About Benzo Detox
Benzodiazepines are prescription medications that depress an individual’s central nervous system by slowing brain activity. Benzos can often have a calming effect that many find relaxing. Because of the pleasant side effects, patients may be tempted to increase or abuse their prescription which can very quickly lead to an unhealthy benzo dependence. When these patients attempt to cut the drugs, they will often quickly go into benzo withdrawal and experience benzo detox symptoms. Benzo detox is unlike other drug detoxifications as it is much more dangerous to detoxify from and can cause serious health issues if not handled correctly. Benzo detox facilities offer individuals the best chance at beating benzodiazepine dependence and addiction.
Benzos have three main properties; muscle relaxing, sleep-inducing, and seizure reduction. Benzodiazepines have become very popular over the past decades as they provide immediate relief for insomnia, anxiety, and seizures. It should be noted that many patients prescribed benzos for these and other health issues are at higher risk of dangerous side effects. Because of benzos interaction with brain functions, sudden withdrawal can cause psychological symptoms as well as physical ones. Benzo addiction must be treated by medical health professionals as the drug must be slowly withdrawn over a period of weeks or months. Stopping benzo abuse can be fatal unless managed appropriately.
Benzo Detox Signs and Symptoms
- Nausea and vomiting
- Extreme irritability
- Profuse sweating
- Increased panic attacks
- Severe headaches
- Inability to sleep
- Appearance of seizures
- Loss of balance and dizziness
- Rebound anxiety
Most Insurances Accepted
Stages of Benzo Detox
Pre Detox Evaluation
Before any benzo detox can begin, each patient must undergo a medical examination. This will give professionals overseeing the detox program insight into specific conditions that may need to be watched carefully. This is done by drawing blood to create a baseline health history. The levels of different detox medications will vary depending on the levels of benzodiazepines in the body and other accompanying health factors. A verbal health history is also taken and many screening questions regarding past and current mental and physical health conditions will further aid in recovery. It is during this screening that every patient is given a long-term drug treatment plan that will help them as they make strides towards sobriety.
During the benzo detox process, each patient is given access to counseling and continued medical help. The goal of any quality detox program is to provide a clean slate health-wise, so patients can continue to either residential drug rehab or outpatient drug treatment. Because of the way that the human body processes the withdrawal of benzodiazepines, the detox process is handled very slowly. A sudden, cold-turkey withdrawal of this type of medication can be fatal, so medications for benzo detox are offered as well as gradual reduction of the medicine itself. The amount of time spent in any benzo detox program can vary.
This last step of benzo detox is vital for lasting recovery from addiction. Moving on to IOP treatment can mean the difference between sobriety and relapse. Inpatient rehab programs will offer clients the best possible chance to develop healthy, lifelong coping and behavioral skills. During inpatient drug rehab, patients learn about themselves and about the effects of their previous lifestyle choices. This can bring a level of healing that they might not have experienced previously. Developing new life skills will allow clients to re-enter their work and personal lives with a renewed understanding of their value and worth.
Benzo Detox Timeline
The following timeline is a general guideline for benzodiazepine detox and withdrawal. Each individual will experience slightly different side effects in varying intensities. It is important to note again that benzo detox is not a fast solution to benzo addictions.
Clients will begin to feel the first signs of benzo withdrawal. Some of the more common signs of withdrawal during this stage are the reappearance of anxiety and sleeplessness. This is especially true for patients who have abused short-acting benzodiazepines such as Halcion, Ativan, and Xanax.
Day 1 through 4
It is quite common for clients to experience extreme rebound anxiety during these days as the drug levels in the body have dropped significantly. Many clients also report feeling heart palpitations, excessive perspiration and upset stomach. For those patients who have been using long-acting benzodiazepines such as Librium, Valium and Klonopin might find themselves experiencing the first signs and symptoms of withdrawal.
Day 10 through 15
The effects of withdrawal from slow-acting benzos may have decreased to the point that they are not as problematic during this window of time. For clients going through benzo withdrawal from longer acting drugs, the side effects may still be extreme. It is not uncommon for individuals to feel unwell for several weeks during the tapering down process, and even longer once the drug has been withdrawn completely.
Occasionally, patients with long-term or heavy benzo abuse will experience an extended period of unpleasant symptoms. This is referred to as PAWS, or protracted withdrawal syndrome. There can be highs and lows for months while the drug’s effects on the brain are still a problem.
Recovery from Benzo Addiction
There is hope for those who are choosing to detox from benzos in drug detox facilities. The support offered by staff and fellow patients can give each client the push needed while walking through the detoxification process. Our counselors and support staff have been where you have been and know the challenges you face. Reach out to us today and take the first steps towards your new life.