Benzos are commonly prescribed by doctors for patients with anxiety, sleep, panic, and seizure disorders. These medications relieve muscle tension or spasms. The problem with benzos is that they are easily addictive and available on the street. Worse yet, benzo withdrawal is one of the most difficult and lengthy types of addiction withdrawal.
About Benzo Withdrawal
Benzodiazepines (benzos) are tranquilizers or sedatives. It is easy to develop an addiction to these helpful medications because they create feelings of serenity, relaxation, and calm. Sleep is better when taking benzos. But taking them often leads right to addiction.
Tolerance is the first sign that you are using benzos too frequently. This is a condition wherein your body is accustomed to the standard dose and no longer responds as desired when you take the pills. Once you develop a tolerance, you need higher doses or more pills to feel the same effects. This is where the cycle of addiction begins.
Once addiction to benzos begins, you suffer withdrawal symptoms when you quit taking them. This will make you want more of the pills, even if your doctor stops prescribing them. This is also where many people turn to buying drugs on the street or doctor shopping to gain new prescriptions. These are “drug-seeking behaviors” common in cases of drug addiction.
Many doctors have stopped prescribing these medications because they are so addictive. They also fear the possibility of intense withdrawal symptoms patients must go through if they become addicted.
Length of Benzo Withdrawal
How long your withdrawal from benzos, also known as detox, will take depends upon multiple factors. Your personal health history, genetics, and other conditions make your detox unique. Adding to these factors are the type, frequency, and strength of the benzo use.
Benzo withdrawal usually starts within the first 24 hours after taking the last dose. If you have used benzos for only a short period of time, your withdrawal may be a few days to just over a week in duration. But if you have used strong benzos for a long period of time, a lengthy withdrawal is possible. Some people experience withdrawal symptoms for months and even years.
Short-acting benzos actually produce the most intense withdrawal symptoms. Short-acting name brands include Xanax, Ativan, and Halcion. Long-acting benzos include Valium, Klonopin, and Librium.
Withdrawal symptoms include:
- Panic attacks
- Rebound anxiety
If you take benzos to relieve anxiety or insomnia, you may suffer higher anxiety or sleeplessness when you quit taking them. These intense conditions are rebound effects. Rebound effects usually go away in about two to three days. Even if you have never had these feelings before, they may begin as a rebound effect of benzo withdrawal.
Benzo Detox and Rehab Are Your Paths to a Better Life
Simply getting through detox is not enough to permanently end your addiction problems. You need therapy to get to the root of why you fell into substance abuse in the first place. You may be surprised to learn that you have one of several co-occurring disorders like depression or anxiety that may have set you on this destructive path. By knowing why you became addicted, you can gain the treatment you need to stay away from drug abuse for the rest of your life.
If you or someone you love suffers from benzos addiction and needs a fresh start toward a better life, help is available. At 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, multiple programs are available to put you or your loved one back on track. At 1st Step Behavioral Health, you or your loved one will engage in a variety of therapies to grow from addiction into a healthier, happier life. Extensive support both through and after rehab at 1st Step can keep you on track, even when you struggle with thoughts of relapse.
Call 1st Step Behavioral Health at 866-319-6123 for more information about available programs. Make this call now to leave benzos and other substances far behind you.