Benzodiazepine users often develop a tolerance to these medications after taking high doses for extended periods. As their tolerance becomes stronger, the users require higher doses of benzos to feel the same effects. When someone dependent on these drugs stops taking them, withdrawal symptoms occur. These symptoms can be highly uncomfortable to the point where the person may continue drug use just to avoid them. If you or someone you care about is currently struggling with benzo abuse, our Clearbrook rehab locations offer detox for benzo addiction that can help.
Benzo Detox Symptoms
Benzodiazepines (benzos) are sedatives or tranquilizers prescribed to individuals with disorders that include anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. As depressants, benzos interact with a chemical called GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that reduces nerve activity in the brain.
Common side effects of benzos include sedation, drowsiness, and relaxation. As effective as they are, however, doctors are hesitant to prescribe benzos for long-term use due to their potential for abuse and addiction, as well as the potential for withdrawal symptoms.
Benzo withdrawal symptoms are physically and emotionally challenging to manage and can even be life-threatening if the user attempts a cold-turkey approach. What’s more, benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms are highly variable and often come and go even after the person has stopped using these drugs for a while.
Those with a history of misuse or long-term use tend to experience more severe withdrawals. Factors like age, metabolism rate, and any underlying health conditions can also impact the benzo withdrawal timeline. The most common withdrawals, otherwise referred to as rebound symptoms, usually reflect the symptoms of the condition the medication was originally prescribed to treat. This means symptoms often include anxiety, seizures, and trouble sleeping.
Symptoms of benzodiazepines detox usually begin within one to four days after discontinued use, depending on the benzodiazepine used, the amount of use, and the frequency of use. Withdrawal symptoms usually last for ten days and include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Excessive sweating
- Hand tremors
- Heart palpitations
- Muscular stiffness or discomfort
- Panic attacks
- Trouble concentrating
More severe symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal include:
- Increased risk of suicide or suicidal behavior
Taking benzos more often, for longer periods, and in higher doses than prescribed can increase the severity and duration of withdrawal, as well. In cases of mild addiction, a benzo detox program may take as little as seven days. In more severe cases, however, withdrawal symptoms may persist for up to three months as the user’s body and brain adjust to discontinued use.
There’s also the possibility of long-term withdrawals when people detox from benzos, otherwise referred to as post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS). PAWS may also occur for six months or longer after ceasing benzo use and may include symptoms like:
- Chronic insomnia
- Loss of sex drive
- Poor concentration and ability to complete tasks
- Poor problem-solving
Because benzos normally interact with a chemical in the brain to reduce or depress certain functions, the sudden reduction in benzo use can cause these once suppressed functions to reactivate, which may manifest in various physical and psychological symptoms. Our detox for benzo addiction includes the administration of medicine to help with benzo withdrawal in addition to 24-hour support, making the completion of recovery and treatment easier and more likely.
How Treatment for Benzo Withdrawal Works
The first step in treating benzodiazepine addiction is removing the drug from the person’s system. This process is known as detoxification or detox, which can result in dangerous side effects if not done properly.
Quitting cold turkey without medical assistance can even be lethal in some cases. A supervising physician must be present to monitor for potentially fatal symptoms and prevent any complications, such as seizures or suicidal behavior.
In addition to the discomfort and possibly life-threatening complications that can occur in an at-home or non-medically supervised detox, a lack of professional care can also make cravings more difficult for clients to cope with during treatment. In the end, improperly managed withdrawals and cravings often contribute to relapse in the early stages of treatment and make it more difficult for patients to return to rehab afterward.
Our Northeast addictions treatment center follows an inpatient benzodiazepine detox protocol, which includes providing clients with 24-hour medical care and support to ensure they are as comfortable, safe, and healthy as possible during detox. The medical team that runs our benzo detox center also administers medication (as needed) to alleviate withdrawals and prevent any potential complications.
Benzo detox centers reduce the risks of life-threatening reactions and improve the individual’s chances of completing treatment and getting sober for good. Medically assisted detox is a crucial first step in recovery that should never be skipped.
Finding Benzo Detox Near Me
Both our drug rehab in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts offer detox for benzo addiction, among a variety of other substance use programs. We encourage medical detox for anyone struggling with drug or alcohol use as the first step of care.
Moreover, our benzo addiction treatment program also offers psychotherapy and counseling options, including individual therapy, family therapy, and aftercare support to ensure that clients continue to receive support even after they have completed their programs. By incorporating various supporting therapies, we also address the psychological and behavioral factors that often contribute to addiction, such as mental illness or troubles at home.