Making the choice to enter a benzodiazepine detox can is an incredibly brave and courageous step. Roughly 4.8 million people over the age of 12 misused benzodiazepine prescriptions in 2020. Also, nearly 16% of opioid overdose deaths that occurred also involved benzos. While opioids get much of the coverage for causing an overdose, benzos are also just as widely abused and can cause just as much damage.
While used to treat anxiety disorders, benzodiazepines that are misused can be addictive and ultimately lead to a substance use disorder. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be physically uncomfortable and even life-threatening, so it’s important to seek out the help of a medical professional when going through benzo withdrawal symptoms. At Magnolia City Detox in Houston, our benzodiazepine detox offers a professional, comfortable, and safe setting to help anyone undergo the process of detox.
When someone has developed a physical dependence on Benzodiazepines, they will experience withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit. Withdrawal symptoms are caused by the body being denied benzos for a long period of time – causing physical changes. Benzodiazepine withdrawal is extremely uncomfortable and can be dangerous and life-threatening if not treated under medical supervision.
Some symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal can include:
Benzo withdrawal symptoms can be felt within 24 hours of the last dose. Symptoms can last up to a number of months depending on the severity of use. During the first few days of withdrawal, the person going through detox can experience symptoms of the condition that the benzo was used to treat. For example, symptoms of anxiety may return and become worse in the first few days of detox.
Withdrawal symptoms peak between one to four days after the last dose. This phase, known as “acute detox,” is often considered the most difficult and the most crucial time that individuals should be monitored by medical professionals.
After ten days to 2 weeks, most symptoms will start to fade away. However, if you are suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms tied to longer-acting benzos it may take 3-4 weeks to see withdrawal symptoms fade. Medical professionals can help you determine the length of your medical detox.
After the initial detox period, individuals may experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome or PAWS. PAWS is a number of withdrawal symptoms that periodically show up following the acute phase of detox. Some PAWS symptoms can include but not be limited to:
These symptoms can last up to 6 months after a benzodiazepine detox. Attending an addiction treatment program can help individuals in managing PAWS and in learning how to overcome substance abuse.
When you step into Magnolia City Detox Center, you become part of our family. The first thing that happens is we conduct a medical evaluation to understand what you’ve been using, the frequency, and understand your medical history to determine any complications during your detox from benzos. Our staff may prescribe you medications to help alleviate any uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. During this time, all of our clients participate in individualized and group therapy to begin to uncover the root cause issue of their drug addiction while monitoring them medically to ensure their vitals remain stable.
In order to relieve withdrawal symptoms, your individualized treatment plan may include tapering benzos. This involves continuing to take benzos, but at increasingly smaller and smaller doses to help break benzodiazepine dependence. The detoxification process may also include other medications to help you manage other withdrawal symptoms. These medications can include:
Individuals who have a history of anxiety disorder and substance abuse are frequently prescribed buspirone. This drug doesn’t cause dependence and is known to help with some of the emotional symptoms related to detox. It can take people a few weeks to start seeing any of the positive effects of taking this medication.
Flumazenil works by attaching itself to the same receptors in the brain as benzos. It blocks the effects of benzos and can help relieve some of the more severe symptoms related to benzos. Flumazenil has also been used to treat the causes of benzodiazepine overdose.
Benzodiazepines are sedatives/hypnotics often used to treat anxiety disorders and other similar mental health issues. They have anxiolytic effects and reduce anxiety by increasing GABA activity at the GABA receptor. Some benzodiazepines are more effective than others. For example, diazepam (Valium) is considered one of the best benzodiazepines available. Diazepam works quickly but it takes time to build up in your system. This makes it useful for treating acute anxiety. However, if you take too much over a period of time, you become physically dependent on the drug.
Benzodiazepines are a class of medications that have been used as sedatives since the 1950s. The most commonly prescribed benzos include alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), oxazepam (Serax) and temazepam (Restoril). These drugs can be addictive and have their own side effects, which can vary person-to-person.
