Abuse, addiction and dependence are three separate concepts related to substance misuse. Drug misuse can occur when someone is using higher doses of a prescription medicine than they’re supposed to or using it without a prescription. Someone can misuse drugs, prescription or otherwise, without being dependent or addicted. However, substance misuse is one of the primary risk factors for more severe scenarios like addiction to occur. Addiction is a brain disease. When the brain is exposed to a substance, it can change the wiring, pathways and functionality of the brain. Addiction is triggered by these changes. With addiction, drug use is out of the control of the individual, is all-encompassing and is compulsive. Addicts will often try unsuccessfully to stop using or will continue to use no matter the consequences.
Then, there is physical dependence. One can be dependent on a drug like Dalmane without being addicted or even without abusing it. When the central nervous system is exposed to a substance like Dalmane over a period of time, it starts to see that exposure as normal. Since Dalmane affects GABA receptors, someone with a dependence may have a problem creating their own GABA without the drug. The longer someone uses Dalmane, the more likely they are to develop dependence. The risk of dependence is one reason doctors usually only prescribe this medication for a week or two. Even if someone uses Dalmane exactly as prescribed, they may become dependent.
When someone has a drug dependence and they stop using it suddenly, they will likely go through withdrawal. Symptoms of withdrawal occur when someone has regularly used a drug like Dalmane and they stop cold turkey. The body struggles to readjust and function normally without its presence. Withdrawal symptoms can vary in duration and severity based on factors including the type of drug, how long it was used and how heavily, and the individual’s health and body chemistry. Dalmane is a benzodiazepine, and withdrawal from this drug class can have some of the most severe symptoms. Benzodiazepine withdrawal tends to be more severe even than opioid withdrawal. The symptoms of Dalmane withdrawal can be broken into categories which are psychological symptoms, perceptual symptoms and physical symptoms. Some of the major symptoms of Dalmane withdrawal can include:
- Panic attacks
- Sleep disturbances
- Muscle spasms or pain
- Visual disturbances
- Changes in mood
- Hypersensitivity to stimuli
In severe cases, Dalmane and benzodiazepine withdrawal can include seizures, delirium or psychotic symptoms. For someone who has been using benzodiazepine heavily and for a long period of time or people with polysubstance misuse issues, the symptoms are likely to be the most severe. When someone attempts to stop using a drug like Dalmane, the withdrawal symptoms can be one of the biggest obstacles. That makes it important people dependent on Dalmane find the right help as they detox.
For someone who uses Dalmane lightly, an at-home detox may be sufficient. A doctor can detail a tapering down schedule, and that will significantly reduce withdrawal symptoms. There are scenarios where Dalmane detox at home isn’t recommended, however. For someone who has been using Dalmane for an extended period of time, a professional detox may be necessary. Also, people with polysubstance misuse problems, major medical issues or psychiatric conditions may also require a medical detox. During a medical detox, a patient can be provided with therapies and treatments that will make them more comfortable and also safe. Once someone completes Dalmane detox, they can begin receiving treatment for addiction. Detox only deals with benzodiazepine dependence.
For anyone who is worried about being dependent on Dalmane, the best thing to do is contact a medical professional. There are complications such as seizures that can occur with benzodiazepine withdrawal. People shouldn’t attempt to go through Dalmane detox on their own. The Recovery Village offers medical detox programs, as well as a variety of addiction treatment programs. Call us to learn more about the options available, and how we can help you or loved one recover.
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.