Benzodiazepines like alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Valium), and diazepam (Valium) can be addictive when they are abused. Once you are addicted you may experience symptoms of withdrawal when you suddenly stop taking them. Unfortunately, benzo withdrawal is extremely uncomfortable, and in some cases, it can be life-threatening.
Overcoming withdrawal is one of the first obstacles people face when they try to quit using benzos.
The safest way to detox from benzodiazepines is to do so while under medical supervision. If your doctor has prescribed benzos for a health condition but wants you to stop taking them, they can help you gradually taper off your medication. However, if you have been abusing benzos and are suffering from benzodiazepine addiction, it is best to detox at a benzo detox center near you.
Seeking help at a benzo detox center in California can be a significant step toward overcoming benzodiazepine addiction and withdrawal. To learn about your treatment options or to find help now, please contact us.
What Types of Benzos Cause Withdrawal?
Any benzodiazepine medication that is used long enough can cause physical dependence, resulting in withdrawal symptoms upon cessation. Some of the most commonly abused benzos are:
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
- Oxazepam (Serax)
- Temazepam (Restoril)
- Flurazepam (Dalmane)
- Triazolam (Halcion)
- Clorazepate (Tranxene)
- Midazolam (Versed)
What are the Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal?
Benzodiazepine withdrawal can vary in both intensity and duration depending on the extent of your benzo use and your overall health. Common symptoms include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Increased heart rate
- Hypersensitivity to stimuli
- Muscle pain and stiffness
- Cognitive difficulties
- Heart palpitations
- Panic attacks
Most benzo withdrawal symptoms start within 24 hours of your last dose and can last for a few days to a month. Some people experience lingering anxiety, concentration issues, and cognitive difficulties for years after they stopped taking benzos.
Regardless of the type of benzodiazepine you need to detox from, it’s essential to seek professional help.
Why is Medical Detox for Benzodiazepines Important?
Medical detox centers provide a safe, supportive, and structured environment to detox from drugs and alcohol. Equipped with doctors and nurses on staff, these centers can provide life-saving medical treatment that helps individuals begin their recovery journey.
Detoxing from benzos alone is extremely dangerous and never recommended. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be life-threatening, and symptoms can shift from mild to severe in an instant. Even if symptoms are not life-threatening, withdrawal can be so uncomfortable that you may decide to get high again to alleviate your symptoms rather than finish detoxing, landing you back in the cycle of addiction.
If you’re truly committed to getting sober, the best way to do so is to start at a detox facility.
What to Expect at a Benzo Detox Center in California
Benzodiazepine detox centers in California offer 24-hour care and support, ensuring your safety during the detoxification process.
Intake and Assessment
First, you’ll arrive at the facility and go through the intake. Intake involves signing consent and disclosure forms and consenting to a baggage search. An intake counselor may confiscate any prohibited items, collect a payment, and help you begin the assessment process. The assessment is crucial for developing a personalized detoxification plan.
During your assessment, the clinical team will evaluate your current health, medical history, substance abuse, mental health, and more. They will take you through a series of both formal and informal assessments to determine your treatment needs. From here, a tailored treatment plan is created based on your unique needs.
Medical Stabilization and a Benzo Taper
The medical stabilization phase is next, during which you will detox under medical supervision. When it comes to benzodiazepine withdrawal, symptoms are usually managed using a taper. Tapering is the process of gradually reducing the dose of a medication to avoid significant withdrawal symptoms. For benzodiazepines, long-acting benzos such as chlordiazepoxide (Librium) or diazepam (Valium).
In addition to a benzodiazepine taper, symptom-specific medications can be administered to alleviate remaining symptoms and provide comfort.
Detox centers not only focus on the physical aspect of withdrawal but also offer psychosocial support to address the emotional and psychological impact of detoxification. Therapists, counselors, or support groups may be available to assist you in coping with the psychological aspects of the detox process and the underlying reasons for benzodiazepine use. Nutritious meals will also be offered.
Medical supervision is provided round-the-clock to ensure your safety and well-being. The medical team will monitor your vital signs, withdrawal symptoms, and overall progress throughout the detox process. Having medical professionals on hand allows for immediate intervention if any complications arise.
Treatment and Aftercare Planning
When you’re done detoxing it’s important to continue treatment with a comprehensive addiction treatment program. As a result, the final phase of detox is to work with a substance abuse counselor to plan for your continued care. Your counselor may recommend inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, or a combination of the two. Rehab programs such as these can help you address the root cause of your benzo abuse and pave the way for long-term sobriety.
Get Help From a Trusted Benzo Detox Center in California Today
Entering a benzo detox center in California can be a life-changing decision for those struggling with benzodiazepine addiction. The supportive and professional environment at these centers offers a safe space for detoxification and the beginning of the recovery process.
If you or someone you know is battling benzodiazepine addiction, don’t hesitate to seek help from our California detox and treatment center. Call today to speak with an ARISE Treatment addiction specialist.
- National Institutes of Health: The benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome, Retrieved August 2023 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7841856/
- National Institutes of Health: Challenges of the pharmacological management of benzodiazepine withdrawal, dependence, and discontinuation, Retrieved August 2023 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5896864/