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 to use these drugs just to avoid withdrawals.
If you or someone you care about is currently struggling with benzo use, our Clearbrook rehab centers offer detox for benzo addiction that can help.
Benzo Detox Symptoms
Benzodiazepines (benzos) are sedatives or tranquilizers prescribed to individuals with disorders like 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 intense 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 is 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 usually experience more severe withdrawals. The most common benzo withdrawal symptoms, otherwise known as rebound symptoms, are the symptoms of the individual’s condition, which may include anxiety, seizures, and trouble sleeping.
Symptoms of detoxing from benzos 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 can increase the severity and duration of withdrawal. In cases of mild addiction, detox from benzodiazepines may take as little as seven days to resolve. In other cases, however, withdrawal symptoms may persist for up to three months as the user’s body slowly weans off the drug.
Post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) may also occur for six months or longer after ceasing benzo use. Common symptoms of PAWS include:
- Chronic insomnia
- Loss of sex drive
- Poor concentration and ability to complete tasks
- Poor problem-solving
Because benzos interact with a chemical in the brain, the sudden reduction in benzo use can cause an influx of nerve activity, which may manifest in physical and psychological symptoms. Our benzodiazepine detox addresses these symptoms through various medical procedures to ensure client safety and health and to minimize the risk of relapse.
Safely Detox From Benzodiazepines
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.
Our Clearbrook rehab centers follow 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 detox for benzo addiction also administers medication (as needed) to alleviate withdrawals and prevent any potential complications.
Benzo detox centers reduce the risks of withdrawals and improve the individual’s chances of detoxing and getting sober for good. Medically assisted detox is a crucial first step in recovery that should never be skipped.
Clearbrook’s Benzo Detox Centers
Clearbrook’s drug rehab in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts inpatient drug rehab 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, but it is only the first step.
Our benzo addiction treatment program offers not only medical detox but also therapy, counseling, 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 contributing factors of addiction, such as mental illness or troubles at home. We do not just want to help clients detox. We want to help them completely change their lives so they can prioritize their sobriety.