Benzodiazepines, also known as benzos, can ruin your life in many ways, including damaging your connections with family members and friends, harming your mental and physical health, and negatively impacting every aspect of your life. Despite knowing the potential dangers, many individuals continue to abuse benzos as a form of escaping. Every addict knows about detoxification and withdrawal, as they are both physically and mentally painful. Benzodiazepine detox is the first step towards a fulfilling, drug-free life in recovery.
What are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are a class of prescription tranquilizers used to treat severe or moderate anxiety problems, sleeplessness, seizure disorders, and alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin are some of the most frequently used drugs in the U.S., all of which are benzodiazepines.
Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants that reduce brain activity and produce a tranquilized state by reducing the production of neurotransmitters. Despite their intended use in the short term for treating acute symptoms, these drugs are highly addictive and often abused.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be life-threatening if inadequately treated. Withdrawal symptoms typically take three phases, according to the Institute.
The first phase is a brief rebound of anxiety and insomnia that occurs within one to four days after discontinuation, depending on the drug’s half-life. The second phase includes a full-blown withdrawal syndrome, which lasts from 10 to 14 days. The third phase is the return of anxiety symptoms that persist until some sort of treatment is administered.
Some symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Mood swings
- Muscle aches
- Visual or auditory hallucinations
- Grand mal seizures
What is Benzodiazepine Detox?
Medical detoxification is the process of detoxing from drugs or alcohol with the help of medications and a team of clinicians and experts. It is the most reliable option for people who are physically dependent on substances.
The first step in dealing with a Benzodiazepine habit is to get rid of the drug from the individual’s system. Benzo Detox is the process of eliminating the substance which may cause harmful side effects if it is not performed correctly. Withdrawal cold turkey can be lethal in some situations. A physician must be present to monitor for potentially lethal symptoms, including seizures and suicidal thoughts.
When is Benzodiazepine Detox Necessary?
Medical detox must always be the preliminary step in treatment for those struggling with benzodiazepine withdrawal. Without a tapering schedule or the assistance of a physician, quitting benzodiazepines can lead to grand mal seizures.
Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can also cause serious psychological issues, including panic attacks and suicidal thoughts if they are not handled properly. In cases of benzodiazepine abuse of any magnitude, you or someone you love should seek professional care prior to beginning the withdrawal process.
These three things are essential for successful benzodiazepine detoxification:
- Evaluation – An in-depth preliminary evaluation is performed at a detox clinic by medical professionals to assess a patient’s physical and mental status and history. Patients may be evaluated for their likelihood of severe intoxication and withdrawal, as well as other biomedical disorders. After an evaluation, detox level care can be determined, and an individualized treatment program can be designed.
- Stabilization – Patients are guided through a safe detoxification experience by following an individualized treatment plan and its prescribed therapies and medications.
- Aftercare – Long-term substance abuse treatment may help patients maintain sobriety and avoid relapse, but detox alone is not sufficient to maintain long-term recovery. Psychological and social issues associated with substance use are not addressed in detoxification treatment. Preparing clients for the subsequent phase of rehabilitation should be part of detoxification treatment in order to transition into short-term residential care, long-term residential care, or outpatient care.
What to Expect During Benzodiazepine Detox
The length detox from benzodiazepines varies, depending on how long you have been taking the drug, the number of drugs you have been taking, and how long you have been taking them. Generally, benzodiazepine detoxification takes seven to fourteen days.
A specialist will conduct a comprehensive medical evaluation when you come to our facility to determine your precise requirements. Based on the information gathered from the initial assessment you complete, we create a customized care program for you. It’s crucial to tell our specialist and medical support team if you are taking any other drugs, particularly alcohol, as these may have an impact on detox medication. The more we know, the more comfortable we can make you during your customized care program.
Comprehensive assessments are also performed by our specialists to determine whether or not you will require medication during your stay with us. After we’ve created a customized support plan for you, we’ll assess your health in general and whether or not you’ll require medication. If you do, we’ll make sure that your medical needs are met during your stay with us. Our committed team of medical professionals, addiction nurses, addiction therapists, and support workers will all work together to ensure that any interactions between existing medicines and detox medications are handled with care.
At Asheville Detox Center, our specialists perform a detailed initial evaluation and tailor a treatment program to each individual’s needs and recovery goals. Our medical and client support team provides 24/7 supervision, ensuring that all patients have a safe and comfortable benzo detox experience in order to move forward in their recovery process. The benzodiazepine withdrawal timeline will occur as follows:
Withdrawal symptoms may begin as soon as six hours after discontinuing the benzodiazepine. During this time, the body and brain are working to eliminate the drugs. Symptoms such as insomnia, nausea, vomiting, and dry heaving may occur.
Withdrawal symptoms may continue, but the most severe symptoms are usually over by now. Some individuals, on the other hand, may still experience an increased sense of exhaustion. However, most people will notice an improvement.
Some people may begin to experience psychological symptoms such as anxiety and irritability in addition to their remaining physical symptoms by this time. Those who are able to sleep may begin to experience insomnia or unpleasant dreams.
At this point, the benzo detoxification symptoms may still come and go, but the drug should be completely out of the body.
Is Benzodiazepine Detox Safe?
Research has proven that medical detox is both safe and effective at eradicating all traces of benzodiazepines from the body. Every step of the process is supervised by medical professionals, including experienced nurses and medical personnel. Medical personnel supervises all aspects of detoxification, keeping track of heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature throughout the process to guarantee a safe withdrawal.
It’s worth noting that benzo detox can be quite uncomfortable. These symptoms on their own might make it hard to detox at home without medical help, but discomfort alone is not necessarily dangerous. With some cases of benzodiazepine withdrawal being particularly severe, especially grand mal seizures, patients may be at risk of harm if they detox at home.
Seizures are common in people withdrawing from benzos, and severe cases may result in delirium, paranoia, and hallucinations. Some patients have just one seizure during benzo detoxification, while others have severe seizures, resulting in coma or even death.
Medical professionals oversee detoxification at a detox center that has been authorized by the appropriate authorities. Medical practitioners provide comprehensive and competent care and are dedicated to keeping clients safe and comfortable at all times.
What Happens After Benzodiazepine Detox?
Although detox is a critical first step in the recovery process, it is just the beginning. After leaving Asheville Detox Center, most addicts will feel better than they have in a long time, but those who don’t continue with drug abuse treatment will almost certainly relapse. Medical detox alone is not substance abuse treatment.
While it provides you with a strong medical foundation, a continuation of professional care is highly recommended. Continued care such as a partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient treatment, or sober living environments are all highly effective in cultivating long-term sobriety. Every client at Asheville Detox Center is provided with an individualized and comprehensive discharge plan to meet their treatment needs.
Benzodiazepine Detox at Asheville Detox Center
Drug and alcohol-related disorders are frequently treated with supervised medical detoxification, which is available 24 hours a day at Asheville Detox Center. Our detox program provides round-the-clock nursing care, as well as detoxification for people with co-existing mental health issues and for those who are suffering from polysubstance abuse. Each client’s detoxification requirements are addressed and case managers work with each client individually to determine the best next step in treatment once the individual has completed the detox program.
At Asheville Detox Center, we have created a relaxing, serene environment because we want our clients to feel safe, supported, and at ease throughout the detoxification process. Detox specialists are present 24/7 to supervise the process, and supplemental services such as MAT and NAD+ therapy are available to clients who might benefit from this additional care. To learn more about medical detox or any of the services we offer, contact the specialists at Asheville Detox Center today. We are here and ready to help.
Medically Reviewed by Jodi Mabry – NP