Benzodiazepines are prescription psychoactive drugs that act as a sedative. This means that doctors tell patients to take them to help calm and slow down certain responses within the body’s chemistry. They are prescribed for short periods to treat anxiety or sleeplessness. Sometimes called Benzies or Benzos, they can be used more long-term to treat generalized anxiety disorder.
Commonly prescribed benzodiazepines are Alprazolam, Flunitrazepam, Chlordiazepoxide, Clonazepam, Diazepam, Lorazepam, Midazolam, Oxazepam and Prazepam.
Are Benzodiazepines Addictive?
Benzodiazepines are addictive, both physically and psychologically. Addiction to benzodiazepines can happen whether a person has a prescription for them or not. Any time these drugs are taken for over two weeks or at high dosages, there is a chance of addiction. This is true even if there is a valid medical reason for taking them in the first place.
General anxiety disorder is sometimes treated with benzodiazepines. However, because this can be a longer-term disorder, other anxiety medications may be more appropriate.
Signs & Symptoms of Benzo Addiction
There are many ways that benzodiazepine addiction may show itself. Some of the more common signs and symptoms of benzo addiction are:
- Difficulty thinking
- Blurred vision
Beyond physical symptoms, there are behavioral signs that someone is addicted to benzodiazepines. These may include:
- Asking others for benzodiazepine pills
- Mood swings
- Increase in risky behaviors
- Inability to cut back on dosages
- Taking benzodiazepines with other drugs or while drinking alcohol
How Long Does Benzo Withdrawal Last?
Benzo withdrawal is not uniform in its effects. Users can feel benzo withdrawal as quickly as ten hours after stopping use of the drug and can go on for months afterward. About one in ten people will have prolonged withdrawal and may feel effects for years after they stop using the drug.
With stronger types of benzodiazepines or higher dosages, it may take a day or more for signs of Benzo withdrawal to show up. The timetable for withdrawal can be affected by the type of benzodiazepine taken, the dosage, and the user’s body chemistry.
Additionally, four of five people use benzodiazepines along with other drugs or alcohol, which can complicate withdrawal or make it more difficult.
What is Benzo Withdrawal Like?
Benzo withdrawal is an unpleasant experience that can be dangerous if handled incorrectly. It is not just a matter of not feeling well and simply waiting it out for a day or two. While going through Benzo withdrawals, a user may experience symptoms as severe as:
- Panic attacks
- Heart palpitations
The Dangers of Detoxing Off of Benzos at Home
Benzo withdrawal can be scary and dangerous. In the worst cases, it can have very dangerous effects, including delirium, seizures, and even catatonia. These types of symptoms usually occur when there is a dramatic reduction in dosage or when a user stops taking the drug suddenly.
When detoxing from benzos at home, users who try to quit “cold-turkey” often see some of the worst effects. To make matters worse, when someone experiences withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepines, they are less likely to succeed if they try to stop taking the drug later on. This is why a dosage modification to smaller and smaller doses, under medical supervision, is typically recommended for users who want to stop taking the drug.
How to Detox the Safest Way
While detoxing from benzos at home is a commendable idea, it is not the safest thing a user can choose to do. When considering how to detox from benzodiazepine safely, it is far better to opt for a medical detox program. A Benzo addiction treatment center like Miracles Recovery Center can help nullify withdrawal effects and help keep the patient safe from dangers like delirium and seizures.
This is done by slowly reducing the amount of the drug that the user is taking. It may also be necessary to treat generalized anxiety disorder with a different type of anxiety medication.
Beyond just a place that can provide a user with a safe and reliable medical detoxification program, it is essential to choose a program that works to help heal on a spiritual and mental level as well as just a physical level. Consider a program specifically geared to help people like you instead of choosing a program with a one-size-fits-all type of approach.
What are the Next Steps to Detox Safely?
Addiction to benzos or benzodiazepines can seriously impact and impede your life. If you are ready to start down the path of healing and recovery, you can learn how to detox from benzodiazepine safely. Take the next steps by reaching out to Miracles Recovery Center today.
They offer both inpatient and outpatient programs designed to help each individual succeed. At Miracles Recovery Center, you are a miracle, and you are worth it.