The Dangers of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal and How to Get Help With Detox
The benzodiazepine family of drugs, also commonly known as benzos, have been in circulation for decades and includes the popular prescription drugs Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium. Although there are many legitimate uses for benzodiazepines, when used improperly this drug family can produce seriously harmful medical side effects and even death.
Anyone who has been taking benzodiazepines in any form and has concerns about withdrawal symptoms from stopping the medication should consider some important facts before moving forward. There are serious risks involved with benzodiazepine withdrawal that can be permanent and even life threatening if not adequately addressed.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Process
Whether a person has been taking benzodiazepines strictly according to a prescription under medical advice or abusing the drug recreationally, the withdrawal effects will be very similar. Likewise, the amount of time the compound has been in the system does not make much difference to the severity of the side effects of withdrawal. The benzodiazepine family is unique in that the withdrawal process is largely based on the individual attempting to wean themselves off the drug.
Physical Side Effects of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal
The most commonly cited side effects of benzodiazepine withdrawal include nervous system conditions marked by irritability, nervousness, paranoia, sleep disorders, panic attacks, muscle tremors, and seizures. Psychosis during withdrawal can be deadly as it can lead to severe and violent hallucinations, increased thoughts of suicide and increased chance of suicide attempts or other reckless behaviors.
Perhaps the most dangerous part of benzodiazepine withdrawal is that the negative side effects can last for an extended period of time, even into several years. Muscle twitches, loss of muscle control or other bodily functions can also be permanent. Insomnia and related sleep disorders can plague former users for years after their last use. Cognitive side effects including problems with comprehension, confusion, and memory retention are common during the benzodiazepine withdrawal process. Although men are typically at a higher risk because the rate of substance abuse problems with benzodiazepines is more common among men, the same side effects are prevalent in female users as in the male population.
Safe Detox From Benzodiazepines
Since there are so many dangerous and potentially deadly side effects associated with the withdrawal process, it is imperative that benzodiazepine users seek professional advice before beginning the detoxification process. Under no circumstances should a user attempt to withdrawal from benzodiazepines on their own.
The number of potential dangers are simply too high to risk a do it yourself style detox, especially without the support of medical professionals or even loved ones. Because the risks associated with sudden or even gradual withdrawal are so high, it is vital to find a reputable and safe treatment plan for an effective detox from benzodiazepines. The risk of harmful and medically irreparable side effects drops dramatically when a proper detoxification process is professionally monitored. The oversight available in a medical facility could literally be the difference between life and death.
The Benzodiazepine Detox Process
Due to the dramatic nature of benzodiazepine detox and the severity of possible side effects, clients can choose the best option for detoxification after discussing all possible treatment plans with a qualified professional. Essentially, there are two basic strategies for the detoxification process. Treatment methods will either be conducted in an inpatient facility or as part of an outpatient treatment program.
Choosing an inpatient medical detox facility over an outpatient treatment center is the way to go. To have the supervision of a trained medical team will help to prevent and treat any side effects that may arise during the detox period.This choice allows the client to experience a safer and potentially more comfortable environment during their withdrawal from benzodiazepines.
Outpatient treatment centers can also be utilized for the detoxification process from benzodiazepines. In cases where an inpatient facility is not economically or physically feasible, outpatient centers have been designed to offer support in the detox and recovery processes. Even though an individual is not able to physically reside in a treatment center, there are still effective treatment options available. If you chose the outpatient route you still want to make sure it is under the supervision of a medical professional who understands the risks associated with detoxing off of benzodiazepines.
Both inpatient and outpatient facilities have much to offer in the way of healing and recovery. Clients are able to address the mental and emotional consequences of detoxification and the stigma of substance abuse challenges. They will learn how to discuss their thoughts and feelings about their dependency on benzodiazepines as well as other life events and future goals. In addition, they will develop tools such as effective coping skills and learn enhanced communication styles that will enable them to improve their general behavioral patterns.
How to Find Help with Detoxification
Dealing with a substance abuse and addiction challenges is an exhausting process for many people. Searching for viable treatment options may seem overwhelming and even frustrating at times. Online research and advice from loved ones or medical professionals are good starting points for finding help with the benzodiazepine detoxification process.
Once a decision has been made regarding the type of ideal recovery facility for your particular situation, another decision remains. Which substance abuse treatment facility will be the best host for your specific needs? There are multiple options for both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, and they are not a one-size-fits-all approach.
There are a few ways to help you and your loved ones make an informed decision. For example, you could take a tour of prospective treatment centers, meet with staff members, and request recommendations from friends, insurance carriers, and medical providers. When you do visit or call a particular treatment facility, be sure to have a list of questions or concerns ready for discussion. This will ensure that you do not forget any important points and allows you to compare different treatment programs.
If you or a loved one has been experiencing benzodiazepine withdrawal or want to begin a detoxification program, call St. John’s Recovery Place today. Our experienced and compassionate admissions staff are available to answer your questions and help you get started on your way to recovery.