Bromazepam Symptoms and Warning Signs

Bromazepam is a tranquiliser used in the treatment of anxiety. It can also be prescribed as a short-term remedy for people battling with insomnia. If it is taken in low doses, and only within the recommended time window, the drug is meant to reduce anxiety and tension. However, the fact that bromazepam has sedative properties and muscle-relaxing effects makes it a potential target for abuse.

How Bromazepam Works

Bromazepam works on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is a neurotransmitter in the brain. It alters the transmission of certain nerve signals by increasing the effects of GABA in the brain. When you take a dose of bromazepam, it can kick in within an hour and can remain in your body for up to 12 hours. The drug is absorbed by the liver, from where it will spread to the rest of the body to carry out its functions.

The habit-forming nature of bromazepam is why it is only considered as a short-term option for treatment. Its usage shouldn’t last any longer than 12 weeks. If you take bromazepam for longer than your doctor has prescribed, there is risk of addiction.

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The Signs and Symptoms of Bromazepam Use

The most common sign related to of taking bromazepam is drowsiness. Other symptoms include:

  • Changes in libido
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Fever or chills
  • Bruising or bleeding
  • Yellowish tinge to eyes or skin
  • Rash or itching
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Emotional or behavioural changes

The Dangers of Bromazepam Abuse

Abusers of bromazepam are at risk of developing physical and physiological problems that can adversely affect their standard of living, and their interactions at work or with family. However, a major risk of bromazepam abuse is that it is often a prelude to the abuse of other substances. When you start experimenting with a leisurely use of bromazepam, it may be only a matter of time before you turn to faster-acting and more potent substances, opening yourself up to a darker world of multi-substance abuse.

When you mix bromazepam with any other central nervous system depressant, such as alcohol, the combination of both can lead to the depression of necessary bodily functions, driving them down to precariously low levels. The situation is the same when you mix bromazepam with opioids.

Another main danger of bromazepam abuse is that there is a serious possibility of overdose. This occurs when the drug has hit toxic levels in the blood stream. At this stage, the body can no longer break the drugs down fast enough to cope with them. Bromazepam suppresses the central nervous system, slows down respiration, lowers the heart rate, and reduces blood pressure. When you overdose on it, therefore, consequences could be blood pressure issues, dizziness, muscle weakness, slurred speech, drowsiness, and blurred vision. Depending on the severity of the overdose, you could also lose consciousness. Other problems that could occur during the overdose include hallucinations, short-term memory loss, confusion, anxiety, and agitation. If an overdose is ignored, you could die.

If you inject bromazepam, the risk of an overdose is higher, as the drug is being sent directly into the bloodstream, in a faster and more potent fashion.

Recognising a Bromazepam Addiction

When discussing the abuse of drugs and substances such as bromazepam, one of the main questions people ask is how they can tell if someone is addicted to bromazepam. Some of the main signs of someone being on drugs are behavioural changes, such as lying and secrecy. You should also watch out for some of the physical symptoms like skin flushing, nausea, and enlarged or constricted pupils.

It might be difficult to determine the warning signs of bromazepam abuse if the person was originally prescribed the medication by medical personnel. However, as soon as you notice symptoms like the aforementioned, and others such as severe drowsiness, troubled breathing, tremor, convulsions, seizures, and slurred speech, you may be looking at bromazepam addiction – or, at the very least, an addiction to other drugs in that class.

Bromazepam Addiction and the Brain

As drugs like bromazepam enter your system, they create a surge of dopamine in the brain. This generates a change in the configuration of the cells responsible for producing dopamine in the body. With the surge come the pleasurable feelings associated with the drug. This is why the drug ultimately has addictive properties. Bromazepam alters the influence of a collection of cells known as inhibitory interneurons in the brain. This neuron group is what helps to limit the overabundance of dopamine in the body, by restricting the function of neurons responsible for the production of dopamine.

However, the impact of bromazepam on these groups of cells makes it difficult for them to do their job. This causes the dopamine-producing neurons to release more dopamine than your body really needs. The excessive level of dopamine in the brain then creates the feeling of extreme pleasure. To replicate this pleasure, you may take more bromazepam – and this may lead to abuse and addiction.

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What are the Immediate Side Effects of Bromazepam Abuse?

If bromazepam is used within its recommended limits, for the treatment of panic, stress, insomnia and acute anxiety, you may not witness any dangerous effects. You will enjoy quick relief in minutes, and the effects will last for a few hours. If the medication was taken as a remedy for insomnia, you may feel drowsy or sluggish when you wake up the next day, and these can be the only side effects. When you take the medication recreationally, on the other hand, you may suffer from a range of immediate side effects such as:

  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Tremors
  • Slurred speech
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Memory issues
  • Blurred vision
  • Depression
  • Vertigo
  • Headaches
  • Mental confusion
  • Lethargy
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Slower reflexes
  • Mood swings
  • Shallow breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth

Most of these side effects are the result of excessive use of bromazepam, and what you will feel is dependent on the dosage you consumed, the method of use, and your overall personal physiology.

