The use of benzodiazepines has increased as more people contend with anxiety, stress, and sleeplessness. Also known as benzos, these medications help people calm their frazzled minds so they can get through the day without panic attacks and settle down to fall asleep at night. While benzos make it possible for people struggling with severe conditions to function, these drugs come with a risk for addiction.
Benzo abuse is also an issue, especially for those using them recreationally. In many cases, benzo withdrawal symptoms are a common sign of dependence. If you experience these symptoms or notice them in someone you care about, get help from the benzo detox program at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston. Call us at 866.516.8356 to learn how we can help you get through benzo withdrawal symptoms in comfort.
Common Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms
Benzodiazepines, also called benzos, are depressant drugs that calm the central nervous system. They are typically prescribed to treat nervous conditions like anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Benzos can also help with insomnia and seizures. Additionally, many people use benzos recreationally to achieve relaxation and euphoria. Some of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines are Ativan, Valium, Klonopin, and Xanax.
You can become dependent on benzos whether you use them as directed by your doctor or for recreational purposes. If you have developed a dependence on benzodiazepines, you will experience withdrawal symptoms if you cut down your dose or discontinue using them. Some common benzo withdrawal symptoms include:
- Anxiety or depression
- Panic attacks
- Muscle aches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bodily sensations like goosebumps or the feeling of something crawling on your skin
- Grand mal seizures
Many doctors prescribe benzodiazepines to manage mental health conditions like anxiety and panic attacks. In such cases, you might confuse these benzo withdrawal symptoms with the need for a higher dose of the drug. Many people mistakenly think that their dose of benzodiazepines is not working when they are actually experiencing withdrawal from benzo abuse.
How Long Does Benzo Withdrawal Last?
The length and severity of benzo withdrawal will vary depending on several factors, including:
- How long you have used benzos
- The dose of benzos you use
- The types of benzos you use
- Whether you are using other substances in conjunction with benzos
With shorter-acting benzos, like Xanax and Halcion, withdrawal symptoms may begin within eight to 12 hours after your last dose. Symptoms tend to last four to five days, although some people experience symptoms on and off for the next several weeks.
With longer-acting benzos, like Valium and Klonopin, withdrawal symptoms may not start until a day or two after your last dose. Symptoms tend to last 10 to 14 days, although they can last longer if your addiction is severe.
What Are the Signs of Benzo Abuse?
You may notice some of the above benzo withdrawal symptoms in yourself or someone else. However, you may be unsure if it is actually withdrawal or the result of mental health conditions or stress. To help clear up any confusion, look out for the following signs that you or a loved one may be engaging in benzo abuse:
- Doctor shopping — If you make appointments with multiple doctors to get more than one prescription for benzodiazepines, you are putting yourself at risk of overdose.
- Tolerance — Needing higher doses of benzos to feel the same level of relaxation is a sign that you have developed a tolerance and are likely dependent on the drug.
- Recreational use — Using benzos with or without a prescription solely for euphoria rather than to manage a medical or mental health condition can set you up for addiction.
If you can relate to the above signs of benzo abuse, you may benefit from the help of a benzo detox program. These programs can help you manage the discomfort of benzo withdrawal symptoms and work through the underlying causes of benzo abuse.
End Benzo Abuse at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston
If benzo abuse has become a way of life, reach out to Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston to learn a better way of living. We can help you kick your benzo addiction and develop coping skills to manage stress and mental health conditions more healthily. Call us today at 866.516.8356 to learn more about our benzo detox program.