- Title: Benzodiazepine Withdrawal
- Authored by Philippa Gold
- Edited by Hugh Soames
- Reviewed by Michael Por
- Detox and Withdrawal from Benzodiazepine: At Worlds Best Rehab, we strive to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on the web so our readers can make informed decisions. Our subject matter experts specialize in addiction treatment and behavioral healthcare. We follow strict guidelines when fact-checking information and only use credible sources when citing statistics and medical information. Look for the badge on our articles for the most up-to-date and accurate information. If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate or out-of-date, please let us know via our Contact Page
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What is Benzodiazepine
Benzodiazepine is one of the most widely abused drugs in North America and Worldwide. Addiction is nothing now, but what is new is the super worrying trend of increasing deaths due to Benzodiazepine overdose. In part, this can be said to be due to a number of factors such as:
- Lack of education around Benzodiazepine
- Increase in Pharmaceutical Prescriptions generally
- A failure of Governments worldwide to do enough to stop Benzodiazepine addiction and related deaths
- Societal thinking regarding addicts and Benzodiazepine addiction
- Lack of Harm Reduction methods around Benzodiazepine usage
- Lack of addiction related education in the medical professional
Further reading about Benzodiazepine from around the web
Benzodiazepines (BZD, BDZ, BZs), sometimes called “benzos“, are a class of depressant drugs whose core chemical structure is the fusion of a benzene ring and a diazepine ring. They are prescribed to treat conditions such as anxiety disorders, insomnia, and seizures. The first benzodiazepine, chlordiazepoxide (Librium), was discovered accidentally by Leo Sternbach in 1955 and was made available in 1960 by Hoffmann–La Roche, who soon followed with diazepam (Valium) in 1963. By 1977, benzodiazepines were the most prescribed medications globally; the introduction of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), among other factors, decreased rates of prescription, but they remain frequently used worldwide.
Benzodiazepines are depressants that enhance the effect of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) at the GABAA receptor, resulting in sedative, hypnotic (sleep-inducing), anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxant properties. High doses of many shorter-acting benzodiazepines may also cause anterograde amnesia and dissociation. These properties make benzodiazepines useful in treating anxiety, panic disorder, insomnia, agitation, seizures, muscle spasms, alcohol withdrawal and as a premedication for medical or dental procedures. Benzodiazepines are categorized as short, intermediate, or long-acting. Short- and intermediate-acting benzodiazepines are preferred for the treatment of insomnia; longer-acting benzodiazepines are recommended for the treatment of anxiety.
What Are Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms?
Withdrawal from Benzodiazepine is a serious matter. The effects on the body from Benzodiazepine use is extreme, and because of these effects Benzodiazepine withdrawal can very quickly become an acute medical emergency. Withdrawal from Benzodiazepine can cause a hypertensive crisis or myocardial infraction. In other words, a stroke or heart attack caused by sudden stoppage in taking Benzodiazepine or respiratory distress syndrome whereby your body shuts down from the lungs and respiratory system outwards. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can also lead to serious anxiety and mental health related issues.
Never in any circumstances underestimate the seriousness of Benzodiazepine withdrawal1https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2891684/. If you are withdrawing from Benzodiazepine it is advisable to seek medical attention and in the case of medical emergency from Benzodiazepine withdrawal do not hesitate to head to the nearest Emergency Room.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal will vary for everyone and will be affected by several factors. The length and severity of Benzodiazepine use with be one of the main predictors of withdrawal symptoms and intensity. With Benzodiazepine withdrawal, it’s impossible to accurately predict how an individual will react to withdrawal.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Timeline
Full Benzodiazepine withdrawal often takes seven to fourteen days but sometimes longer, and the Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms are categorized according to their severity.
There are no minor symptoms of Benzodiazepine withdrawal. The first symptoms to exhibit themselves, usually 3-12 hours after Benzodiazepine withdrawal starts proper are headaches, tremors, sweating, itching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and total confusion with anxiety or depression.
