A study done by the FDA revealed that benzodiazepines are often over-prescribed and misused, often leading to addiction and withdrawal. If you or a loved one has developed an addiction to Ativan, Klonopin, or other common benzodiazepines, you’re not alone.
Trying to leave benzodiazepines behind is a challenge, and it often leads to withdrawal. We’re here to talk about what benzodiazepine withdrawal may look like as well as how you can manage it with the help of the trained professionals at Ventura County drug rehab centers.
Read on to learn more.
How Long Does Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Last?
You may be wondering what the benzodiazepine withdrawal timeline looks like. In reality, it varies.
You can expect withdrawal symptoms to last for up to six months, but many people stop experiencing severe symptoms within a matter of days. It’s possible for some symptoms to linger even after you’ve finished rehab in Ventura County (like agitation, anxiety, and cravings), but they should be mild by that point.
Symptoms often start within 24 hours, but this depends on the drug and the length of time that someone was using it. Symptoms peak in intensity during the middle of the withdrawal process.
Here are some of the symptoms you can expect as withdrawal progresses.
Anxiety, Depression, and Suicidal Thoughts
Anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts are common during the early stages of benzodiazepine withdrawal. Because benzos are used for anxiety, someone who already suffers from anxiety will feel more anxious when not taking them.
They also give users a feeling of calm and euphoria, so removing that feeling can trigger depression and suicidal thoughts.
Many people suffer from insomnia after quitting Valium, Klonopin, Xanax, and other common types of benzodiazepines. This happens for several reasons.
First, the other side effects of withdrawal can be uncomfortable and even painful. That makes it more difficult for the person suffering to fall asleep. When one experiences headaches, anxiety, and an increased heart rate, sleep is a challenge.
Some people may also take benzodiazepines for sleep. Without them, they’re back to their baseline level of insomnia.
Agitation and Mood Changes
Withdrawal can trigger mood swings and agitation. Again, this is partially a result of the discomfort associated with other withdrawal symptoms. People experiencing withdrawal may notice that they’re more short-tempered and irritable.
Not everyone experiences tremors during benzodiazepine withdrawal, but it’s not uncommon. Generally speaking, tremors will be in the hands. People experiencing this symptom may find it difficult to go about their daily tasks due to the shaking.
Body Temperature Changes
Experiencing sudden hot or cold flashes is a common symptom of benzodiazepine withdrawal. Unless they’re associated with a fever, you don’t have to be concerned.
Night sweats and even sweating during the day, even when it’s cold, are common.
Nausea and Vomiting
Many people experience gastrointestinal distress during benzo withdrawal. This may just include nausea, but in serious cases, vomiting can occur. It’s important to drink enough fluids and seek medical care if the vomiting persists.
Headaches and Muscle Pain
You can expect to experience some pain during benzodiazepine withdrawal. Headaches are more common, but muscle aches occur as well. Headaches can last for several months throughout the benzodiazepine addiction recovery period.
In serious cases, seizures can result from benzodiazepine abuse and withdrawal. It’s important for people with a long history of benzodiazepine use to go through detox under the watchful eyes of a team of medical professionals.
Seizures are uncommon, but they can happen, especially if someone quits “cold turkey.”
Hallucinations and Delirium
Again, these are symptoms of serious and acute withdrawal. Hallucinations and delirium can happen during the withdrawal process. If someone experiences these symptoms, it’s crucial to seek medical care right away.
Hallucinations can be either visual or auditory. When someone experiences delirium, they’ll show signs of extreme confusion. They may slip in and out of consciousness and experience a reduced ability to focus.
People going through withdrawal may also experience psychosis.
Hypertension and Increased Heart Rate
Acute withdrawal from benzodiazepines can result in increased blood pressure and heart rate. This can be incredibly frightening and dangerous, especially if the person going through withdrawal already has underlying cardiac issues.
Respiratory distress is an uncommon symptom of benzodiazepine withdrawal, but it can happen, and it can be dangerous, if not deadly. Again, if someone is experiencing severe symptoms of acute withdrawal, they need to seek medical care right away.
How to Treat Benzodiazepine Withdrawal
It’s clear that the benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable. Withdrawal means you’re going through benzo detox. This is a good thing.
Here’s how you can manage and treat your symptoms with the help of a Ventura County substance abuse treatment center.
Tapering is the gradual reduction of the dose of benzodiazepines. This can help reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and prevent seizures. Tapering should be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional at a benzo detox center to ensure that it is safe and effective.
Supportive care can help manage some of the physical symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal. This can include over-the-counter medications for headache, nausea, and diarrhea, as well as rest and hydration. At Ventura County drug rehab centers, you can receive supportive care from qualified professionals.
Therapy can be helpful for managing the psychological symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal, such as anxiety, depression, and irritability. Therapy can (and should) be used in combination with other treatment methods.
You Can Get Through Benzodiazepine Withdrawal
Benzodiazepine withdrawal is tough, but you can get through it with help. You’re on your way to recovery and a healthier life. You owe it to yourself to get through your withdrawal.
We want to help you. At Altitude Recovery, we offer our patients a luxurious rehab experience. Recover in comfort under the care of our medical professionals.
If you’re ready to start your healing journey, contact us. We can’t wait to meet you.