Benzodiazepine withdrawal is a common occurrence among people who regularly use or misuse the drug. Withdrawal can be difficult to get through and be detrimental to your physical and psychological health, which is why many seek medical benzo treatment.
What Is Benzodiazepine?
Benzodiazepine refers to a group of drugs that act as central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Doctors often prescribe them to treat anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, and seizures.
This class of drugs works by enhancing the effect of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter, which produces a calming effect in most cases.
The most commonly prescribed brands of benzodiazepines include Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, and Xanax.1
What Is Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome?
Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome, also known as benzo or BZD withdrawal, refers to the symptoms people often experience after taking benzodiazepine drugs for long enough to develop physical dependence, and then trying to reduce or stop their usage.
Some of these withdrawal effects may last for years, while most should dissipate after a few weeks.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms
The adverse effects of Benzo withdrawal usually start within 24 hours of your last dose and may include:2
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory impairment
- Muscle pain
- Mood swings
However, quitting Benzo cold turkey after long-term use could result in even more serious effects like:
- Delirium tremens
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Increased suicide risk
Some of these symptoms could become fatal, making it extremely dangerous to try detox from drugs like benzodiazepines by yourself.
How Long Does Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Last?
There’s no set duration that detoxing from Benzo will take. In most cases, the severity and length of withdrawal depends on a range of factors like:3
- How long you’ve been using benzos
- How much you used
- How often you used
- What type of benzodiazepine you used
- If you have co-occurring medical or mental health conditions
However, acute withdrawal generally lasts for around two weeks, while post-acute withdrawal symptoms may be experienced for years after your last dose.
Medical Treatment for Benzo Withdrawal
As a result of the dangers of going through benzodiazepine detox alone, which could lead to relapse, overdose, or any of the more severe withdrawal symptoms mentioned above, attending a benzodiazepine rehab isn’t just your best shot at recovery; it is your safest.
Medical detox from benzos provides you with the supervision and care you need to go through withdrawal in a safe, supportive environment as you gradually taper down your use. Having a doctor present could also help identify dangerous symptoms before they become too severe.
In the case of a challenging detox or severe withdrawal, a doctor can also prescribe Benzo withdrawal drugs like flumazenil and buspirone to ease the symptoms of withdrawal and the anxiety that may accompany them.
Once you’ve completed a detox program, a doctor or medical professional may recommend you for further residential or outpatient treatment involving therapy and counseling. You can learn more about benzodiazepine addiction here, and if you or a loved one or you suffer from addiction, you can get the help you need today by calling our hotline at (833) 489-5577.