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Symptoms of Benzo Withdrawal

young man laying in bed and clutching his head experiencing the symptoms of benzo withdrawal

Benzodiazepines, also known as “benzos,” are a class of drugs typically prescribed for their sedative properties. They are commonly used to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and muscle tension. These medications act on the central nervous system by slowing down brain activity, resulting in a calming effect. The symptoms of benzo withdrawal can be varied, so it is important to recognize them and seek professional treatment if they appear.

While benzodiazepines can be beneficial when used appropriately under medical supervision, they carry a risk of dependency, especially with long-term use. This dependency arises because the brain adjusts to the presence of the drug, and over time, it requires higher doses to achieve the same effects. Long-term use can also lead to a range of adverse side effects, including cognitive impairment, physical dependence, and withdrawal symptoms upon cessation.

Insight Recovery Center in Asheville offers a benzo addiction treatment program to North Carolina residents who are struggling with a benzo addiction or benzo withdrawal symptoms. Call 828.826.1376 for more information.

The Risks of Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use and Abrupt Cessation

Professional treatment is crucial for individuals struggling with benzodiazepine dependency due to the risks associated with long-term use and abrupt cessation. Chronic use of benzodiazepines can lead to physical and psychological dependence, making it challenging for individuals to stop using them without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Moreover, abruptly stopping benzodiazepines can have severe, even life-threatening consequences, including seizures and intense withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, it is essential to seek professional help when considering discontinuing benzodiazepine use.

Recognizing Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be a challenging process, both physically and psychologically. Here are some common symptoms individuals might experience:

  • Anxiety and panic attacks – These are among the most common withdrawal symptoms, often more intense than before the individual started taking the medication.
  • Insomnia – Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep is a typical symptom during withdrawal.
  • Physical discomfort – Individuals may experience flu-like symptoms, including sweating, headache, and muscle pain.
  • Psychological symptoms – Depression, irritability, confusion, and hallucinations can occur during withdrawal.
  • Seizures – In severe cases, individuals may experience seizures, a clear sign that medical attention is urgently needed.

Discontinuing the use of benzodiazepines should be overseen by an addiction treatment specialist or medical professional; it is dangerous to stop cold turkey. Benzos are often legitimately prescribed and help countless people with a variety of conditions, but they still carry the risk of addiction and dependency. That is why it is crucial to recognize the symptoms of benzo withdrawal in yourself or a loved one.

The Benzo Withdrawal Timeline

The timeline of benzo withdrawal can vary depending on several factors, including the type of benzodiazepine used, duration of use, and dosage. Generally, individuals will experience withdrawal symptoms within one to four days after stopping or significantly reducing their benzodiazepine intake. The symptoms can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

It is essential to understand that withdrawal symptoms can appear at any point during the recovery process, even after several months of abstinence. This phenomenon is known as “protracted withdrawal” and can be challenging to manage without professional support.

Contact Insight Recovery Center Today

If you or a loved one is struggling with benzodiazepine addiction, it’s essential to seek professional help. At Insight Recovery Center in Asheville, North Carolina, we offer a partial hospitalization program (PHP) that provides 24/7 care in an intimate, home-like environment. Our team of experienced clinicians uses a range of evidence-based therapies, including acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and more, tailored to your individual needs.

Don’t face benzodiazepine addiction alone. At Insight Recovery Center, we’re ready to help you take control of your recovery journey. Contact us online or call us at 828.826.1376 to learn more about our programs and begin your path to recovery.