Benzodiazepine withdrawal includes several uncomfortable side effects such as nausea, panic attacks, muscle pain, sweating, headaches and seizures. Most of these symptoms begin 24 hours after your last use of the drug; while the acute withdrawal phase lasts a couple of weeks, some people continue experiencing symptoms for several months.
What Are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are prescription medications that can improve people’s quality of life by helping them manage anxiety and insomnia symptoms. However, long-term use can cause physical and psychological dependency. Benzo withdrawal symptoms are one sign that your brain has become reliant on these drugs to establish equilibrium.
Brand-name benzodiazepines you may be familiar with include Ativan, Klonopin, Valium and Xanax. Different metabolites of these medications may influence how quickly they leave your bloodstream. That’s because each drug has a specific half-life. For shorter-acting benzos like Xanax, withdrawal may start within 10 to 12 hours after you stop taking it. With a longer-lasting benzodiazepine such as Valium, it may take a few days for symptoms to reach their peak.
How Long Does Benzo Withdrawal Last?
Early withdrawal usually starts within a few hours to a few days of stopping the medication and may last several days. During this period, your anxiety and insomnia may return as the benzodiazepines leave your system.
After the initial stage, your brain and body will transition into the acute phase, which comprises the majority of withdrawal. Symptoms can range in severity and may include phenomena like nausea, mood swings, trouble concentrating, agitation, muscle spasms and drug cravings.
Some people experience a psychological phenomenon called post-acute withdrawal syndrome that can last months or years after quitting benzodiazepines. While the medical community has yet to reach a consensus on why PAWS is part of the recovery journey for some and not others, many addiction experts suggest the chemical changes addiction causes in the brain over time may cause this condition to develop.
Your Recovery Begins With Detox
Withdrawal can be uncomfortable enough to drive many people back to substance use, even if they are highly motivated to quit. You can reduce your chances of relapse with professional outpatient detox followed by therapy and other forms of support.
At Acworth Outpatient Detox, we use innovative methods to effectively manage withdrawal symptoms, keeping our clients safe and comfortable throughout the process. Frequent check-in appointments allow us to assess your condition, adjust your medication and quickly address any breakthrough symptoms.
Our program can help you get sober and stop using benzos on a flexible schedule that seamlessly fits your lifestyle. We’ll taper you off your prescription medication while minimizing the unpleasant side effects, letting you avoid the expenses associated with traditional inpatient rehab programs. To learn more about our innovative approach, reach out to us today.