Unfortunately, they can be addictive and abused, which may lead to adverse health complications and cause withdrawal symptoms once an individual wants to stop using these meds. Depending on the length of use and many other factors, you or your loved one may need the help of a benzo addiction treatment program in order get through the initial detox phase, and be able to stop using the drug completely.
What exactly does the Benzo withdrawal look like, and what can you expect?
What Is Benzodiazepine Withdrawal?
Benzo withdrawal symptoms may vary from mild to severe or even life-threatening, which is why going off these medications should not be treated lightly. It should take place in consultation with a medical professional or in a medical facility if the substance abuse was to a high degree.
Even those who were on these medications without abusing them will likely experience some Benzo withdrawal symptoms. Their severity will differ and will depend on the average dose that was usually administered and how suddenly the medications were cut down.
Those who stop using Benzo meds abruptly are at higher risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. It's also possible to overdose on Benzodiazepine, which is why misusing these drugs can be so detrimental.
If you notice that you get dependent on Benzo, you should immediately contact your doctor and talk about the safest way to get off the medications or implement other approaches that will make it possible to continue your therapy without significant risks of developing Benzodiazepine addiction.
Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms
Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can vary significantly, but in most cases, they are difficult to endure both physically and emotionally. With this in mind, it's always recommended to prepare yourself for all the withdrawal phases. This should include consulting with your doctor or medical professional, preparing your surroundings and loved ones, as well as working on your mindset and expectations.
What is not recommended is suddenly going off medications without any plan or preparation. This sudden change can be incredibly difficult for an organism and can even lead to death.
Benzo withdrawal process has a few phases, during which various symptoms may come and go, and their severity can differ.
The most common Benzo withdrawal symptoms, called "rebound” symptoms, usually occur in the first phase of Benzo withdrawal, which happens around one to four days after one stops using the meds. They can last for around ten days and can include:
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Timeline
Usually, you can start to feel the first symptoms of Benzo withdrawal after only 6 to 8 hours in the case of shorter-acting Benzos and 24 to 48 hours when you've been on a longer-acting Benzo medication.
Shorter-acting Benzos, where we will find popular medications like Xanax, Halcion, or Dormonoct, usually are responsible for more severe withdrawal symptoms. In contrast, long-acting Benzos, like Klonopin, Valium, and Librium, come with milder withdrawal side effects.
The overall duration of Benzo withdrawal depends on how severe the addiction was, how long a person was on the medications, and in what doses they were administering them. In cases when the Benzo abuse was not extreme, withdrawal can last only a week or ten days.
Withdrawal severity will be more serious and will last for as long as three months in situations when an individual has been engaging in prolonged Benzos abuse.
What is the average Benzo withdrawal timeline?
This is the initial withdrawal period, during which it is quite common to experience anxiety, problems with sleep, and panic attacks.
During this time, you may experience the rebound effect, which means increased anxiety and insomnia. It's also when most physical symptoms can occur. This is also the period when people who were taking longer-acting Benzodiazepines will start to feel the first effects of withdrawal.
Short-acting Benzodiazepines withdrawal symptoms would have reached their peak by now and are starting to fade out. During this time, the withdrawal symptoms caused by longer-acting Benzos will peak, lasting for about three to four weeks.
fter two weeks of going off Benzos, an individual who was heavily dependent on them can experience something that is called post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS). This is when a person experienced random recurrences of sharp withdrawal symptoms, even months after not using them.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS)
On the list of these symptoms, we can find:
Is Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Dangerous?
Benzodiazepine users may experience psychosis and seizures. Such symptoms require medical intervention, as seizures can lead to death.
For many people, it's much easier to go through this type of detox when quitting Benzos, as the withdrawal symptoms are milder, and the whole process is easier to endure. It also reduces the risks of relapsing, which is crucial in those first months and years of going off drugs
Benzo Detox Medications
One of the popular medications that is used primarily in addressing Benzodiazepine overdoses is Flumazenil. Trazodone is prescribed to patients that struggle with anxiety symptoms and depression.
If you've been on shorter-acting Benzos, like Xanax or Ativan, your doctor may prescribe you a longer-acting Benzodiazepine, like Klonopin, to ease the transition. Patients that struggle with heart palpitations, perfuse sweating, and other severe withdrawal symptoms may benefit from taking antihypertensive meds like propranolol.
During the tapering process, you should be carefully monitored by a medical team. Even with all the precautions in place, there is still a risk of experiencing life-threatening conditions like seizure disorders and psychotic reactions, which means that medical intervention might be required.
How To Deal with Benzo Withdrawal?
First and foremost, it's imperative to seek professional help. A doctor and mental health worker will offer you invaluable support, ensuring your withdrawal and recovery are as safe and comfortable as they can be.
It's also helpful to understand and accept the fact that this process will not be easy. You may experience some difficult withdrawal symptoms, and you may feel the strong urge to start using again, and it's something quite normal at this stage of recovery.
When it happens it's good to reach out to your friends, family, and therapist to talk about your feelings and struggles.
Feeling cravings may be debilitating, but it's important to remember that you're not the only person going through this experience, and many people live with them every day. You may benefit from group therapy and support groups.
It's also helpful to identify your triggers and avoid them if possible. People, places, and certain situations may increase the risk of relapse for you, so avoiding them is the best practice you can employ during this time.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Treatment and Rehab Programs
At Miracles Asia Residential Rehab in Thailand, you'll get all the help that you need and deserve. Our team of addiction specialists will be able to create a personalized therapy plan tailored to your specific needs and requirements.
You'll be taken care of by our medical staff, ensuring the withdrawal phase and recovery that follows are as safe and easy to endure as possible.
With private 5 Star chef and personalized meals, access to the sports and health center, and surrounded by the beautiful scenery of Phuket, you will have a chance to heal, learn and manage your addiction in your life outside of our facility in the most harmonious environment.
Contact us to get more information and gain access to valuable resources.