Benzodiazepines are often prescribed for anxiety and stress. However, you may also be thrown into the cycle of addiction if you aren’t careful with them.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be vicious, producing many symptoms ranging from seizures to higher anxiety. Can benzo withdrawal kill you? If not done properly, yes. It’s best to seek medical addiction treatment from reputable doctors at Crestone instead of doing it alone. We have many options to fit your needs and budget. Don’t put off feeling better and moving away from benzodiazepines. Call for a consultation today!
What Generally Causes a Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome?
Benzodiazepines often called benzos, are central nervous system depressants used to treat insomnia, anxiety disorders, seizures, and other mental and physical health conditions. Many of the most common prescription drugs are part of this category and include Librium, Klonopin, Valium, and Xanax. Such medications, like other benzos and prescription drugs, could lead to benzodiazepine dependence.
Whenever someone takes benzos for a long period of time, they develop a high tolerance for them. It gets stronger, requiring higher doses to get the same effects of the medication. When someone stops taking the drugs suddenly after becoming dependent, the body doesn’t know how to react. That’s why a benzodiazepine addiction can cause significant withdrawal symptoms.
You don’t have to go through it alone. Our team is compassionate and cares about you and your good health, helping you detox safely.
The Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms
The symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal don’t discriminate. Anyone can get addicted and suffer severe physical symptoms if they stop using their medication suddenly.
How Long Do the Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms Last?
The duration of your benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms depends on many factors, such as:
- Simultaneous use with other drugs
- Underlying medical issues
- Duration of use
- Type of benzo (slow-acting or fast-acting)
- Dosage at benzodiazepine discontinuation
- Withdrawal severity
Three Stages of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome
Early benzodiazepine withdrawal includes the immediate onset of your symptoms after the body purges itself of the drug. Generally, shorter-acting benzos give signs in 24 hours, and you might experience things like:
- Sleep disturbances
Once the initial onset has occurred, you start the acute withdrawal of benzodiazepine dependence, experiencing physiological changes, including:
You’re likely to have more severe withdrawal symptoms if you’re significantly dependent on the benzos. In some cases, you might experience life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, such as psychotic episodes, seizures, and other side effects. We discuss those more in-depth below.
Protracted Withdrawal Symptoms
Post-acute withdrawal symptoms start next and are called protracted withdrawal symptoms. This is when you suffer from benzodiazepine withdrawal after treatment of the symptoms. These can include things like:
- Motor or sensory function irregularities
- Learning disabilities from prolonged usage
Generally, post-acute withdrawal symptoms or protracted withdrawal syndrome stay with you for the long term.
Side Effects of a Benzodiazepine Withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms generally begin one to four days after you stop using the drugs and can last 10 days or longer. The common side effects are uncomfortable but usually aren’t fatal or dangerous. However, it’s safer to come to our rehab center for the best results. We monitor you and ensure that you don’t become ill.
Side effects can include:
- Perception changes
- Detachment or delirium
- Difficulty concentrating
- Abnormal body sensations
- Increased tension
- Excessive sweating
- Heart palpitations
- Panic Attacks
- Heart tremors
- Disturbed sleep
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle stiffness
- Aches and pains
We offer detox programs to help you maintain your withdrawal symptoms and curb cravings. The process isn’t enjoyable, but it’s crucial to get the drugs out of your system to become healthier and happier.
Likewise, detox programs like ours protect you against emergency situations. You may experience grand mal seizures, suicidal thoughts or attempts, psychosis, and hallucinations.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Timeline from Crestone
What helps you during your situation? Most people avoid seeking medical attention, but that’s often the best way to deal with addiction treatment.
Our team uses the most advanced techniques for benzodiazepine withdrawal treatment, so we can help you choose a plan that fits your needs and requirements. Options can include:
Detox works in various ways, such as:
- Ambulatory Treatment – This is designed for people who don’t have acute withdrawal symptoms. You check in for treatments and receive detox recovery primarily at home. You focus on a gradual dose reduction, which the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the American Psychiatric Association claims is the best benzodiazepine withdrawal treatment.
