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Benzodiazepine dependence

Benzodiazepine dependence or benzodiazepine addiction is when one has developed one or more of either tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, drug seeking behaviors, such as continued use despite harmful effects, and maladaptive pattern of substance use, according to the DSM-IV. In the case of benzodiazepine dependence, however, the continued use seems to be associated with the avoidance of unpleasant withdrawal reaction rather than from the pleasurable effects of the drug. Benzodiazepine dependence develops with long-term use, even at low therapeutic doses, without the described dependence behavior.

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The dependence once body builds up with these medicines is incredible. I was told by my doctor when prescribed that my body would not need them, per say, if I wanted to get off of them. Now with proper knowledge on the subject I know it takes at least two months to ween off of, and even at that rate you are at risk for seizures if you cut too fast or miss a dosage. The withdrawals from these medications are honestly debilitating.

Contributed by Shannon McGloin

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