Essay On Benzodiazepines

Biologically, benzodiazepines bind to GABA receptor sites in the brain. GABA is an important inhibitory neurotransmitter that if in excess amounts in the brain or regulated can cause seizures and sleep problems respectively.
Previously, scientists have tried medication substitution to anxiolytics, agonist substitution to mimic the effect, or abstain completely. Liebrenz and his team of five scientists suggest that, “patients’ subjective views are of clinical importance because past research indicates that individuals should be presented with a variety of treatment alternatives, rather than simply being informed about what is obtainable or easiest; in addition, this prior research has found interventions to be most beneficial when patients
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The experiment was conducted at the Psychiatric University Hospital of Zurich which was a qualitative study aimed at patients for treatment strategies and withdrawal treatment. The sample of participants was obtained by purposeful sampling and saturation sampling. These methods of sampling ensured that everyone in the experiment was a viable candidate for testing. There were a total of 41 participants, 31 male and 10 female. Each told the doctors their duration of use of their benzodiazepine, initial age of benzodiazepine use, and the maximum dosage that they administered themselves, regardless of if it was for recreational or medical use. In the study, 71% of BZD users wanted to stop taking the drug as they believed it was detrimental to their productivity and overall happiness as an adult. Patients with high dose benzodiazepine dependence were in favor of tapering treatment rather than discontinuation of taking the drug. One of the major concerns of tapering is suffering relapse, or a period of detriment after a treatment. Finding substitution for benzodiazepines has proven to be successful for most patients. This depends on the patient’s tolerance to the drug as well as their will-power and help to get off of the drug and gain independence. “The duration of …show more content…
Sudden abstinence methods are widely unused as they have proven to be detrimental to the health of the patient as they can cause life threatening seizures and dementia amongst older patients. Tapering, or lowering doses until dependent, has seen positive results amongst many experiments and should see continued practice until further research on the topic is conducted. The danger of benzodiazepines lies in their ease of access, availability, and the addictive effect they have on the brain. Of these experiments, “No serious adverse effect was detected, neither during the tapering-off process nor in the 12 months of follow up. The more common symptoms of withdrawal were insomnia, anxiety and irritability, but their overall prevalence was not high” (Vicens, 2006, p. 958). Therapy in the months following is also crucial as, “combining drug and psychological treatments is possibly the way forward for the more seriously ill patients/clients” (Lader, 2012, p. 299). Flumazenil treatment should also be implemented. “Flumazenil goes to the GABA receptors and binds so tightly to them that it actually displaces or pushes away any other benzodiazepines that the patient was taking. It then also very lightly turns on the switch so it provides some relief of withdrawal symptoms. It seems to stabilize the receptors so that patients feel comfortable and have less

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