Benzodiazepines are a type of psychoactive medication most commonly prescribed to treat moderate or severe anxiety disorders (though they do have other medically acknowledged uses, including the treatment of sleep disorders, seizure disorders, and the more severe symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal). Some brand-name benzodiazepines include Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin.
How Difficult is Benzo Withdrawal By Yourself?
Benzodiazepines are highly addictive, and it is possible to develop a dependence even when taking them exactly as prescribed. The signs and symptoms that are indicative of a benzodiazepine abuse disorder include:
- An inability to cut back or quit despite the intention to do so
- Feeling anxious when benzodiazepines are not available, or feeling unable to function properly without using benzodiazepines
- Spending a great deal of time obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of benzodiazepines
- Developing a physical tolerance, meaning a higher dose is required for the desired effects to be produced
- Experiencing symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal when use is suddenly stopped – withdrawal symptoms might include sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression, body tremors, and seizures)
People who have been abusing benzodiazepines for any length of time might believe that they can either quit cold turkey or detox on their own in an at-home setting. However, the symptoms associated with benzodiazepine detox can be life-threatening when they are not closely overseen by a team of licensed medical professionals in a designated facility. At Allure Detox, we are equipped to treat all symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal as soon as they develop.
Reasons Not to Detox From Benzodiazepines Alone
There are many reasons why you should avoid detoxing off benzodiazepines – or benzos, as they are often called – on your own. As previously mentioned, symptoms associated with benzodiazepine detox can be life-threatening when left untreated. These symptoms include (but are not limited to):
- Insomnia and other sleep-related issues
- Extreme anxiety and panic attacks
- Depression and suicidal ideation
- Decreased appetite and temporary weight loss
- Physical symptoms like nausea and vomiting, body tremors, low-grade fever, headaches, profuse sweating, and blurred vision
- Grand mal seizures
The severity of benzo withdrawal symptoms depends on several factors, including:
- The severity of the benzodiazepine abuse disorder
- Whether or not the benzodiazepine was being abused without a prescription
- The length of time the prescription was being abused
- The presence of any underlying mental health conditions
- The presence of any underlying chronic physical health issues
- Whether or not any other drugs were being abused simultaneously
Medical Detox for Benzo Addiction is Recommended
The most obvious reason not to detox from benzos on your own is that you run the risk of experiencing serious health-related complications that can be life-threatening. The complications can be physical or psychological – all symptoms can be serious when left untreated. If you or someone you love has been abusing benzodiazepines for any length of time, you must seek help from a professional medically monitored detox as soon as possible.
Medical Benzo Detox Program at Allure Detox
At Allure Detox, we treat all symptoms related to benzodiazepine withdrawal, ranging from the mildest to the most severe. We utilize a variety of proven detox methods – when it comes to benzodiazepine withdrawal, we typically combine tapering, medication-assisted treatment, and intensive psychotherapy. During tapering the patient is slowly weaned off of his or her benzodiazepine of choice under the careful care of a medical professional. The dose is slowly decreased until there is no more medication present in the system.
As far as medication-assisted treatment, we often utilize antipsychotic medications to alleviate the more severe psychological symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal. Depending on the needs of each patient we might prescribe antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication. We offer individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy as part of our comprehensive treatment program. To learn more, call us today about our medical benzo detox program and we will explain more why you should not detox from benzos on your own.