As one of the most dangerous and potentially fatal drugs to detox from, benzodiazepines are one of the only medically necessary drugs to get clean from.
The problem is that many people start using benzos innocently, never assuming the potentially addictive and harmful side effects.
When a user develops a tolerance to the pills after extended use over a period of time, the withdrawal can potentially be fatal. However, if the user attends a medical detox (which is advised!!) they will have a much safer and more comfortable experience.
What Are Benzodiazepines?
Benzos are prescription medications that are primarily used to treat moderate to severe anxiety, panic attacks, epileptic seizures, and even withdrawal symptoms from other central nervous system depressants like alcohol.
When used as prescribed, benzodiazepines are considered safe and effective. The downside is that it only works as a short-term solution, as long-term use can have adverse effects such as tolerance and addiction.
Signs and symptoms of addiction include:
- Social disconnection/withdrawal
- Isolating from family not participating in activities they once enjoyed
- Feelings of hostility
- Sudden mood changes
- Emotional detachment
How Benzos Affect Brain Chemistry
Benzos, like Xanax, bind with neurons in the brain called GABA receptors, which results in a slowing of overactive brain functioning, and the relieving of mental stress. The desired outcome is usually somewhat euphoric, or can even feel like the buzz of being drunk, followed by sedation.
For people who suffer from anxiety, panic, etc., this can be very helpful. However, for people who start to abuse the medication, the pills begin to build up in a person’s brain.
This is how they work in a normal user, as over time, they are intended to even the person out overall.
This eventual tolerance is how people become addicted as they need more and more to get the desired effect once the medication becomes stored in their brain. This storage is exactly the reason why benzos are so dangerous to detox from.
Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms
In most cases, benzo withdrawal symptoms start within 24 hours and can last from a few days to several months, depending on the amount of abuse and the strength of the benzo. It is not uncommon, however, for withdrawal to last for quite a while.
A study found that 10 to 25 percent of people who abuse benzos still feel withdrawal symptoms years after using.
As a person undergoes detox from benzodiazepines they will go through a sudden disruption of the chemicals in the brain that produces a lot of physical and mental side effects.
For example, when someone all of a sudden discontinues using benzos, especially after a long period of abuse, their brain can go into shock, resulting in withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms of benzos include:
- Panic attacks
- Suicidal thoughts
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle spasms
These symptoms can be very dangerous and at the worst, deadly. That is why it is the user’s safest bet to properly detox from benzos is in a medical detoxification setting.
Medically Supervised Benzo Treatment
Under medical supervision, users will have their vitals monitored regularly, they will be under professional supervision, there will be nurses and doctors on hand, and they will be provided with non-narcotic medication that can alleviate the potentially fatal symptoms of benzo withdrawal.
Another benefit of detoxing professionally is that some users require tapering off of the medication they are on. Our staff is trained to provide users with a safe and lower dose over a period of time, while the tolerance in the brain is slowly reduced.
This will alleviate any sudden shock-like symptoms that the brain may have experienced, resulting in a smoother and less anxious detox process for the user.
Overall, detoxing from any drug that has been abused for a substantial period of time is a process that is not exactly considered enjoyable.
It takes strength for a person to admit they have a problem and to reach out for help. That is why there are armies of trained professionals out there, who are ready to help and revive addicts back to health.
If you or a loved one are addicted to benzos and want help, please be smart about it and do it in a medical facility.
In Need of Detox? Restore Is Here For You
It can be intimidating to know that addiction and alcoholism are always right around the corner. Sometimes getting that little push and having medical guidance can be what it takes.
Relapse and active addiction/alcoholism are only as preventable as much as we value the sobriety we hold in our hands. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please contact us.
Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life in a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.