Tranxene (clorazepate) is a benzodiazepine that does not share some of the properties that the more addictive benzodiazepines have, but it can still be a drug of abuse and produce physical dependence.
The drug is medically used for the short-term relief of anxiety disorders, the treatment of seizures, and to assist individuals who are in withdrawal from alcohol abuse.
Tranxene and Benzodiazepine Addiction
Benzodiazepines remain some of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States.
Research indicates that anywhere between three and five percent of the population have prescribed a benzodiazepine. Individuals who are prescribed opioid pain medications are more likely to be prescribed a benzodiazepine as well.
Most individuals who are prescribed benzodiazepines use them as directed. In fact, estimates indicate that only two percent of individuals prescribed benzodiazepines misuse the drug. Even fewer people escalate their misuse to the point of being diagnosed with addiction.
Addictive Characteristics of Benzodiazepines
Research indicates benzodiazepines that have a high potency also have a quick onset of action.
Because they have a shorter half-life, which makes them remain in the system for a shorter period of time, they can be abused more easily than those with a longer onset of action and a longer half-life.
Drugs that have a short onset of action and short half-lives deliver their effects quickly and wear off quickly, resulting in individuals using them more frequently and in higher amounts.
Tranxene does have a relatively short onset of action, but it also has a long half-life. Thus, it does have some of the characteristics of benzodiazepines that are more likely to be abused.
Secondary Drugs of Abuse
Abuse of a benzodiazepine commonly occurs in conjunction with the abuse of other drugs.
Benzodiazepines like Tranxene are typically secondary drugs of abuse, as only a very small number of individuals who abuse benzodiazepines report them as their primary drug of abuse.
Opioid drugs are the primary drug of abuse in most cases of benzodiazepine abuse, with alcohol being the second most common drug of abuse with benzodiazepines.
Abuse of benzodiazepines often occurs to enhance the euphoric effects of other drugs or to reduce unwanted effects that are associated with other drugs.
When an individual abuses a benzodiazepine like Tranxene in combination with some other drug of abuse, they will often take the benzodiazepine in a much higher dose than an individual who is abusing a benzodiazepine alone.
Taking higher doses of the drug results in tolerance forming much more quickly and accelerates addiction.
Research indicates there are other risk factors associated with benzodiazepine abuse, including:
A large number of individuals who abuse benzodiazepines are Caucasian.
Mental health disorder
Benzodiazepine abuse is strongly associated with individuals who have some other diagnosis of a psychiatric or psychological disorder.
Pre-existing substance use disorder
Rates of benzodiazepine abuse are much higher in individuals who have some other pre-existing substance use disorder.
Someone with a family history of a substance use disorder or some other mental health disorder is at an increased risk for benzodiazepine abuse.
Length of use
Individuals with prescriptions for benzodiazepines that continue for a year or more are at a greater risk of developing an addiction than individuals who are prescribed the drug for shorter periods of time.
Individuals who use the drug for longer periods of time are more likely to develop a severe physical dependence on Tranxene.
The development of physical dependence on any drug results in the person having difficulty discontinuing the use of the drug on their own.
Individuals who abuse drugs and develop a significant physical dependence on them are often concerned about the stigma associated with their condition and may not actively seek help.
The physical dependence associated with benzodiazepines can produce severe withdrawal symptoms, including delirium tremens and seizures, which can both be life-threatening.
Many individuals become caught up in the cycle of addiction by using the drug to avoid withdrawal symptoms. They find they need the drug more frequently or in higher amounts to avoid withdrawal instead of proactively seeking help for their situation.
Factors Resulting In Addiction
The type of drug or the kind of person does not determine whether one will develop a substance use disorder. Instead, it is a combination of variables that increase the probability that anyone could develop a substance abuse issue.
Tranxene, like all of the benzodiazepines, is a drug that has significant medicinal uses. However, it is also a drug that can be a significant drug of abuse.
It is possible to become addicted to Tranxene through chronic misuse of the drug.
Addiction represents a chronic disorder that is associated with drug misuse and the development of significant impairment or dysfunction in life as a direct result of drug use.
People who use drugs for medical reasons, while under the supervision of their doctor, would not be considered addicted to the drug even if they develop a level of physical dependence when taking it.
Treating Addiction to Tranxene
Addiction is a treatable condition. It requires hard work and a professional team effort to help an individual in recovery, but an addiction to any substance of abuse is treatable.
In the vast majority of cases, individuals with substance use disorders need to receive professional help to overcome their problem.
In the case of Tranxene, the first step is to get a formal assessment from a licensed medical professional. This will help an individual determine the extent of their addictive behavior and learn of possible treatment plans.
The majority of individuals who are addicted to benzodiazepines like Tranxene need professional assistance to help them recover. They also need to be involved in treatment for a sufficient length of time to allow them to change their behavior and develop a new approach to life. These are effective methods in achieving freedom from addiction.