Some Highlights Of Benzodiazepines Detox
- Detox or detoxification is the primary treatment for anyone seeking a drug-free life.
- Benzodiazepines detox drastically reduces the risk of complications, such as overdose, seizures, relapses, and worsening of underlying mental illness.
- Detox can happen in an inpatient or outpatient setting. However, self-detox is NOT usually recommended.
- A combination of medicines and psychotherapy is the most effective treatment to manage withdrawal symptoms.
What are Benzodiazepines?
Also called Benzos, but what exactly are Benzodiazepines? Well, these are a class of drugs that slow down brain activity (CNS depressants). They are commonly used to treat anxiety and sleep problems. Examples include:
● Alprazolam (Xanax) ● Diazepam (Valium) ● Triazolam (Halcion)
● Clonazepam (Klonopin) ● Lorazepam (Ativan)
Benzos can be habit-forming and result in physical dependence and tolerance. Dependence is when you cannot function normally when you stop taking a drug, while tolerance means requiring larger doses to feel the effects of a drug.
In a benzo-dependent person, reducing the dose or stopping use can cause uncomfortable symptoms called withdrawal symptoms. Most notably, some of these effects can be life-threatening.
If you or anyone you love has benzo dependence, you should seek professional help at a detox center to help avoid the complications.
How Benzodiazepine Detox Helps You Remove Drug?
Detox is an addiction treatment process that starts once you decide to quit an addiction. Detox centers help you withdraw from a drug, remove the drug/toxin from the system, and manage withdrawal symptoms.
In the case of highly addictive substances like benzos, detox is instrumental in preventing complications, such as seizures. Finally, detox prepares a person for further addiction treatments in a rehab facility.
Why do you Need Benzodiazepines Detox?
A warning for anyone considering self-detox!
There have been a few reports of death during benzo withdrawal in the medical literature. Even if death is uncommon, seizures can sometimes permanently damage the brain.
Moreover, if you have been using large doses for prolonged periods, you should never stop the drug abruptly. Doing so can trigger potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms.
In medically assisted detox, a medical team monitors your condition 24 hours a day and has resources to manage any emergency conditions.
Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline
Doctors usually prescribe benzos for only a short period. Sadly, even 3 to 6 weeks of use can cause withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Moderate-to-severe physical pain
- Unusual sensations, such as the feeling that bugs are crawling on the skin
- Muscle spasms
- Loss of weight and appetite
- Rapid breathing
- Severe cravings
- Anxiety attacks
- Poor concentration
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sleep disturbance
- Experiencing things that are not there (hallucinations)
Benzo withdrawal symptoms can occur within 24 hours after the last use and persist for a few days to several months. Rarely, some heavy chronic users may experience the effects for a year or longer.
The timeline depends on several factors, such as the type of benzo, duration of abuse, and doses. Moreover, co-existing mental issues and other diseases can affect the course of withdrawal.
(Also called rebound symptoms,) develop shortly after the last intake and mimic the symptoms of the condition being treated with the drug. For example, a person taking benzo for anxiety may experience anxiety soon after stopping the drug.
Likewise, stopping a short-acting drug (Xanax) produces more rapid withdrawal than stopping a long-acting drug (Valium).
What to Expect During Benzodiazepines Detox?
Once you decide to quit benzo addiction, the first person to consult is a medical professional. They will assess your condition and can refer you to a detox center. Doing this is critical to your safety and long-term recovery.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient programs
Most detox centers employ a tapering schedule - reducing your dose gradually - to prevent complications and make withdrawal less stressful. Likewise, a more potent drug can be switched to less potent benzo. A medical team decides whether to taper off or switch. Depending on addiction severity, cost, and health issues, you may detox in an inpatient or outpatient facility. Outpatient services are ideal for those with a low risk of complications, such as overdose and seizures. A person with no co-existing mental health issue may also consider these services. On the other hand, inpatient programs are more appropriate if you: ● Are pregnant have co-existing mental illness or history of relapses in past detox attempts ● Have a high risk of seizures or other complications ● Are a long-term or heavy benzo user ● Can commit to staying in a facility for weeks or longe
Benzodiazepines Detox Medicines
In addition to tapering, your doctor may prescribe specific drugs to relieve withdrawal symptoms, including: Buspirone (BuSpar) is an anti-anxiety medicine that can alleviate emotional symptoms during withdrawal. Most notably, this drug is not habit-forming and can be used soon after tapering off the benzo doses. Flumazenil (Romazicon) The main use of flumazenil is to reverse the symptoms of benzodiazepine overdoses. In addition, your doctor may decide to use it to alleviate withdrawal symptoms associated with long-acting benzos.
Benzodiazepines Detox Therapies
Counseling and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may be an option if your symptoms are mild and do not require medicines.
CBT is popular psychotherapy (talk therapy) tool that teaches you how to cope with the psychological causes of your addiction. You can also use it for the long-term management of drug addiction.
Most experts recommend a combination of medicines and psychotherapy, as it is more effective and likely to help maintain abstinence.
Long-Term Addiction Treatment
After completing the detox process, you are ready to start behavioral therapies in an inpatient rehab center, preferably in your area. Silicon Valley Recovery offers a comprehensive Benzodiazepine Detox Program to help you at every step of your recovery process.
Our center provides a range of therapies, such as: