What You Need to Know About Detoxing from Benzodiazepines
Withdrawing from any drug is a challenging process requiring personal determination, medical support, and care. Detoxing from benzodiazepines is uniquely challenging because users are often on them for ongoing mental and physical health problems including anxiety and PTSD. As a drug commonly used to ease withdrawal symptoms, with a strong withdrawal profile of their own, detoxing from benzos requires custom care and special attention to ensure the physical safety as well as emotional and mental health of the patient.
At Lighthouse Recovery, we take every step to ensure your comfort and dignity throughout the withdrawal process. Our beautiful Orange County detox facility is equipped with everything you need to get over physical dependence in a luxury surrounding, with medical detox or social model detox, and a home-like environment.
Why Do You Need Benzodiazepine Detox?
Benzodiazepines interact with the dopamine, serotonin, and GABBA receptors in the brain, changing how the brain processes and reuptakes these neurotransmitters. When users stop taking benzos, these effects withdraw and the body is forced to adapt rapidly to its own altered state of GABBA and serotonin production. The resulting withdrawal can be extremely difficult and dangerous, with symptoms including:
- Panic and anxiety
- Nausea and vomiting
- Irritability and mood swings
As many as 20% of all patients going through benzodiazepine withdrawal will suffer Grand Mal seizures, which can pose significant risks and complications if left untreated. This necessitates medical detox, where patients are given medical supervision to monitor health and status, move patients through detox as quickly as possible, and work to prevent potentially life-threatening complications.
The risks of benzodiazepine withdrawal are quite high, but the medical team at Lighthouse Recovery will manage symptoms to reduce recovery time, improve your outcome, and keep you as comfortable as possible throughout the process.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Timeline
While benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms will change depending on the drug profile, the user’s length and duration of use, volume of abuse, and the person’s medical history, it typically follows a specific timeline:
Early withdrawal begins within 6-12 hours for short-acting benzos and 4-5 days for long-acting, with early symptoms including cravings, anxiety, and insomnia.
Symptoms peak after 1-5 days for short-acting and 4-5 days and up to several weeks for long-acting. With symptoms including profuse sweating, panic, anxiety, nausea, and headaches, this process can be very uncomfortable. Here, patients also begin to experience irritability, mood swings, and are at risk of hallucinations, psychosis, and seizures. Medical monitoring is crucial during this stage.
Most withdrawal symptoms will plateau and taper off within 5-15 days for short-acting and 3-4 weeks for long-acting benzos. This period typically lasts 2-4 weeks, with a gradual decline in all symptoms.
Some patients are at risk of post-acute withdrawal syndrome or rebound, especially when receiving benzodiazepines to treat anxiety or PTSD.
Benzodiazepine Detox at Lighthouse Recovery Center
Our beautiful detox facility offers everything you need to recover from benzodiazepine addiction in comfort and safety. With around-the-clock monitoring from our team of licensed nurses, a medical doctor on staff, and a home-like environment for both medical detox and social model detox, you can move past withdrawal and into recovery as quickly as possible.
Tapering usage is typically the first step of benzodiazepine withdrawal because it is the best way to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Here, you will typically gradually reduce the dose over 2-10 weeks or switch to a lighter benzodiazepine to reduce the risk of seizures and complications.
During intake, we work with you to learn more about medical history, cooccurring disorders such as anxiety or PTSD, and other factors which could complicate the withdrawal process.
Benzo detox can be dangerous and patients should be monitored to prevent dangerous side-effects. If in medical detox, medications such as Buspirone or Flumazenil may be used to reduce symptoms.
Counseling and Therapy
Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be traumatic and emotionally trying. In addition, many patients suffer from rebound anxiety, insomnia, depression, and trauma flashbacks. We offer full support from counselors and licensed therapists as well as ongoing medical support.
Recovering from benzodiazepine abuse is a long uphill journey. Most patients must overcome strong emotional and psychological responses to the drug, as well as rebound anxiety and PTSD. To recovery, you need emotional support, behavioral therapy, and support from a medical team to manage and control symptoms.
Lighthouse Recovery is here for you or your loved one, with everything you need to recover in safety and comfort. Contact us today for a free and comprehensive consultation so we can help you move into your new, clean life.