Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms
Whether you’ve taken benzos recreationally or for medical reasons, you can become dependent on them. Your body acclimates to functioning under the influence of the medication. Thus, you’ll experience intense withdrawal symptoms when you stop using benzos. Unlike detox from other drugs, benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous even for those who only used the substance briefly.
About Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms
Weaning off of benzodiazepines can be arduous. The withdrawal symptoms fluctuate over an extended period of time. If you don’t go through detox safely, you might experience life-threatening side effects. The group of symptoms that arise when you reduce your dosage or stop using the medication can be difficult to manage.
Some of the less severe benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Cognitive dysfunction
- Muscle pain
The more serious symptoms can be fatal if medical professionals aren’t monitoring you. Additionally, some people experience perceptual changes and hallucinations that lead to irrational, risky decisions. Others may have suicidal thoughts.
You can have seizures if you stop taking the medication abruptly. With many drugs, the intensity of the withdrawal period depends on the dosage taken and how long you’ve been using. However, benzo withdrawal seizures occur in people take low doses of the medication. According to researchers, people who take the prescribed dosage for only 15 days have had seizures.
Having rapid access to medical treatment can save your life as you withdrawal from benzos. Proper medical management and monitoring during this rehab stage can also lower your risk of health complications.
How Long Does Benzo Detox Take?
Benzo withdrawal can last for weeks, months, or years. The severity of your symptoms can wax and wane as time goes on. This can be confusing if you aren’t aware that symptoms don’t subside in a linear fashion.
Additionally, the acute withdrawal stage can last from one week to a month and a half. Short-acting medications, such as Xanax, have a briefer acute withdrawal period than long-acting medications, such as Valium.
Post-acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWS, can persist for up to two years after the drug leaves your system. PAWS symptoms are generally mild, but they can be frustrating. For example, worry, anxiety, and insomnia are the most common issues that people with PAWS experience.
Rehab at Steps to Recovery
In many cases, quitting benzos must be done gradually with medical supervision. Some users must step down the dose before they stop taking the drug completely.
Because benzodiazepine withdrawal takes so long, it usually doesn’t take place in a hospital. Many people prefer to stay in a more comfortable environment as they begin their recovery journey.
Some people use benzos with other substances. Others use the drugs to manage or mask a co-occurring mental illness. Regardless, proper treatment is crucial for handling the emotional roller coaster that often accompanies getting sober.
- Partial hospitalization program
- Intensive outpatient rehab
- Alcohol and drug education
- Therapy and counseling
- Sober living
We know that the effects of substance abuse last long after the drug leaves your system. You may find your social, financial, work, or home life more challenging after you stop using the medication. Long-term recovery hinges on a personalized rehab program that helps you learn the necessary skills for staying sober.
Call us at 267.719.8528 to find out how we can help you manage benzo withdrawal and break free from the cycle of abuse.