Is This Method for Easing Withdrawal Symptoms Safe for Individuals Addicted to Benzos?
What Causes Benzodiazepine Withdrawal?
Benzodiazepines, which are better known as “benzos,” are a group of central nervous system depressants that are used to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, seizures, and other physical or mental health conditions. Many common prescription drugs such as Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Librium fall into the benzodiazepine category. These medications, like all other benzos and many other prescription drugs, have the potential to cause dependence and addiction.
When someone takes benzos for an extended period of time, they may begin to develop a higher tolerance. As someone’s tolerance to benzos gets stronger, they will need a higher dosage to feel the effects of the medication. If someone suddenly stops taking the medicine after they become dependent on it, their body will not know how to react without having benzos in the system. The body will usually respond with a set of symptoms known as withdrawal.
Benzo Withdrawal Side Effects
Withdrawal symptoms usually begin about 1 to 4 days after someone stops using benzos and can last up to 10 days or longer. Common side effects of withdrawal, which are uncomfortable but are typically not dangerous or fatal, may include:
- Changes in perception
- Delirium and detachment
- Abnormal body sensations
- Difficulty concentrating
- Excessive sweating
- Heart palpitations
- Increased tension
- Aches and pains
- Muscle stiffness
- Muscle spasms
- Disturbed sleep
- Heart tremors
- Panic attacks
Many substance abuse treatment facilities offer detox programs that will help individuals maintain these symptoms and curb any benzo cravings. While the overall process is not enjoyable, it is necessary to detox all of the drugs out of a person’s system.
There are also some less common side effects of benzo withdrawal that may require extra attention or emergency room care. These symptoms include hallucinations, psychosis, suicidal ideation or attempts, and Grand Mal seizures. If you witness someone having a seizure after they stop using benzos, contact your local emergency room as soon as possible.
What Is The Rescue Remedy?
“The Rescue Remedy” is a type of Bach Flower remedy that is designed to relieve stress, promote relaxation, and increase sleep. It is also rumored to help ease symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal – but are the rumors actually true?
This type of remedy is a line of flower essences that is made by placing flowers in water and creating an infusion. Rescue Remedies are available in grocery stores and include ingredients such as cherry plum, clematis, impatiens, rock rose, and Star-Of-Bethlehem. They are sometimes confused with essential oils, but Rescue Remedies have very different effects.
Why You Shouldn’t Use The Rescue Remedy
While the Rescue Remedy is generally considered safe, it may cause nausea when combined with the ingredients that are found in benzodiazepines. Also, alcohol is an active ingredient in many Rescue Remedy products. If you have struggled with benzo dependence, you should not consume any products that contain alcohol because this can trigger your desire to consume benzodiazepines. And finally, there are simply not enough studies behind using the Rescue Remedy for benzo withdrawal to determine whether or not it is actually successful. So due to lack of research behind the Rescue Remedy, it should not be used to treat any condition, especially one as complex and dangerous as drug withdrawal. If you’re looking to effectively reduce and eliminate withdrawal symptoms, it is recommended to get professional help instead.
Better Benzo Withdrawal Treatment Options
Individuals who are taking benzodiazepines and are not interested in using them anymore should talk to their doctor about tapering down their dose and creating a treatment plan. Once someone begins a program, they will go through withdrawal symptoms and rely on detox treatment to start feeling like themselves again. Detox professionals may recommend certain medications such as buspirone, flumazenil to help with the symptoms. Treatment programs will also likely include counseling, family therapy, support groups, and more.
To learn more about the Rescue Remedy and why it isn’t recommended to treat benzo withdrawal and why treatment is the right option, contact our team to chat with one of our substance abuse treatment representatives. Give us a call at 267.719.8528.