Benzodiazepines (AKA “benzos”) are prescription drugs commonly used to treat various conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and more. There is a large range of different types of benzos. The most common benzos in the US are sold under brand names such as Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin.
All benzos have a similar mechanism of action and their primary differences are in the length of time that they are metabolized by the body.
While effective in their therapeutic uses, their relaxing and euphoric effects are sometimes abused. After prolonged abuse, and even at therapeutic doses, benzos can cause significant physical dependence and withdrawal.
Although kicking a dependency or addiction to benzodiazepines can be extremely difficult, help is out there, and with professional medical help, the road to recovery doesn’t need to be taken alone.
Once benzodiazepine dependence has been established, the addiction can be extremely difficult to overcome. The withdrawal symptoms from benzos are serious and can be long-lasting, depending on the particular drug being abused among other factors.
It is also important to know that trying to quit benzodiazepines cold turkey is not only extremely difficult but also dangerous. For this reason, it is very important to seek out professional medical help when overcoming addiction to benzos.
Benzodiazepine detox is the necessary first step in the road to recovery, the purpose being to purge the body of the drug and its metabolites.
When an individual begins their detoxification process, the symptoms of withdrawal can be very serious and sometimes even dangerous.
Common mild benzo withdrawal symptoms include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Aches and pains
- Hypersensitivity to light, touch, and other stimuli
Common severe benzo withdrawal symptoms include:
- Grand mal seizures
- Muscle spasms
- Auditory, tactile, and/or visual hallucinations
Due to the difficulty and severity of detoxification from benzodiazepines, it is almost always necessary that detoxification takes place under medical supervision.
Patients with strong benzo dependencies and at risk for severe withdrawal symptoms are recommended to taper down their usage rather than go “cold turkey.” This allows the body to adjust before abstaining from benzos entirely — avoiding extreme complications such as seizures.
Although some users may not have to be under constant supervision during their recovery, anyone with addiction or dependence to benzos is strongly recommended to seek medical help.
The Road to Recovery
Benzodiazepines are a serious drug, and recovering from addiction to them can be extremely difficult, for many it’s one of the most difficult things a person will ever overcome. The benzo withdrawal phase can be particularly long and challenging when compared to other drugs.
Without medical supervision and/or prescriptions from other drugs to help with recovery, the process can feel nearly impossible.
In fact, patients who attempt to go it alone might even delay their recovery effort by not doing it right the first time.
Benzo Detoxification Timeline and Recovery Phases
When detoxing from benzos the first stage of the detox is called the acute withdrawal phase. The length of this detoxification stage depends primarily on the type of benzos that the individual had been taking.
Some benzos are short-acting and designed to take effect shortly after ingestion and last about a day. If the individual’s dependency was on short-acting benzos then they will begin to feel withdrawal symptoms as quickly as 8-12 hours after the detox begins. The worst day of symptoms for them will likely be day 2 and will begin to get better around day 4 or 5.
Other benzodiazepines are long-acting and designed to take effect later and last longer. Detoxing from long-acting benzos can prolong the withdrawal phase, making it last one or two weeks, or even more.
About 10% of people addicted to benzos experience protracted withdrawal wherein symptoms of varying severity can last months or even up to a year in some cases. When this happens, prolonged support in recovery is highly recommended as the risk of relapse is high.
The Rebound Effect
The “Rebound Effect” refers to when an individual experiences heightened levels of anxiety for which the benzodiazepines were originally prescribed.
Resurgent symptoms should be dealt with and monitored correctly. Here at Wavelengths Recovery, we offer therapy and holistic approaches to help our clients develop life skills and a healthy lifestyle to help the individual handle anxiety-inducing situations better.
Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment
With an inpatient detox, a patient stays at our Huntington Beach detox facility 24/7 and under constant medical supervision. Here they can manage their withdrawal symptoms around the clock to ensure a safe outcome.
Along with proper medical care and supervision, clients may undergo therapy and drug counseling to develop the skills and coping tools to help them better manage their addictive behaviors.
Feel free to read more about the entire treatment process with benzos on our benzodiazepine addiction treatment page.
Detox From Benzos in Huntington Beach, CA
After reading this article, understandably, one might be feeling discouraged or nervous about their road to recovery, and the difficulty that lies ahead.
However, help is here. At our rehabilitation clinic, patients have weaned off benzodiazepines slowly to ensure the least amount of shock to the system. With constant professional medical supervision, the patient’s needs will be met on an individual level.
The road to recovery is long, but it doesn’t have to be taken alone. If you, or a loved one of yours, are struggling to get clean from Benzos, contact us. Our Huntington Beach Detox can provide the necessary care and supervision you need to detox from opioids.