What are the Long-Term Side Effects of Bromazepam Abuse?

The main long-term effect of bromazepam abuse is the risk of developing a physical and psychological dependence and addiction. However, in the long term, the addiction can lead to a lasting effect on the brain and body. Prolonged use of bromazepam can lead to cognitive impairment. This means a negative effect on your memory, mental processing speed, learning abilities, and sensory perceptions.

A recent study has shown a link between using bromazepam, and other drugs in its class, and the risk for the development of the dementia variant of Alzheimer’s. The risk increases based on the length of time you have taken the medication. If you have used bromazepam for less than three months, there are no increased risks for the development of dementia. However, if you have used the drug for between 3-6 months, then the risk of developing the disease increases by 32%. And, if you use the drug for longer than six months, you have an 84% increased chance of developing Alzheimer’s, and potentially other incurable diseases.

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Intervention for a Bromazepam Addiction

Although many people develop an addiction to drugs like bromazepam as a result of recreational use, others gradually descend into the path of addiction, with a valid diagnosis of mental health problems. Some of them may have an anxiety disorder, which causes them to feel unable to face anything without medication.

During an intervention, the main focus for the people staging it, usually the family unit, is to push the addicted person into a treatment programme. If the person has an underlying mental health condition and is worried about being unable to remain functional, they need to be reassured that the facility chosen will help them to address the mental issue as well as curing their addiction. In many cases, gentle reassurance, and not confrontation, is the foundation for a positive intervention.

If the affected individual is adamant about their long-term need for bromazepam to take care of their anxiety and other related mental health issues, remind them that experts suggest only two to four weeks of usage with this type of treatment. Remind them too that therapy remains the best way to handle the issue as a whole. If you are unable to handle the process of staging an intervention, call a mental health professional to help you.

Detox and Withdrawal from Bromazepam

Bromazepam detox and withdrawal generally involves a tapering process. During this process, you will be gradually weaned off the drug. The best detox and withdrawal process is conducted under professional supervision. This is the only way to ensure that safe amounts are removed at every stage of the process, instead of removing too much at once, and leaving yourself open to the negative impact of withdrawal symptoms. When withdrawal symptoms are not prevented or managed, the end result could be dangerous for your health. In many cases, you will quickly relapse and sink deeper into the addiction.

Detox and withdrawal can also be done “cold turkey”. In this case, the use of bromazepam is stopped abruptly. This method is generally regarded as negative in most cases of addiction. When you suddenly quit using the drug, you can develop intense withdrawal symptoms pretty quickly.

For the best detox solution, you need to go to a professional rehab centre. At this type of facility, you will be able to work with a team of addiction and medical professionals, who will work together to create a safe recovery plan for you.

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Treatment and Next Steps for Bromazepam Addiction

After detox and withdrawal, the actual treatment process will begin. The treatment process will be mostly made up of therapy sessions. These sessions can be split between individual and groups. Depending on the family situation, family-based therapy sessions may also be required. This will especially be the case where a codependency has been established. Even when there is no codependency, preparing the family unit with therapy can be one of the best ways to avoid a relapse after treatment.

At the end of the treatment process, you may be enrolled in an aftercare programme. These programmes are useful because they generally provide people with the resources needed to avoid a relapse.

Bromazepam Addiction FAQs

Is it Important to Stop Abusing Bromazepam?

Yes. Bromazepam is not a harmless substance that you can continue consuming for fun. In fact, apart from the short-term effects, that can affect your work and/or family life in many ways, prolonged use of bromazepam can make you host to a wide range of problems of the central nervous system, including Alzheimer’s disease. So, if you can’t quit bromazepam abuse because of the general negative effects surrounding your usage of it, quit to avoid the possible development of an incurable disease.

What will Happen to my Anxiety Disorder after I Stop Using Bromazepam?

There are multiple ways to manage anxiety disorder outside of bromazepam use. When you talk to a professional about your use of bromazepam, underlying factors, such as anxiety, will also be addressed to ensure you no longer have need for the drug after rehab. However, to achieve this result, you need to focus on finding a rehab centre that understands dual diagnosis and treatment.

Who can I Talk to About Bromazepam abuse?

If your bromazepam abuse started with a mental health prescription, you should still be in touch with your doctor. If you are using the substance for recreational purposes only, speak to an addiction professional right away for guidance on how to quit.

Are there Safe Substitutes for Bromazepam?

Safe substitutes for bromazepam use are generally cognitive therapy-based. In such therapy sessions, you will be adequately prepared with coping mechanisms for handling anxiety, instead of just using bromazepam as a solution.

Is the Treatment Process Guaranteed to Work?

With the right treatment plan, in an appropriate rehab centre, your bromazepam addiction treatment should work. However, this is as long as you are willing to stay in treatment and stick to the recommended programmes.

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