Centrax (Prazepam) Addiction/Abuse

Centrax is a prescription benzodiazepine, also known as prazepam in its generic form. Centrax is primarily prescribed to treat short-term anxiety. As with other benzodiazepines, Centrax has sedative, skeletal muscle relaxant and anticonvulsant properties. Centrax was first developed in the 1960s. Many of the side effects of Centrax are similar to those of other benzodiazepines, but the drug has fewer risks associated with it. Despite the overall lower risk of side effects, Centrax does carry a potential for abuse, addiction and dependence.
Centrax (prazepam) Addiction/Abuse
Benzodiazepines, or “benzos,” refer to a general class of depressant drugs. When someone takes a benzo like Centrax, the drug slows overactivity in their brain and depresses the central nervous system. Since Centrax has a tranquilizing effect on the brain, it helps reduce symptoms of anxiety and panic. Benzodiazepines can also be used to treat seizure disorders, alcohol withdrawal and insomnia. Other commonly prescribed benzodiazepines include drugs like Xanax and Valium. Benzodiazepines are among the most frequently prescribed drugs in the United States.

While they do have therapeutic benefits, benzos like Centrax can lead to abuse. There are a few reasons for this. First, benzos have a psychoactive effect on the brain. When someone uses Centrax, it affects neurotransmitters. Some people may feel mildly euphoric or may feel a sense of pleasant, deep relaxation. These feelings can trigger a reward response in the brain, which can lead to abuse and addiction.

Due to the risks of abuse, addiction and dependence, benzodiazepines are typically only prescribed as a short-term treatment. However, even when a drug like Centrax is used only as prescribed and for a short period, addiction and dependence occur. Sometimes signs of Centrax abuse are subtle and difficult to distinguish from signs of prescribed usage. While Centrax abuse doesn’t mean that someone is necessarily addicted to the medication, abuse does increase the risk of addiction. Signs that might indicate that a person struggling with substance use disorder include drowsiness, confusion, weakness and blurred vision, among others. Other signs of substance use disorder include slurred speech and lack of coordination.

Addiction is a condition that involves the uncontrolled use and abuse of substances, such as prescription medications, illegal drugs or alcohol. When a person has a substance use disorder, they use the medication even when there are detrimental or negative effects associated with it. Any drug that can lead to addiction activates reward and reinforcement pathways in the brain. It’s not uncommon for addiction to occur along with certain mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. This is especially true with a prescription medicine like Centrax. Centrax is prescribed for anxiety, so someone who uses it is already at a higher risk of developing an addiction.

While there are risk factors that can increase the potential for Centrax addiction, there’s not one specific cause that determines whether or not someone will become addicted to a medication. Researchers and medical professionals believe there are biological, social, psychological and environmental factors that play a role in addiction. Medical professionals try to assess a person’s risk factors for addiction before prescribing a substance like Centrax; however, sometimes that’s not enough. Addiction is ultimately considered to be a complex disease that is difficult to overcome; however, recovery is possible. Treatment programs are designed to help people struggling with substance use disorder to recover and regain their lives.

To learn more about substance use disorder treatment and program options, contact The Recovery Village.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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