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Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs, and Detoxification

Benzodiazepines are used to treat withdrawal symptoms caused by detoxification from other drugs, but in some cases, an addiction to a specific type of benzodiazepine develops and benzodiazepine withdrawal becomes an issue. In general, benzodiazepines are considered to have a high potential for abuse and dependence, but some forms are more addictive than others.

High-potency benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam, are considered to be more addictive than low-potency benzodiazepines, such as chlordiazepoxide. Your dosage, how often you take these drugs, and how long you have been taking benzodiazepines also have an impact on the addictive potential of these drugs.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs, and Detoxification

Someone who is undergoing benzodiazepine withdrawal typically exhibits withdrawal symptoms as the drug leaves the body over the course of a few days. One major benzodiazepine withdrawal symptom in individuals who are using therapeutic doses is anxiety. Physical symptoms are also common. These include a rise in blood pressure, an increased heart rate, increased sensitivity to light and sound, insomnia, and tremors.

If the individual suddenly halts his or her use of benzodiazepines, seizures and delirium may occur as withdrawal symptoms. For this reason, detoxification should be done gradually. Most people who have taken benzodiazepines for more than a few months will experience some withdrawal symptoms when they quit, even if they use a gradual approach. For most people, the symptoms stop once benzodiazepine is gone from the system, typically about a week for short-acting benzodiazepines and up to a month for long-acting benzodiazepines. However, in some cases the person experiences withdrawal symptoms for a few months after stopping. Anxiety, insomnia, and depression are the symptoms that remain, while other symptoms go away.

Withdrawing from Benzodiazepines: Treatment Methods and Options for Help

Different clinics use different forms of treatment for benzodiazepine withdrawal and addiction, but most start with detoxification followed by counseling and behavioral therapy. During detoxification, withdrawal from benzodiazepines takes place over the course of a few weeks or months. The longer the patient has been using benzodiazepines, the longer detoxification and recovery usually take. It should only be done under the care of a qualified medical professional. The patient is monitored for withdrawal symptoms during this detoxification process.

If the benzodiazepine was originally prescribed to treat withdrawal symptoms stemming from alcohol or drug addiction, the original condition must also be treated. Depending on the severity of the addiction, the patient may be treated in a clinic or hospital, or the individual might opt to use an outpatient service. A treatment program is generally designed by a doctor or medical professional and is tailored to the individual. In a holistic rehab center, alternative medicine and activities such as yoga and meditation may also play a role in a patient's recovery.

Detoxing, Addiction Treatment Rehab and Recovery

Benzodiazepine withdrawal treatment must take into account both the physical and psychological components of the addiction. After the detoxification process, the hard work of recovery begins. During this follow-up period, the recovering addict must learn techniques that break the psychological habit of addiction. Otherwise, a relapse could occur.

Therapy is typically used to help the patient investigate the underlying causes of the addiction and to teach specific methods to avoid taking benzodiazepines in the future. In some cases, the patient feels anxious about stopping the drug because he or she believes that the drug is helping normalize his or her life. Therapy can help make the person feel more comfortable about halting his or her drug use. Some people join a support group for recovering addicts so that they will have a strong support network during treatment.

Benzodiazepine Information at a Glance
Form, Intake and DosageInteractions and Complications
  • Drug Forms: Pills, Capsules
  • Administration Routes: Taken by mouth
  • Dosage: Varies by prescription
  • Overdose: Measured by symptoms instead of quantitative measurements
  • Alcohol Interaction: Can be fatal
  • Illicit Drugs: N/A
  • Prescription Medications: More severe overdose symptoms
  • Contraindications: Sleep apnea, bronchitis
Effects and Adverse ReactionsSubstance Abuse
  • Short-Term: Respiratory depression, suicidal tendencies, drowsiness
  • Long-Term: Cognitive impairments, cardio respiratory arrest, paranoia
  • Risk of Substance Abuse: High
  • Signs of Abuse: Depression, sleep disorders, respiratory problems
Physiological Problem Signs and SymptomsDependence and Addiction Issues
  • Withdrawal Syndrome Onset: 12-24 hours
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Dizziness, Aches and pains, Chest pain, Mood swings, Tremors, OCD, Insomnia
  • Tolerance: Nigh risk of developing tolerance
  • Cross Dependence: N/A
  • Physical Dependence: High risk
  • Psychological Dependence: High risk
Legal Schedules and Ratings
  • Controlled Substances Act Rating: Schedule IV



Questions and Answers (FAQ)

How Long Do Benzodiazepine Withdrawals Last?

The timeline of withdrawals can vary from patient to patient. The length of withdrawal effects can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Patients will normally decrease Benzodiazepine doses under the supervision of a professional over the duration of their withdrawal process.

Do You Have a List Popular Slang or Street Names Benzodiazepine?

Benzos, Downers, Nerve Pills, Tranks

What are Common Misspellings?

Benzodazepine withdrawl, Benzodiazepines withdrawls, Benzozepine withdrawel, Benzodiazepine withdrawels

Are There any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?

There is no known home remedy or alternative medicine that can effectively relieve the effects of Benzodiazepine withdrawal. To ease the severity of symptoms that come with detoxing, it is important to seek professional help right away. If you or a loved one is trying to stop using Benzodiazepine, you should look for relief by visiting a rehabilitation center or talking to a physician.

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Benzodazepine?

Proper detoxification of the system can take up to a month. Detoxing may be sped up if proper medical rehabilitation programs are used. To research your options for a safe and healthy recovery from addiction, call 1-888-658-5242 or visit our locator page. Remember that seeking help as soon as possible is important, so call before it’s too late.

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