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Re: Are Benzodiazepines Like Alcohol?

Posted by Scott L. Schofield on January 1, 2000, at 10:30:54

In reply to Are Benzodiazepines Like Alcohol?, posted by Marc on December 25, 1999, at 0:05:27

> When I drink I feel so happy and uninhibited by anxiety, especially social anxiety. I know this is normal, but is that what benzos like Valium, Klonopin and Xanax make you feel like? If so, then they're the drug for me. How's this analogy, Benzo:Alcohol::SSRI:Marijuana ?

I just wanted to add one thing to this thread.

Both alcohol and benzodiazepines are capable of producing behavioral “disinhibition”. Disinhibition is basically the shutting-down of those neural pathways that would otherwise serve to help control one’s emotions and behaviors. I believe it is the inhibition of the inhibition neurons (thus disinhibition) that allows one to feel less inhibited in social situations. This alone may reduce anxiety, as there would be less cognitive dissonance to create it. This reduction in anxiety may be synergistic with the other anti-anxiety properties these drugs may have.

Disinhibition can be dangerous. It can cause an otherwise docile person to become violent. Perhaps this is the reason some people get loud or truculent when they drink, regardless of what is going on around them. In those infrequent occurrences of benzodiazepine-induced disinhibition, the magnitude of the behavioral effects can be much greater.

- Scott




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