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Benzodiazepine Detox

Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are a highly addictive class of prescription drugs given to patients with symptoms of anxiety. But, unfortunately, the addictive nature of these drugs lead many down a path of dependence and addiction. With benzo addiction, what once was a medicine that helped an individual to manage mental health quickly turns to a battle with withdrawal symptoms, heightened tolerance, and health consequences. Fortunately, with supervised medical benzodiazepine detox and individualized treatment approaches, treatment for benzodiazepine addiction can be effective and lead to a life of well-being.

Types of Benzodiazepines

Since the effects of benzos include a reduction of anxiety, they are often prescribed to patients with anxiety disorders. Benzos produce their effects by stimulating the GABA neurotransmitters of the brain which are responsible for various motor and cognitive functions. Every person has natural GABA neurotransmitters, but the use of benzos affects the way that these transmitters respond and communicate with one another, which results in the calming effects beneficial to those prescribed with the medications. Specific anxiety disorders that are treated with benzodiazepines include:

  • Panic Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Phobias

The Problem with Benzodiazepine Prescriptions

Although benzos do help individuals diagnosed with the above anxiety disorders, they are meant to only be used for a short amount of time because of their potential for addiction. Additionally, prolonged use of these medications can actually lead to adverse effects. So instead of offering helpful effects such as aiding with anxiety, long-term use of benzos can actually make anxiety worse. This is due to a developed tolerance and dependence of the drug. When the body starts to recognize and expect the administration of a specific drug that stimulates neurotransmitters as benzos do, it begins to need more of the drug to provide the desired effects. This is known as tolerance. When the body starts to experience withdrawal effects due to lack of administration of the drug, dependence is evident. The problem with prescription benzodiazepines is that without proper tapering and weaning of the drug, addiction is eminent with long-term use, even with a proper prescription from a doctor. Signs of a developed dependence to benzodiazepines may include:

  • Heightened anxiety
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Body shakes
  • Mood swings
  • Paranoia
  • Lack of focus and concentration
  • Increased heart rate
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Fatigue
  • Cold sweats

Benzodiazepine Detox Process

If an individual is experiencing dependence symptoms listed above, detox is required for effectively removing the drug from the body. Whether benzos were used illegally or through direct orders of a doctor, it is imperative for individuals to seek treatment to help with benzo dependence. Although home detox may be successful for a small percentage of individuals, there is no safer way to detox from any drug than in the comfort and control of a medical facility like Discovery Institute. Additionally, detoxing from benzodiazepines can be extremely dangerous if done at home. This is due to the fact that withdrawal symptoms of benzos are extremely severe, even more than heroin. Choosing to detox with the help of certified and experienced addiction medical specialists ensures the health, safety, and comfort of individuals throughout this necessary process of recovery. Specific withdrawal symptoms that individuals dependent on benzodiazepines can expect may include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Hypertension
  • Extreme agitation
  • Chest pain
  • Numbness of the extremities
  • Loss of appetite
  • Body tremors
  • Sleeplessness
  • Nightmares
  • Cold sweats
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Compulsions or seizures which may result in death

Obviously, experiencing all of these withdrawal symptoms is no walk in the park. But, with medical benzodiazepine detox, medications can be administered so that severe withdrawal symptoms can be prevented, reduced, and managed. Choosing medical benzodiazepine detox for your benzo detoxing needs not only means increased safety but increased comfort.

Co-occurring Therapy for Individuals Struggling with Anxiety and Addiction

For individuals who have struggled with a benzo addiction due to prescription to manage anxiety disorders, treatment is available to address both addiction and anxiety. After detox is complete, you’ll be able to benefit from therapy that works to not only address the underlying causes of your addiction but your anxiety disorder as well. Along with discovering underlying issues, co-occurring therapy will help to determine alternative medications or coping methods to help you manage your diagnosed anxiety disorder. If you are struggling to taper from your prescriptions, are using benzos illegally, or wish to rid your life of an addiction to benzos, Discovery Institute can help you determine your next step to obtaining a life free from addiction.


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