Benzodiazepine Addiction Case Study

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Benzodiazepines were first introduced in the 1960’s with the notion that they were free of addictive properties (de las Cuevas, Sanz, & de la Fuente, 2003). They instantly became popular due to their action of reducing tension and “inducing mental calmness” (Konopka, Pełka-Wysiecka, Grzywacz, & Samochowiec, 2013, p. 229). However, the awareness of potential dependence and addiction has increased as well. De las Cuevas and colleagues state that many studies have found that a substantial proportion of patients who are currently taking benzodiazepines will, at some point, form a dependence to them and become addicted (2003). Strikingly, a survey from primary care physicians has found that half of the physicians find it “difficult to discuss…show more content…
The external factors associated with benzodiazepine addiction are how long the treatment is, lack of psychoeducation given to the patient about the possibility of addiction, and careless usage (Konopka et al., 2013). Additionally, Konopka et al. discuss that critical life events, such as childhood maltreatment, increase one’s chances of benzodiazepine addiction (2013). This demonstrates that the role of social problems and critical life events, as well as lack of information, leads to the addictiveness of benzodiazepines. In juxtaposition, the internal factors that may predispose an individual to benzodiazepine addiction involves psychological determinants, such as depressive and anxiety disorders, personality traits, such as neuroticism and borderline personality disorders, and “negative mood combined with a feeling of personal unworthiness” and inadequacy (Konopka et al., 2013, p. 230). Therefore, Konopka and colleagues (2013) developed a research design that analyzed the internal and external factors related to benzodiazepine addiction. These researchers investigated four factors related to benzodiazepine addiction: treatment circumstances (duration, dosage, and reason for receiving the benzodiazepine), psychological characteristics (anxiety levels and personality traits), coping mechanisms, and critical life events (Konopka et al.,…show more content…
234). This indicates that the reason benzodiazepines are addictive is in their function, which is to sedate and calm an individual. This paradox treads a fine line between therapeutic effectiveness and addiction, which is alarming because an individual receiving a benzodiazepine for therapeutic relief can easily become addicted to its sedating properties, thereby refuting its therapeutic claim. Additionally, Konopka et al. found that adverse life events, such as domestic violence and childhood maltreatment, and the “accumulation of stress,” leads to higher potential of abuse and addiction than compared to controls (2013, p. 234). This further demonstrates that circumstances which cause people to utilize anxiolytic medications are playing a vital role in also predisposing them to

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