Centrax is a prescription drug that is used to treat short-term anxiety. The generic name for the drug is prazepam. Centrax is classified as a benzodiazepine drug. As with other benzodiazepines, or “benzos,” Centrax does have certain side effects, such as drowsiness. In addition to treating anxiety, benzodiazepines are used to treat panic attacks, seizure disorders, insomnia and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Drugs like Centrax and other benzos affect the brain and central nervous system in similar ways. Centrax increases the effects of a neurotransmitter called GABA. GABA plays a calming role in the brain. When someone uses Centrax, the reward and reinforcement pathways in the brain are triggered. This response can lead to addiction and dependence. While regular substance use doesn’t necessarily always result in addiction, it increases the risk. Signs of substance use disorder abuse include:
- Problems with walking and coordination
- Concentration and memory problems
- Slurred speech
- Using higher doses than prescribed
- Using Centrax without a prescription
- Combining Central with other medications or substances
- Continuing to use Centrax longer than instructed
Recurrence of Centrax use is more likely when the medication is abused and when it is used for extended periods of time. All benzodiazepines are meant as short-term treatments only, due to the risks of addiction and dependence. Not everyone who regularly uses Centrax will become addicted to the drug but understanding the potential for addiction and dependence, as well as the signs and side effects, is important. Signs of substance use disorder include:
- Over time with a person will be unable to stop using Centrax even if they want to
- A person tries, unsuccessfully, to stop using the drug at least once
- A person becomes physically dependent upon Centrax, encountering withdrawal if they stop using it
- Use of Centrax continues even when there are negative health and lifestyle effects
- A person becomes obsessed with maintaining a supply of the drug
- A person becomes secretive or withdrawn
- Denial of Centrax addiction or abuse
Along with signs of substance use disorder, many side effects can occur in the short term. People who struggle with substance use disorder will often have financial and legal problems. They will begin taking risks both when they’re high on the drug and when they are trying to get more of the drug. Other symptoms of substance use disorder can include declining school or work performance and health problems. People with ongoing substance use disorder may have problems in their relationships with partners, family, friends and loved ones. Overdose is another result of substance use disorder. An overdose occurs when someone takes a toxic dose of Centrax or combines the drug with other substances. Over time, substance use disorder can also cause long-term cognitive and memory problems.
If someone displays the signs, symptoms or side effects of struggling with Centrax addiction, the best thing to do is to talk to them about getting help sooner rather than later. Often, when someone regularly uses benzodiazepines like Centrax, they will abuse other drugs as well. This behavior is called polysubstance abuse. For example, someone might use Centrax to come down from the high of a stimulant drug like cocaine. Another example would be combining Centrax with opioids, both of which are depressants. The combination could heighten the effects of both drugs. A polysubstance abuse disorder is more complex to treat and can also lead to more severe consequences. Unfortunately, with prescription drugs like Centrax, it can be difficult to determine if someone is struggling with addiction or using them as prescribed.
For people struggling with prescription drug abuse or addiction, the best option is a treatment program. Contact The Recovery Village to learn more.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with 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 providers.