How to Ease Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms
Did you know that around 30.6 million adults have reported benzodiazepine, or “benzos,” with 5.3 million of them misusing the drug?1 Additionally, between 15–44% of benzo users experience benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms and signs of benzo addiction, even after using for as little as three to six weeks.2 If you’re struggling with benzo detox withdrawal symptoms, you may be wondering how to ease them.
Overcoming benzo use and withdrawal can be an intimidating and demanding experience due to the physically and mentally taxing symptoms that come along with it. Fortunately, there are a variety of methods that you can use to help reduce the symptoms and make them more manageable. By familiarizing yourself with benzo withdrawal, you can be better equipped to anticipate its effects and find ways to cope with them.
Understanding Benzo Withdrawal
More commonly known as “benzos,” Benzodiazepines are a type of drug used to help people who are suffering from anxiety disorders and insomnia.3 These medications can act as sedatives, inducing a state of calmness and rest. They work by suppressing your nervous system, slowing brain activity, and reducing your anxiety.
However, when you take them for an extensive amount of time, your body can become dependent on them. As a result, severe withdrawal symptoms like nutritional and vitamin deficiencies may occur. Furthermore, long-term stimulant use can result in increased anxiety and insomnia.
Benzo withdrawal usually begins within a few days of stopping or cutting back your dose, but it can vary for each individual. Withdrawal symptoms and severity of symptoms can also vary depending on the type of benzo you’ve been taking, the dosage, and how long you have been taking it. When deciding how to deal with benzo withdrawal, it’s critical to understand what works and what doesn’t.
Common Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms
The abrupt discontinuation of benzo medication can result in a variety of withdrawal symptoms, ranging from mild to intense. The duration of these withdrawal symptoms may last a few days, or even extend to months and years. Symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to months or even years. Some of the most common benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms include:4
- Anxiety – During benzo withdrawal, many individuals report heightened levels of fear and worry.
- Panic Attacks – Benzo withdrawal can trigger panic attacks, characterized by intense fear and physical symptoms such as rapid breathing and increased heart rate.
- Insomnia – Many people find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep when coming off benzos.
- Agitation – People may experience agitation, restlessness, and irritability during benzo withdrawal.
- Cognitive Issues – Memory problems, confusion, difficulty concentrating, and other cognitive issues can occur during benzo withdrawal.
- Physical Symptoms – Benzo withdrawal can cause various physical symptoms, including muscle aches, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and excessive sweating.
- Emotional Lability – Fluctuating emotions are common in benzo withdrawal. People can suddenly experience changes in mood from one moment to the next.
Coping with Benzo Withdrawal
Experiencing benzo withdrawal can be incredibly uncomfortable and cause a wide range of symptoms, making it difficult to stay on track with your benzo addiction treatment plan. The good news is that a number of approaches help make the process more manageable.
Tapering Off Medication
Tapering off your benzo medication is one way to reduce symptoms and manage withdrawal. This involves gradually reducing the amount of medication you take over time, allowing the body to adjust to the lower dosage without experiencing sudden shock from suddenly stopping. For more severe cases, individuals may undergo a detoxification process. This should be done under the supervision of a professional at a benzo detox center.
Along with tapering off your medication, partaking in alternative therapies such as yoga, meditation, and acupuncture can be beneficial during withdrawal. These activities can help you relax and reduce stress and act as a distraction from withdrawal symptoms.
Seeking professional help can make a big difference when it comes to coping with benzo detox. A therapist or addiction recovery specialist can provide support and guidance during this difficult time, helping you stay on track with your recovery.
No matter what helps with benzo withdrawal, it’s important to remember that this process will take time. Withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person, so understanding what benzo withdrawal feels like for you is key to finding what works best.
Seeking Professional Help
Withdrawal symptoms during addiction recovery can be very difficult to manage on your own and can potentially lead to serious physical and mental health complications if left untreated.
It is important to talk to your doctor about what benzo withdrawal feels like so that they can understand the full scope of your symptoms. In some cases, medications and alternative therapies may not be the right addiction treatment options. However, a more holistic approach may be a better fitting choice to help you manage benzo withdrawal.
Discover a Holistic Approach to Managing Benzo Withdrawal
At Elevate, we offer holistic rehab for total mind, body, and spiritual healing. Not only do we aim to address addiction and withdrawal symptoms, but we also motivate each one of our patients to take charge of their overall physical and mental health to achieve the best results through substance abuse treatment tailored to their individual needs.With the right combination of treatments and support, it is possible to overcome benzo withdrawal. Contact us today to learn more about our California detox centers.
- National Library of Medicine. Benzodiazepine Use and Misuse Among Adults in the United States. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6358464/
- PubMed. Benzodiazepine dependence and its treatment with low dose flumazenil. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23126253/
- Caron Treatment Centers. What Are Benzos? https://www.caron.org/addiction-101/drug-use/what-are-benzos?gclid=Cj0KCQjwuLShBhC_ARIsAFod4fLPm1Fxsko-QoiBaoWtJzlz_dv_3AGpesZvfJGzY5zY722JnyTuLhQaApgaEALw_wcB
- Medical News Today. Benzo Withdrawal: Timeline and Symptoms.https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/benzo-withdrawal
This page does not provide medical advice
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