March 16, 2008

Mental dysfunction and addiction caused by benzodiazepines

Currently among the most widely-prescribed psychiatric medications, benzodiazepines or tranquilizers can produce a wide variety of abnormal mental responses and hazardous behavioral abnormality, including rebound anxiety and insomnia, mania (especially Xanax) and other forms of psychosis, paranoia, violence, antisocial acts, depression, and suicide. These drugs can impair cognition, ranging from short-term memory impairment and confusion to delirium. They can also induce dependence and addiction. Severe withdrawal syndromes with fever, lowered blood pressure, shakiness, muscle cramps, blurred vision,  abnormal sensations and perceptions, psychosis, seizures, and even death can develop. The short-acting benzodiazepines, alprazolam (Xanax) and, to an even greater extent, triazolam (Halcion) are especially prone to cause psychological and behavioral abnormalities. Especially when given high doses over many months, many people suffer from mental and emotional instability and cognitive problems long after stopping these medications. These adverse drug effects can wreak havoc in the lives of individuals and their families.

The best sources for information on the benzodiazepines and other tranquilizers and sleeping pills can be found in Dr. Breggin’s two newest books: