Benzo detox is the process of slowly helping someone withdraw from benzodiazepines, commonly known as benzos. Benzo detox is a challenging but potentially life-saving process. It is important for someone starting benzo detox to know what to expect so they can be prepared for the challenges ahead.
What Are Benzos?
Benzos are a sedative medication prescribed to treat anxiety, insomnia, and panic disorders. Commonly known brands include Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, and Librium. While benzos can be helpful in treating symptoms associated with those conditions when taken as directed by a doctor, they also come with potential risks such as dependence, memory problems, or even overdoses when abused.
Benzo Abuse and Addiction Signs
Signs of benzo abuse and addiction can include increased use of the medications, changes in sleep patterns or eating habits, feelings of apathy, confusion, or depression. Other physical signs may include slurred speech, impaired reflexes, or coordination. Additionally, those who become dependent on benzos may begin to exhibit social problems such as a lack of interest in once-enjoyed activities or withdrawal from work and social relationships.
Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms from benzos can vary but typically include extreme anxiety, depression, or restlessness, as well as nausea and vomiting. Further physical symptoms may include muscle tremors, insomnia, rapid heart rate, and high blood pressure. Severe withdrawal reactions can even cause hallucinations, seizures, coma, or death in some cases. It is important to never quit benzos “cold turkey” as this can be dangerous. They require tapering off gradually. As such, many recommend medically-supervised detox.
Is It Dangerous to Stop Benzos “Cold Turkey?”
Attempting to stop benzos “cold turkey” is dangerous because it can result in extreme withdrawal symptoms. These include seizures and even coma in some cases. Additionally, without the help of a doctor or medical supervisor, those stopping benzos may be unable to detox properly and often return to abusing them simply to get the undesirable withdrawal symptoms to stop. Someone withdrawing from benzos should always utilize medically supervised detox.
Benzo Withdrawal Timeline
- Days 1 to 2: During this time, the user may begin to experience anxiety and insomnia. They may also have problems concentrating and notice a general feeling of unease.
- Days 3 to 5: In this window, agitation and restlessness become more pronounced, as well as physical symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Additionally, users may feel out of control or desperately crave their benzos for relief from the intense discomfort they are experiencing.
- Days 6 to 10: By now, any physical withdrawal effects should have peaked and be starting to subside. While psychological symptoms, such as cravings, can still linger for weeks, months, or longer.
Benzo Withdrawal and PAWS
Some people can also experience PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome), which may occur after an individual has completed detoxing from benzos. It refers to the emergence of more severe symptoms such as depression, anxiety, irritability, and trouble concentrating, which can last for weeks or longer—sometimes months or even years.
Maintaining proper nutrition and hydration, along with exercise or any other activity, is essential during this stage to promote relaxation or mindfulness. Therapy can also be beneficial in addressing issues such as trauma that led to addiction in the first place while helping patients process their feelings related to PAWS.
Additionally, a doctor should prescribe medications like antidepressants, if deemed necessary, depending on the severity of the patient’s condition. In short, managing PAWs requires both physical resilience through healthy and powerful habits. It also includes ongoing mental health support throughout recovery for maximum success in overcoming post-acute withdrawal syndrome.
Benzo detox is a crucial first step toward long-term sobriety. Patients should not take it lightly. With the proper medical support, detoxing off of benzos can lead to a healthier lifestyle. This can increase one’s chances for successful recovery in the future. Benzo detox should always be done under medical supervision. This will ensure the safety and comfort of the patient.
The process begins with a careful, gradual tapering schedule customized for individual needs. During this time, medications such as anticonvulsants or sleeping pills may be used to reduce withdrawal symptoms and ease cravings. Specialized therapy will also help to address any underlying psychological issues related to benzo abuse while the user takes steps toward long-term sobriety.
Customized Benzo Detox Programs in Nashville, TN
While intended to treat anxiety, insomnia, and panic disorders, benzos come with many potential risks if misused or abused, such as dependence, addiction, and accidental overdose. Common withdrawal symptoms from benzo use include but are not limited to feelings of unease, irritability, and restlessness. Detoxing from them safely requires medical supervision. This will customize a tapering schedule that works for the individual and utilize medication-assisted treatment (MAT) interventions when needed throughout this process.
Finally, post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is another possible occurrence after detox. It will require further mental health treatments, such as therapy, for users to overcome their addictions fully. At Detox Nashville in Tennessee, we offer customized benzo detox programs tailored to your specific needs. Our experienced staff will provide the support, guidance, and care you need.
Contact us today to start your detox treatment.