavior can include operating machinery whilst under the influence or using crime to finance their drug addiction.

Abusing the drug in front of children and placing them in an environment that makes substance abuse seem normal can also lead to a new generation of bromazepam addicts.

Therapy, Treatment, and Rehab for Bromazepam Abuse and Addiction

Because of physical and mental health complications that can surface during bromazepam withdrawal, it’s best to seek help from a medical professional or addiction recovery specialist before attempting to quit. With the help of addiction specialists like us, you can access medically assisted withdrawal management programmes that will make your journey to recovery much safer, as well as effective.

During medically supported treatment/medically assisted detox, your physical and mental health will be professionally monitored by qualified medical personnel, while medication can be administered to ease your withdrawal symptoms. Often, longer-acting benzodiazepines are applied to gradually wean recovering addicts off bromazepam. Such medication will be provided on a tapering schedule that will wean you off the drug slowly and minimize withdrawal symptoms. Antidepressants and anticonvulsants might also be prescribed to manage symptoms during the withdrawal process.

Medically supervised detox is best undertaken via inpatient drug rehabilitation. Here, you can detox under the supervision of well-trained professionals, who will be available to care for your needs round-the-clock.

However, a medically assisted detox alone isn’t enough to make a full recovery from bromazepam addiction. A formal substance abuse disorder treatment programme is also required. Such treatment can include individual therapy, support groups, counseling, and psychoeducation. Because most people who abuse bromazepam are polydrug abusers (who combine various substances of abuse), it’s necessary to have an addict fully assessed in order to make sure there are no other ongoing substance use disorders or co-occurring psychological disorders (such as major depressive disorder). Any disorder(s) must be treated alongside the primary addiction to ensure a full recovery is made.

Complete treatment for substance abuse and dependence is a long-term process. As there is no absolute cure for addiction, treatment must be ongoing to keep a recovering addict abstinent long-term. Ongoing treatment is often provided via support groups and aftercare services to help you effectively manage your life post-addiction.

Staying off Bromazepam

Quitting bromazepam is one thing, but staying off the drug long-term is an entirely different journey. In order to achieve long-term sobriety, you can take advantage of the following:

Individual Counselling

During individual counseling, you’ll receive one-on-one treatment from an addiction specialist, who will talk to you about your condition and help identify the root cause of your substance abuse. You’ll also be taught how to avoid the stressors and triggers that typically lead you to abuse bromazepam, as well as healthy ways to cope in the outside world without needing to abuse drugs.

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Support Groups

This is a highly effective form of drug rehabilitation that will provide help and support through group therapy. You’ll attend sessions with people who are going through exactly the same thing and every attendee can help one another stay focused and committed to sobriety. Examples of support groups are Narcotics Anonymous and other 12-step programmes. There are also non12-step programmes for people who don’t wish to accept their life is controlled by a higher power.

Family Therapy

A family is a very important support system for any recovering addict. However, in order for a family to be able to help you stay clean long-term, it‘s important they – or other supportive loved ones – receive the necessary training on how to effectively support you and help you remain bromazepam abuse-free.


What is Bromazepam Addiction and Treatment?

Bromazepam addiction occurs when your body has developed substance dependence and requires regular doses of the drug to prevent withdrawal symptoms from taking hold. Once addiction has developed, the best way to address the condition is via medically assisted detox. This will care for the physical aspects of the addiction, while rehabilitation can care for the psychological aspects.

Treatment can be provided in either an outpatient or inpatient facility, depending on the severity of addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

What is Bromazepam Abuse?

Bromazepam abuse is the recreational use of the drug and using it in higher doses or more frequently than prescribed to enhance its enjoyable effects. Bromazepam abuse can also involve combining it with other substances to intensify its pleasurable effects.

Is Bromazepam Addictive?

Yes. As a benzodiazepine, bromazepam has highly addictive properties.

How long does It Take to Become Addicted to Bromazepam?

If being used to treat a medical condition, bromazepam shouldn’t be used for longer than six weeks. Using the drug beyond such a time period will place you at great risk of developing a physical tolerance, as well as physical and/or psychological dependence.

What Is the Bromazepam ‘High’ like?

The ‘high’ caused by bromazepam abuse is similar to that experienced during alcohol intoxication. The drug induces an altered mental state, reduces anxiety and inhibitions, impairs judgment, and causes relaxation.

What are the Dangers of Overdosing?

A bromazepam overdose can kill or lead to health complications such as tremors, poor coordination, loss of consciousness, slowed breathing, drowsiness, slowed reflexes, slurred speech, and confusion.

Do Controlling Parents Increase the Risk of Addiction?

Controlling parenting has been linked to anxiety, aggressive behavior, depression, loneliness, and chronic stress in children – all of which are individual risk factors for addiction.

Is Bromazepam just a Harmless Drug?

Bromazepam has many advantages when properly prescribed and administered for clinical use, but it can also lead to a variety of health risks if improperly used, including:

  • Anger or other behavioral changes
  • Jaundice
  • Abuse and Overdose
  • Changes in libido (sex drive)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Worsening of anxiety
  • Loss of coordination or dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Addiction

Are there Dangers of Mixing Bromazepam?

Mixing bromazepam with substances such as alcohol, opioids, or other stimulants and depressants can lead to a fatal overdose. Mixing also leads to increased tolerance and can heighten the toxicity of bromazepam, thus rendering it poisonous.

How is Bromazepam Legally Classified?

Bromazepam is legally classified as a Class C drug in the UK, which means it is only legally available via prescription.

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