Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are central nervous system (CNS) depressants commonly abused by some patients who are prescribed the drug. Others develop dependence from misusing the prescription for recreational purposes. Clients who choose Promises Behavioral Health have access to various addiction treatment programs to assist with benzo withdrawal, detox, and recovery. Treatment is done inpatient or outpatient depending on your needs and circumstances.
What Is Benzo Withdrawal?
Doctors are usually hesitant to prescribe benzos because long-term use increases the risk of dependence and addiction. But the drug is prescribed to treat mental health conditions such as anxiety disorder, panic attacks, epileptic seizures, and insomnia. The depressant works by binding the brain’s GABA receptors. As a result, bound receptors create a euphoric, calming, or sedative effect. However, withdrawal symptoms develop when the person suddenly stops taking the medication after prolonged use or goes through medically-assisted detox.
Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms
Common benzodiazepines include alprazolam, lorazepam, and diazepam. On the street, benzodiazepine drugs taken for non-medical purposes go by names like Benzos, Ladders, and Downers. Regardless of the name, the following unpleasant symptoms may occur as the drug leaves the body during benzo withdrawal:
- Panic attacks or anxiety
- Excessive sweating
- Trouble sleeping or concentrating
- Heart palpitations
Less common but severe symptoms, including seizures, psychosis, and hallucinations, may occur in cases of severe addiction. Attend a benzo detox center for safe and more comfortable rehabilitation.
How Long Does Benzo Withdrawal Last?
The benzo withdrawal timeline depends on several factors, including:
- Dosage amount
- Method and frequency of use
- Length of time taking benzodiazepines
- Type of benzo used or abused
- Underlying disorders or mental health problems
- Abuse of alcohol or other drugs at the same time
Benzo Withdrawal Timeline
Acute withdrawal symptoms generally last for 7 to 10 days for those with mild addiction. People who take high doses of benzos for a long time may take several weeks or months to withdraw completely. The experience is similar for those taking long-acting benzo. The long-acting tablet, capsules, or liquid have a longer “half-life” than the short-acting medications.
The first withdrawal signs typically begin within 6 to 8 hours after the last dose for shorter-acting benzos. It can take around 1 to 3 days for longer-acting benzos.
- Days 1 – 3: At this stage, the body and brain try to adapt to being without the drug. The person may experience nausea, vomiting, or difficulty sleeping.
- Days 4 – 7: Strong cravings may develop and persist as initial symptoms begin to subside. It is normal to feel exhausted during this time.
- Days 8 – 14: Psychological symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and insomnia may accompany the physical symptoms.
- Days 15 – 28: The drug should be entirely out of the body by now. Mental and emotional symptoms present in the second week may continue to persist.
Benefits of Benzo Medical Detox
Detox is the first stage of addiction recovery. It is necessary to stop physical dependence on benzo. However, quitting by your self, “cold turkey” is not recommended.
Withdrawal and detox at an accredited addiction treatment center means getting professional care and support as you wean off the drug. The process prevents relapse with a drug-free environment when irresistible cravings show up.
The physician and therapist will monitor you throughout the process. They may also provide medication-assisted therapy to help reduce the duration and intensity of your symptoms during medical drug detox.
Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment
Clients are always encouraged to follow up with inpatient or outpatient behavioral therapy. Other services are available to help you manage protracted withdrawal symptoms, which can last for months or years.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Holistic therapy
- 12 step support group
- Non 12 step support groups
- Family therapy
A primary goal of mental health therapy is to give clients the resources they need to resist the temptation to abuse drugs.
Feel Free to Make That Life-Changing Call Today
If you or a loved one is struggling to quit benzo, Promises Behavioral Health is an addiction treatment center in Nashville, TN, that offers individualized treatment programs for adults trying to end benzo addiction. Also, our specialized medical drug detox for men and women and drug rehab for professionals help anyone in need. Contact Promises Behavioral Health experts about our treatment programs today. Call 844.875.5609 to speak to an admissions counselor about a program that is right for you.