Benzodiazepines (or tranquilizers) are a class of prescription drugs that are used to treat conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. Users often develop a dependence on benzos after taking high doses of them for a long time. As tolerance gets stronger, the user needs higher doses of these drugs to feel the same effects. When someone with a dependence suddenly stops taking these drugs, they may experience a reaction referred to as withdrawal. Our benzo detox center offers medical withdrawal treatment to aid individuals through this process.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms
The withdrawal symptoms of benzos are physically and emotionally painful and can even become life-threatening if the user quits “cold turkey.” Those with a history of severe and long-term abuse often experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms are highly variable and often come and go, varying in frequency and severity depending on factors like the duration of the person’s use, doses taken, age, metabolism, other medical conditions, and more.
The most common benzo withdrawal symptoms are known as “rebound” symptoms, which refers to the resurfacing of symptoms that these drugs were originally taken to treat. They usually manifest within one to four days following discontinued use, depending on the benzo used, doses, duration of use, and other factors.
Common benzo withdrawal symptoms:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Excessive sweating
- Hand tremors
- Heart palpitations
- Increased tension
- Muscular stiffness or discomfort
- Panic attacks
- Sleep disturbances
More severe benzo withdrawals include hallucinations, seizures, psychosis, and an increased risk of suicidal ideation. Additionally, benzodiazepines’ half-life (how long they last in the body after consumption) varies by formulation. For instance, withdrawal symptoms from short-acting benzos occur sooner than those of long-lasting benzos because it takes less time for the drug to leave the person’s system.
The first signs of withdrawal usually start within 6 to 8 hours for short-acting benzos and 24 to 48 hours for longer-acting benzos. Short-acting benzos include Xanax, Dormonoct, and Halcion, while long-lasting benzos include Valium, Klonopin, and Librium.
Benzo Withdrawal Treatment
Oftentimes, benzo withdrawal contributes to addiction because users experiencing withdrawals will continue taking drugs to prevent them. Therefore, benzo detox is the first step in treating a benzodiazepine addiction.
However, if detox for benzo addiction is not done properly, withdrawal symptoms can become lethal. Quitting cold turkey can also lead to dangerous and even fatal outcomes. For this reason, it’s important to reach out to a facility that offers medically led treatment for benzo withdrawal, such as our inpatient Sebring, FL drug rehab.
Medically assisted detox involves tapering down from the drug. Tapering down can include reducing the dose or prescribing a less potent benzo. The technique is determined by the severity of the person’s addiction and the type of drug that was abused.
Benzo detox centers aren’t the solution to addiction, however. Long-term sobriety requires further care and ongoing support. Following detox, clients at our Highlands County drug rehab can then begin working with our therapists and counselors to replace old habits with healthy ones that will help them sustain their sobriety.