Also referred to as benzos, benzodiazepines are a class of psychoactive drugs that act as depressants in the central nervous system (CNS), meaning they reduce nerve activity in the brain and slow down certain functions. Benzos are normally prescribed to treat conditions linked to excessive nerve activity, such as anxiety disorders, insomnia, and seizures.
As with most other medications, even taking benzos for long periods as directed by a doctor can lead to physical dependence, a condition marked by withdrawal symptoms when the individual suddenly stops using the drug. Our Delaware drug rehab offers benzo detox to help people dependent on these drugs safely withdraw and recover.
What Is Benzodiazepine Withdrawal?
Users often develop a tolerance to benzodiazepines after taking high doses for long periods. As tolerance grows, the user requires a higher dosage of the drug to feel the same effects.
When someone who’s developed a tolerance to benzos suddenly stops taking them, withdrawal symptoms occur. Withdrawal symptoms can affect people who were taking benzos as prescribed by a healthcare provider as much as those who were abusing these substances without a prescription.
For this reason, many doctors are hesitant to prescribe benzodiazepines for long-term use. These drugs also have a potential for abuse and addiction, and withdrawal symptoms are usually a sign that the individual needs benzo detox to avoid continuous use and potential addiction.
Symptoms of Benzo Withdrawal
When detoxing from benzos, the individual may experience withdrawal symptoms that are physically and emotionally distressing, sometimes even life-threatening if the individual attempts to quit “cold-turkey” or without medical assistance. Those with a history of taking high doses of benzodiazepines or taking them for long periods usually experience the worst withdrawals.
Symptoms often come and go, depending on the longevity of the person’s use before undergoing treatment for benzo withdrawal. The most common benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms, often called rebound symptoms, usually manifest within the first four days of discontinued use, depending on the type of benzo used, the dosage used, and the frequency of use.
Withdrawals usually last up to 10 days and include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Excessive sweating
- Hand tremors
- Heart palpitations
- Increased tension
- Mild to moderate changes in perception
- Muscular stiffness or discomfort
- Panic attacks
- Sleep problems
Less common and more severe symptoms of benzo withdrawal include:
- Psychosis or psychotic reactions
- Increased risk of suicidal ideation
Post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) may also occur for six months or longer after benzo detox. Symptoms of PAWS include:
- Chronic insomnia
- Decreased sex drive
- Difficulty performing complex tasks
- Difficulty problem solving
- Poor concentration
For those who are dependent on benzodiazepines, medically monitored detox for benzo addiction can be the safe and effective form of care needed to physically and mentally recover from drug use and remain sober.
How Benzo Withdrawal Treatment Works
The first step in treating benzodiazepine addiction is removing the drug from the individual’s system. This process is known as detoxification (detox), which can be dangerous if done without medical support.
Quitting cold turkey can be lethal in some circumstances, especially if the person has engaged in benzo abuse for years. With our detox in Delaware, clients will receive 24-hour care and support from a supervising physician to monitor for potentially fatal symptoms, such as seizures and suicidal behavior.
Our benzo detox center helps clients stay safe and healthy while they’re getting clean. Medical detox also reduces the discomfort of withdrawals, which in turn reduces the risk of relapse.
Detox can last anywhere from several weeks to months, depending on the drug taken and the longevity of the person’s use. Our benzo detox in Delaware involves tapering clients down from the drug.
Tapering down can mean either reducing the person’s doses or prescribing less potent benzo as the individual’s body adjusts. The tapering schedule used in benzo withdrawal treatment is determined by the severity of the person’s addiction and the type of drug they used.
Want to Know How to Detox From Benzos?
Detox on its own is rarely enough to establish a foundation for long-term sobriety. For this reason, our inpatient Delaware rehab center offers detox as well as additional treatment methods like therapy and aftercare support in a distraction- and temptation-free environment to support long-lasting recovery.
Most Insurance Plans Accepted
At Banyan Treatment Centers, our goal is to make sure that anyone who needs treatment from drug and alcohol addiction are able to get the help needed to assist them on the road to recovery. If you don't have insurance contact us to inquire about alternate methods regarding treatment for yourself or a loved one.