These types of benzos stay in your system longer than other types. This means they may cause more side effects over time. Examples and commonly prescribed dosage:
Short acting benzos are usually prescribed for only one week at a time. Some examples include:
The rate at which benzodiazepines can progress from misuse to dependence to addiction can be concerning. Taking a pill daily past the recommended short-term use can result in substance abuse.
In addition, there are two common ways that people abuse benzodiazepines:
Long-Term Use: Long-term use means using benzos for more than four weeks. This may lead to tolerance or dependence. Tolerance means that the body needs higher doses of the drug to get the same effect as it did before. Dependence means that the person has developed a need for the drug to function normally. The person may experience cravings for the drug even after stopping.
Using the Drug Recreationally: Recreational use usually refers to using benzos at parties, clubs, bars, etc. Typically those who abuse benzos recreationally do not have a prescription for the medication and do have a need for the substance whatsoever.
Both forms of benzodiazepine abuse can cause severe withdrawal symptoms if not treated properly.
Starting with a medical detox is the most effective way to detox from benzos. After detox, individuals will be prepared to enter a treatment facility. During an addiction treatment program, patients go through various therapies including individual therapy, group therapy, and 12-step programs. These therapies help addicts learn coping skills and deal with emotions related to their addictions. Patients will also attend support groups to help them cope with life outside of the program.
Our inpatient rehab in Houston, Texas provides intensive medical supervision and therapy. Inaptient programs allow patients to focus on recovery from addiction during an extended period of time. Many facilities offer residential programs where patients live together in a controlled environment. Others offer outpatient programs where patients stay in a sober living house or halfway house.
Outpatient treatment programs require patients to attend weekly sessions with counselors. During these sessions, patients discuss their progress and plan future goals. Some programs also provide daily meetings so that patients can continue to develop new habits.
Deciding to choose between an inpatient or outpatient treatment facility will depend on what is recommended following your medically supervised detox. Medical professionals will recommend you strongly suggest you attend a benzodiazepine addiction program to overcome your substance abuse issues. Medical detox is only the first step.
Magnolia City Detox in Houston can help you overcome benzo addiction. Our staff ensures a safe detox with the best care possible and makes sure you feel comfortable throughout your stay. Reaching for help is incredibly scary, but one of the best decisions you can make. Learn more about our admissions process today.
Our benzo detox center is located in Conroe, Texas near Lake Conroe and The Woodlands, offering easy access to beautiful beaches, wildlife preserves and serene parks. It is easily accessible for those who are looking for residential benzodiazepine detox in:
Take the next step and help yourself or a loved one to recover from benzo addiction now. Learn more about our admissions process today and request a free insurance verification.
Mental health professionals can work with you determine the best protocol for your detox process. It is not uncommon for individuals in detox to suffer from mental health conditions and there are many treatment plans that available to get the help you need. Contact a certified addiction professional today to learn more.
If you think you may be addicted to benzos, ask yourself some questions.
No, you don’t have to go to rehab afterward, but attending a residential treatment or outpatient program will help you overcome the underlying issues surrounding your addiction issues. You are less likely to relapse by getting the help you need. After attending a medically assisted detox, the medical staff will likely recommend a program that will work best for you.
Benzo detox should not be done at home due to dangerous and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. It is best to be supervised when detoxing to ensure you remain safe throughout the process.
There’s no harm in checking out a few options before deciding where to go for medical benzodiazepine detox. In fact, many individuals may prefer a detox center like Magnolia City Detox. We offer a comprehensive program that includes everything you need to overcome drug addiction in a supportive and helpful environment.
Yes, you should be able to function normally after you’ve gotten through the withdrawal process. Benzos affect neurotransmitters in the brain, and they may cause longer-term protracted withdrawal symptoms, however, over time those should fade.
Dr. Olaniyi O. Osuntokun is a Neurology & Psychiatry Specialist based in Conroe, Texas, and Lafayette, Indiana. He has extensive experience in treating Individuals with substance use disorders and addiction. He earned his medical degree from University of Ibadan College of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.