Yes, people have died as a result of withdrawal complications from extended use of benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are a class of sedative drugs normally prescribed for the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks and a host of mental health conditions. Benzodiazepines, also referred to as benzos are very lethal when combined with alcohol or opioids.
Statistics released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), indicated that between 1999 and 2017, overdose deaths involving benzodiazepines increased from 1,135 to 11,537. According to the same source, the number of deaths in the United States as a result of combining benzodiazepines with other synthetic narcotics has been on the rise since 2014.
Commonly abused benzos include Xanax (Alprazolam), Valium (Diazepam), Klonopin (Clonazepam), and Ativan (Lorazepam). The number of adults prescribed benzodiazepines continue to increase despite its potency for misuse and addiction. Between 1996 and 2013, the number of benzodiazepine prescriptions filled by adults in the United States rose from 8.1 million to 13.5 million, a 67% increase over previous years. As a result, emergency room visits are common when people run out of benzos or become severely addicted, which can be fatal if left untreated.
How Benzodiazepines Work In the Body
Benzos belong to a class of drugs known as Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants. When taken into the body, benzodiazepines become active within minutes of entering the bloodstream. They slow down the brain’s activity, exhibiting a calming or sedative effect on the body of users by increasing the level of the inhibitory neurotransmitter, known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
When benzos are mixed with other narcotics such as opiates, it carries a very high risk of overdose death because both drugs act as sedatives and suppress breathing. Additionally, a combination of both medications negatively impairs cognitive functions.
Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Overdose
Benzodiazepine overdoses usually lead to fatal consequences. It is vital that you recognize the signs and symptoms of benzodiazepine overdose in your loved one in order to seek appropriate help immediately. If you notice the following signs in your loved one, it is possible that they have overdosed on benzos:
- Blurred Vision
- Uncontrolled muscles twitching
- Difficulty breathing
- Impaired mental coordination
Benzodiazepine overdose should be treated in a hospital so it’s important to contact emergency services right away. This could mean the difference between life and death for your loved one.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) describes withdrawal as a group of physical and psychological symptoms that manifest as a result of stopping the regular dosage of a particular drug. Withdrawal symptoms are far-ranging. However, in almost all cases, they tend to exaggerate the very physical manifestations they were supposed to suppress.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal can result in irrepressible and fatal seizures. You should never attempt to quit using benzodiazepine suddenly or on your own. It may take weeks or even months to taper off withdrawal symptoms safely without adversely affecting your life.
The following are symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal:
- Panic attack
- Profuse sweating
- Increased heart rate
- Inflated blood pressure
- Heightened anxiety
Guidelines for Benzo Withdrawal Management
If you are dependent on Central Nervous System depressants such as benzodiazepines, there’s a high probability that you will experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when you come off the drug.
There are standard medical and psychological guidelines for managing patients experiencing discomforts as a result of withdrawal symptoms. This is known as Withdrawal Management (WM). At Allure Detox, we have years of experience in offering world-class benzo detox treatment that minimizes unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
Even a casual brush with benzodiazepines can lead to a chemical dependency. It’s difficult to recover from drug addiction on your own, especially without help from a detox program specializing in benzodiazepine abuse. At Allure Detox, we provide withdrawal management through medical detoxification in a systematic way. In this controlled environment, our clinical team provides the necessary support needed to cope with the discomfort that is felt in the detox process.
As with other psychotropic drugs, withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be quite dangerous if handled carelessly. Depending on the length of usage and severity of your addiction, symptoms can take dangerous dimensions within hours of taking the last dose.
Withdrawal symptoms often progress over time, leading to possible seizures, hallucinations, confusion, Delirium Tremens, increased blood pressure and heart rate. These symptoms are potentially life-threatening and there have been cases of reported deaths directly as a result of benzo withdrawal.
Generally, the most reliable way to manage benzodiazepine withdrawal is to administer the drug in gradually decreasing amounts until the effects begin to wear off. This helps in relieving unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and prevents the onset of seizures. Other medications may be administered to reverse the effects of benzo withdrawal.
Manage Your Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Safely at Allure Detox
If you or a loved one are struggling with benzodiazepine addiction and have been delaying seeking professional help, you may be putting yourself in harm’s way. Our well-structured benzodiazepine detox program will help you come through the withdrawal phase without the usual pain and discomfort. Our team of addiction experts is available to give you 24-hours supervision throughout the whole withdrawal period. In fact, medical detoxification has been recognized worldwide as one of the first steps in any addiction treatment program.
It is crucial that you take action now to set yourself free from the grip of chemical dependence. Contact us today and start your journey to a life of sobriety without any delay. Recovery is possible for you, regardless of how long you have been addicted to benzos such as Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, or Ativan. Give your life a new turn by speaking to one of our addiction detox specialists around the clock.