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Detox

Benzodiazepines Detox

Benzodiazepines or “benzos” are commonly used for conditions such as anxiety, seizures, insomnia, and alcohol withdrawal, to name a few. Many people are familiar with their brand names, Xanax, Klonopin, or Valium, to name a few. These medications can be highly effective when used for a short duration but can also cause physical dependence and addiction. Benzo addictions can comprise both psychological dependence and physical dependence, which, in turn, can bring on many unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when stopped.

According to The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, data shows that 12.5 percent of people in the U.S. have used benzodiazepines, which is approximately 30.5 million people. Of those 30.5 million people, about 2.1 percent of adults have misused them. The use and abuse of benzos have spread throughout the country at an alarming rate, and the increase is often attributed to rising numbers of anxiety disorders.

Signs of benzodiazepine misuse include:

  • Having problems functioning at work, school, and with family
  • Strong cravings
  • Spending a lot of time taking benzos and looking for them
  • Taking larger amounts than intended
  • Continuing the use of benzos even after negative consequences

What are some benzos withdrawal signs and symptoms?

People who misuse benzodiazepines will experience withdrawal symptoms after only about a month of use. Depending on the frequency of use, the severity of the withdrawal symptoms can vary. There can be an increased severity of withdrawal symptoms for people who have taken multiple benzos or mixed them with other drugs. There is no guarantee that a person will experience the same withdrawal symptoms each time that they stop benzo use. There is no such thing as safe benzo withdrawal, in fact it can result in death.

Symptoms can include:

  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Hand tremors and/or muscle spasms
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Racing pulse and/or hyperventilation
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Aches and pains
  • Hypersensitivity to light and touch
  • Abnormal bodily sensations such as goosebumps or crawling skin
  • Problems with concentration and memory
  • Visual disturbances (flashes of light or blurred vision)
  • Auditory, tactile, or visual hallucinations, including visual disturbances such as flashes of light or blurred vision
  • Feelings of unreality
  • Delirium
  • Grand mal seizures

Benzodiazepines Withdrawal Timeline

Many people who have used benzos can begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms in as little as 24 hours after they have stopped using them. These symptoms can last anywhere between several days to several months. It widely depends on how long someone has misused the drug and the strength of the drug used. It is common for people to experience prolonged withdrawal. A small percentage of individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms for years after stopping benzo use.

Various factors determine how long and to what extent an individual will experience these withdrawal symptoms. These factors include:

  • Dosage
  • Length of time using benzodiazepines
  • Method used to take benzodiazepines
  • Underlying medical or mental conditions
  • Abuse of any other drugs, including alcohol

Benzo Misuse Symptoms, Remedies, & Tips

While some may choose to reduce their dose of benzos until they can stop completely, others will go to a medically supervised detox facility. In these settings, some medications can be prescribed to assist with any withdrawal symptoms individuals may experience.

Medications that can be taken during the detox phase include:

  • BuSpar/Buspirone – This is often prescribed for patients with generalized anxiety disorder. Patients who have a history of substance use disorder may benefit from this drug. It does not cause any dependence and works by taking away some of the emotional effects one may suffer due to withdrawal.
  • Romazicon/Flumazenil – This is a drug that is primarily used to treat benzo overdoses. However, great success has been shown in decreasing withdrawal symptoms as it works by blocking benzos’ effects and reduces withdrawal symptoms.

Other remedies are targeted to the particular symptom one may be experiencing. For example, for those dealing with aches and pains, taking a warm bath or shower may help with some relief. Surprisingly, staying active works wonders – participating in yoga can be tremendously helpful. It may help to take advantage of essential oils or melatonin for insomnia. Soft music and reading can also aid sleep.

Benzos Detox Process

While some may choose to reduce their dose of benzos until they can stop completely, others will go to a medically supervised detox facility. In these settings, some medications can be prescribed to assist with any withdrawal symptoms individuals may experience.

Medications that can be taken during the detox phase include:

  • BuSpar/Buspirone – This is often prescribed for patients with generalized anxiety disorder. Patients who have a history of substance use disorder may benefit from this drug. It does not cause any dependence and works by taking away some of the emotional effects one may suffer due to withdrawal.
  • Romazicon/Flumazenil – This is a drug that is primarily used to treat benzo overdoses. However, great success has been shown in decreasing withdrawal symptoms as it works by blocking benzos’ effects and reduces withdrawal symptoms.

Other remedies are targeted to the particular symptom one may be experiencing. For example, for those dealing with aches and pains, taking a warm bath or shower may help with some relief. Surprisingly, staying active works wonders – participating in yoga can be tremendously helpful. It may help to take advantage of essential oils or melatonin for insomnia. Soft music and reading can also aid sleep.

Benzo Misuse Symptoms, Remedies, & Tips

The benzodiazepine detox process usually lasts a few days and involves ridding your body of a particular substance or substances. Withdrawal symptoms can be properly managed while experiencing minimal discomfort.

Detox serves three distinct purposes, which include:

1. Evaluation – This is an assessment of an individual’s psychological and medical state and addiction level.

2. Stabilization – This step assists the patient through the withdrawal process as the patient’s body starts to get rid of the drug.

3. Transition – A person is eased into a longer treatment plan after detox to begin the process of emotional and mental recovery.

Patients will be able to proceed with an in- or outpatient rehab program for addiction recovery treatment to tackle to reasons they may have started using substances.

Is Benzodiazepines Detox Necessary?

The sole purpose of detox is to allow the individual’s body to rid itself of any substance. It is only natural that many people will have questions surrounding how beneficial detox is. It is a necessary step to move forward into the next recovery treatment phase for benzo addiction. The benzo detox phase is not intended to provide full-scope treatment but instead is a necessary first step to recovery.

At Dignity Healing, our benzos addiction team is ready to help you or a loved one in your pursuit of a happy, sober life. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to benzos, you are not alone. Reaching out for addiction treatment today is the first step toward getting your life back. We are waiting for your call at (844) 978-1524