- Medical Supervision (Medical Detox) – People with severe cases of benzo withdrawal symptoms may require 24-hour supervision from a team of doctors and nurses. We can provide certain medicines that make you more comfortable and watch for signs of severe problems. For example, those with a generalized anxiety disorder may require Buspirone, Flumazenil, and other medications for their medical detox.
- Clinically Managed Residential Treatment – This is a more social setting, but there are still doctors and nurses to supervise. Patients generally feel more comfortable during their stay at these locations.
Intensive Outpatient Therapy
After your benzo withdrawal process, your therapy doesn’t stop. Intensive outpatient therapy can:
- Introduce the 12-step program
- Implement anger and stress management through support groups
- Educate patients about how addiction affects the brain
- Prevent a relapse
- Accommodate your school or work schedule
- Include other medications to help you stay away from benzos and promote recovery and continued abstinence
Substitution of Another Benzo
Sometimes, we recommend that some people substitute and use a different benzo type to replicate the high they received before. If you were addicted to fast-acting benzodiazepines, this might be a great choice for you.
When you substitute slow-acting benzo for a fast-acting one, you reduce your withdrawal symptoms. Since they are gradually released, the slow-acting options lessen the severity of the issues. In a sense, you’re not shocking your system and brain by stopping the medication.
Research now suggests that nutraceutical and herbal remedies can be powerful allies for your benzo withdrawal treatment. However, it’s best to speak with your doctor before choosing one of these options.
You must also be aware that herbal and nutraceutical remedies aren’t viable treatments for benzo withdrawal alone. Still, it’s a long-term illness, so it’s crucial to use supplements and other methods for treatment to create physical dependence and reduce your side effects initially.
Niacin Accelerates the Benzo Withdrawal
Recent studies indicate that high doses of niacin might accelerate benzo withdrawal. Patients who choose this route should also take vitamin C and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
Other Herbs That Aid in Recovery
Here are a few more herbs to speak to your doctor about for breaking the physical dependence on benzodiazepine use:
- Chamomile – Offers antispasmodic actions because of its essential oil content and can treat stomach reactions
- Passionflower – Helps with sleeplessness
- Bacopa – Called “brain tonic” in India and contains potent flavonoids, saponins, and alkaloids to treat amnesia, which is a common benzo withdrawal side effect
- Carminative – Can relax the stomach and treat nausea
- Nervine – Helps with sleep disruption
In severe cases, herbs shouldn’t be used as an alternative method of benzo withdrawal treatment. However, they can help other therapies be more productive.
Why Consider Meditation as Part of Your Treatment
While benzo withdrawal symptoms are the reason you seek treatment, you’ve got to treat anxiety disorders and other underlying issues to become better.
Meditation and group therapy can help you overcome various mental health conditions without needing medication. We offer this service!
Why Seek Help for Your Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms
Many treatment centers help you overcome substance abuse, and we have what it takes. If you worry about benzo withdrawal symptoms, please call us for assistance.
Drug withdrawal can be very serious, depending on how long you’ve used the benzo. Let us make you comfortable while you fight.
Where People Get Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepine use happens through a prescription your doctor provides, and they have many benefits. However, you can get addicted to them and go to outside sources or multiple physicians for your fix.
Reasons to Choose Crestone
- Caring medical staff who understand substance abuse
- Focus on you and your needs
- Individualized treatment plans
- Safety during the medical detox
Get Better with Crestone on Your Side
If you’re ready to choose addiction treatment to overcome drug withdrawal dependence, it’s time to call Crestone! We can help you with your withdrawal symptoms from substance abuse.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the American Psychiatric Association claims that up to 30 percent of the benzodiazepine-dependent population will suffer from severe symptoms. We want to help you with reducing withdrawal symptoms.
You may experience withdrawal differently than others, but you don’t have to live with drug abuse, especially benzodiazepine use. Please call us to find out more about treatment options, such as medical detox.