How Do I Know If I’m Dependent on My Anxiety Meds?

How Do I Know If I’m Dependent on My Anxiety Meds?According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 40 millions adults in America have an anxiety disorder. These disorders include the following: panic disorder; obsessive-compulsive disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder; generalized anxiety disorder; phobias. These anxiety disorders are different than the anxiety that all people feel from time to time, like when taking a test or meeting a new person. Anxiety disorders can be paralyzing, severely interfering with the lives of those who suffer from them.

Signs of Addiction to Anxiety Medication

Fortunately, there are medications that can help people who are struggling with an anxiety disorder. The most commonly prescribed prescriptions for anxiety fall under the category of benzodiazepines (benzos), which suppress the output of brain chemicals related to fear. These drugs have become increasing popular in recent years, resulting in addiction in many cases. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that 2.2 million people abused benzos in 2010. In 2009, over 350,000 people visited the ER because they misused benzos, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network.

Behaviors that indicate addiction to prescription anxiety medication include the following:

  • Taking a higher dosage of the anxiety medication than prescribed
  • Taking the anti-anxiety drug more often than prescribed
  • “Losing” medication and asking the prescribing physician for another prescription
  • Seeing multiple doctors for multiple prescriptions
  • Using prescription anxiety drugs to function during the day
  • Experiencing uncontrollable anxiety when the medication runs out
  • Taking the medication secretly to avoid detection by others
  • Seeking and using the drugs despite negative consequences to yourself or others

While you may be concerned about addiction to anxiety medication, it is important to talk with your doctor before discontinuing use. Stopping your medication may result in serious side effects. Your physician or psychiatrist can talk with you about your concerns and your particular risk for dependence and addiction. Not taking needed anxiety medication can hurt your emotional and physical health. However, if your doctor agrees that you exhibit the signs of an addiction to anxiety medication, seek help immediately. Addiction to prescription drugs can lead to serious problems, including overdose and death.

Getting Help for Your Addiction to Anxiety Medication

If you or a loved one is addicted to anxiety medication, we can help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day. You can talk with one of our admissions counselors about your concerns and whether treatment is the best course of actions for you.