Prosom is a prescription medication that is also sold under the generic name estazolam. Given to treat short-term insomnia, Prosom is classified as a benzodiazepine. Prosom and other benzos slow activity in the brain by affecting the neurotransmitter GABA. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter. It slows neuron firing, and benzodiazepines ensure more of it is available in the brain. Benzos have relaxing or sedative effect, and some people may experience mild euphoria or a pleasant sense of well-being when using benzos. This can begin a reward response in the brain, which is how addiction develops. While Prosom and other benzos can be helpful temporarily, they shouldn’t be used for more than a few weeks because of the risk of addiction and dependence.
Unfortunately, many people do abuse benzos like Prosom. They’re among the most widely prescribed drugs in the U.S. Someone who abuses Prosom or a similar drug may do so by taking it without a prescription or by taking high doses to feel euphoric or sedated. Another way to abuse Prosom is to combine it with other substances to heighten feelings of intoxication. It’s estimated that anywhere from 30 to 50 per cent of alcoholics also abuse benzodiazepines.
Many of the signs of Prosom abuse are similar to alcohol abuse symptoms. For example, someone who is abusing one or both of these substances may experience changes in mood and behavior, problems with speech and coordination, and slow muscle movement. Over time, the symptoms of Prosom and alcohol abuse can become even more severe. For example, people may experience cognitive deficiencies, memory problems, anxiety, depression and physical health deterioration.
Alcohol can be safe when used in small amounts, but when people drink excessively, it can cause short- and long-term consequences. Alcohol acts on certain neurotransmitter receptor sites in the brain, including GABA sites, as well as glutamate and dopamine. The effects on these receptor sites explain why alcohol slows down coordination, movement and speech. They also indicate why alcohol causes people to feel euphoric, relaxed and drowsy — effects similar to those associated with the use of Prosom. Alcohol also causes activity at dopamine sites, and that pleasurable feeling allows the reward center to trigger addiction.
Both Prosom and alcohol are central nervous system depressants. When someone combines Prosom and alcohol, the short-term effects of each will be amplified since they are similar. A person may seem extremely uncoordinated and intoxicated. Someone who mixes Prosom and alcohol may have slurred speech, seem clumsy and lack of control over motor coordination. Additionally, when two substances that slow the central nervous system are taken together, the combination can cause profound respiratory depression. A person may stop breathing altogether, which is what happens during an overdose. An overdose from combining a benzo and alcohol can be fatal.
Over the long term, mixing Prosom and alcohol can cause ongoing fatigue, memory loss and mood swings; it can also damage relationships with loved ones. Using multiple substances at the same time can also increase the chances of becoming addicted to one or both. Essentially, mixing Prosom and alcohol significantly increases the risks of each substance. There is also a very serious risk of combining Prosom with opioids. Opioids are prescription painkillers that depress the central nervous system. Mixing Prosom and opioids can (and often does) result in overdoses because of extreme respiratory depression.
Do you struggle with a polysubstance abuse problem? If so, please contact The Recovery Village. It is possible to recover from substance addiction with the right kind of individualized treatment, whether you’re looking to overcome addiction to benzodiazepines, alcohol or another type of substance.
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