Thursday, January 24, 2013


Prescription drug abuse is allegedly at an all-time high. Narcotics may be the most commonly abused of prescription drugs (I  don't know this to be a fact), but also among those commonly prescribed drugs that are commonly misused is a class of drugs known as benzodiazepenes.

I'm not a doctor. Even if I had a copy of the current Physician's Desk Reference at my fingertips, I'd be unable to list every possible condition for which benzodiazepenes are prescribed.   I do know that they are used for seizure conditions and for anxiety-related conditions.

I've taken a few of the drugs in the benzodiazepene classification on occasion. Sometimes I pluck my hair out unconsciously , and I've taken Ativan (generically  lorazepam) as to help control this condition, which is known in the medical and mental health fields as trichotillomania.  Additionally, I've been treated for PTSD following  a physical and sexual assault. I've taken Ativan occasionally for this, as well as Klonopin ( clonazepam) and Xanax (alprazolam).  Once I was given Valium (diazepam) right before a surgical procedure.  There are twenty or so others that are fairly commonly prescribed.

I would like to say that, while I understand that individuals react uniquely to drugs, and my physiological and psychological responses to these or any other drugs may not be typical, I don't really understand what about these substances would cause anyone to wish to take them for recreational purposes or what about the drugs would cause them to be psychologically addictive. These drugs, if given in sufficient quantity, will cause me to fall asleep.  (So will benadryl or Tylenol PM.) They have sort of an all-or-nothing effect on me. (Perhaps to others I appear stoned out of my mind after taking one of the aforementioned substances.) Either they knock me out or they have no effect at all that I can discern.  There are times, such as after a really bad flashback nightmare, when I've really wanted to go back to sleep, and in such instances, the sleep-inducing effects of whatever benzo drug I was given were most welcome. Other than that, they don't give me personally any sort of buzz.

While I'm not advocating their use for recreational purposes, I understand what it is about some narcotic painkillers that would cause people to take them for the good feelings that might be experienced after taking them. Where benzos are concerned, though, I don't really get it, as they do very little for me.

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