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How Long Does Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Last?

Benzodiazepines are addictive prescription medications that can take weeks to detox from. Individuals who use the drug not as prescribed or take it illegally will struggle with multiple extreme symptoms and should be monitored by a medical professional during this process.

At Evolve Indy, our benzo addiction treatment program is designed to support individuals through every step of the benzo withdrawal and recovery process. Check out our inclusive program options today.

What are Benzos?

This prescription medication causes sedation and hypnosis in clients who take it regularly for medical purposes and those who use the drug illegally. When individuals use benzodiazepines, they may experience relaxed moods and sleepiness, but it can also cause irritability, memory loss, and sleeping problems.

The risk of overdoses on benzodiazepines is a real threat, and even more so when combined with other substances. Benzos are sedatives that slow down the central nervous system and cause the body to shut down. This can cause 

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Impaired thoughts, coordination, and reflexes
  • Slowed respiratory functions

When mixed and used with other substances like opioids or alcohol, which are also depressants, the risk of respiratory depression, coma, and death is higher, making overdose death more likely. 

What are Benzos Used To Treat?

Benzodiazepines are prescription drugs that are used for both physical and mental health concerns in individuals. 

Physically, benzodiazepines are used to treat individuals with muscle spasms and seizures. The medication is a sedative and can reduce or eliminate twitches and spasms in muscles as well as stop seizures. Benzos can also be prescribed for insomnia as they cause sedation. However, due to the risk of dependence, other drugs are more commonly prescribed.

Individuals who use benzos for mental health reasons are prescribed medication to help treat anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorders and panic disorders. As a sedative, benzodiazepines help individuals to maintain lower levels of anxiety and stress in relation to anxiety-filled situations.

Are Benzodiazepines Addictive?

Benzodiazepines can be addictive if they are misused or used for extended periods of time. Individuals who are prescribed benzos will have follow-ups with their provider to ensure that the medication is being used correctly and safely. 

However, for individuals who are illegally misusing benzos, the risk of dependence and addiction is much higher. Individuals who misuse benzodiazepines do so by using the incorrect amount, taking it other than prescribed, and using it to get high. 

When an individual takes the incorrect amount for their body size or too much too frequently, their body can become dependent on the drug more quickly. This is similar to the process of binge drinking alcohol. The body takes in too much of the drug and becomes accustomed to the large doses so that when the individual takes less or a tolerance is developed, too much is consumed, and an individual can overdose.

Another way that an individual can misuse benzos is by changing how they enter the body. The majority of benzodiazepines are found in pill form, or possibly syrup for individuals with seizures. According to the DEA, abuse is most common among teens and young adults who crush the pills and snort the drug to get high and individuals who use heroin and cocaine as a way to enhance the euphoric effects of the drug.

Lastly, using the drug to get high and not for medical purposes is one of the quickest ways for an individual to develop an addiction to the drug. The effects of the drug cause the body to assume this state is natural and crave the feeling. This develops a dependence on the drug and can lead to addiction.

How Long Does Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Last?

Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome can be brutal. It can cause insomnia and nightmares, irritability, anxiety and panic attacks, tremors, migraines, weight loss, and difficulty focusing or thinking clearly.

While this typically lasts for about two weeks, that is for an individual who is on a regulated prescription dosage. The withdrawal syndrome can be worse for individuals who misuse and are using at a significantly higher dosage. 

Lastly, while those initial symptoms usually end around the two-week mark, individuals who use benzos for anxiety disorders may see a full return to previous symptoms that include anxiety and panic attacks until another treatment is instituted.

Benzo Addiction Treatment Programs Near Me

If you are worried that you or your loved one are misusing benzodiazepines, it is essential that you get help for this addiction. Benzodiazepine withdrawal often warrants medical detox because of the increase in panic and the possibility of perceptual changes that could harm the individual detoxing from the drug. 

Evolve Indy’s treatment program is perfect for individuals struggling with benzodiazepine misuse or abuse. Our innovative programming, supportive structure, and trusted recovery community are designed with our clients’ best interests in mind.
Contact us today to see how we can help you on the path to recovery.

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