These are followed relatively quickly by the next stage in Benzodiazepine withdrawal timeline by:
- Digestive discomfort
- Heart palpitations
- Panic attacks
- Muscle pain
- Delirium tremens
Worryingly, every time an individual attempts Benzodiazepine withdrawal the severity of symptoms tends to increase.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal has a mortality rate of between three and 19 per cent, depending on seriousness of Benzodiazepine usage.
Withdrawal from Benzodiazepine is a physically demanding process, in which the body will utilize every means possible to remove toxins, while creating psychological challenges because of the changes to the individuals brain chemistry.
Benzodiazepine Detox Process
The severity of Benzodiazepine detox makes it a process that should be approached carefully. Benzodiazepine Detox, especially for those with a heavy or long-lasting Benzodiazepine dependency, produces a range of symptoms and in extreme cases withdrawal can be fatal. However much they may want to end their addiction to Benzodiazepine, it’s vital to seek medical advice and enlist the support of their loved ones.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal at a Rehab
Detoxing from Benzodiazepine within a treatment facility ensures medical help if it’s needed during the treatment process. Because Benzodiazepine rebound is a significant danger during withdrawal, having medical personnel present 24-hours a day can mean an instant response to any hypertensive or life-threatening crisis that may occur as a professional tapering process lowers the chances of patients experiencing fatal episodes.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal and detox begins with an initial medical exam to determine the patient’s physical condition upon entry into the rehab. This pre-detox Benzodiazepine withdrawal period can last up to 24 hours, as medical personnel determines both the patient’s general medical condition and drug history.
Detoxification of the patient’s body from Benzodiazepine begins after the pre-detox period ends. Medically assisted or tapered withdrawal from Benzodiazepine can take up to a few weeks to complete.
Rapid Detox from Benzodiazepine
Rapid detox from Benzodiazepine is a controversial topic and one that is unlikely to be accepted by everyone for its positive uses. It is a concept that has helped individuals addicted to Benzodiazepine and other drugs kick the habit and gain the help they need to live a healthier lifestyle.
A patient undergoing a rapid detox from Benzodiazepine is put under anesthesia for up to six hours. During this time, an opioid antagonist drug such as naltrexone is used to remove the Benzodiazepine from the patient’s body. Rapid detox can alleviate some of the more distressing symptoms of Benzodiazepine withdrawal.
The Benzodiazepine rapid detox method is used to stop a patient from feeling the devastating effects of Benzodiazepine withdrawal. Sedating the patient and putting them under anaesthesia allows them to “sleep” through the initial heavy Benzodiazepine withdrawal and detox process. The hope is that after the rapid detox process, the patient will wake up with their body completely clean of Benzodiazepine. The remainder of the withdrawal process will be minimal enabling the person to get on with the rehab process. Throughout rapid detox, the patient is monitored to ensure safety.
Does Benzodiazepine Rapid Detox Help Withdrawal Symptoms?
Experts claim that rapid detox from Benzodiazepine is a safe way to cleanse the body. It is also more pleasant as individuals who go through Benzodiazepine withdrawal can experience shakes, sweats, nausea, and other issues for long periods.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal can take weeks to fully complete. However, rapid detox from Benzodiazepine can take only a few days to a week at most. While the process of undergoing anaesthesia is just a few hours, Benzodiazepine detox patients can be kept in a medical clinic for monitoring afterwards. The process enables a patient to get – for many – the most difficult and frightening part of rehab out of the way. Once completed, patients can focus on the mental and emotional side of recovery.
For most Benzodiazepine addicts, the biggest barrier of attending rehab is withdrawal. The pain and distress Benzodiazepine withdrawal can have on a person can drive them back to using. Therefore, limiting or stopping a person’s physical Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms allows them to focus on making a full recovery.
By completing a residential rehab program following rapid detox, individuals can fully recover from their Benzodiazepine addiction.
Benzodiazepine combinations with other drugs and alcohol