Nearly 5 million people 12 and older misused prescription benzodiazepines in 2020. The reason for such widespread use among young people has to do with the ease with which they can get benzos. However, what makes this widespread use so alarming is how easily one can get addicted to benzos. And benzo use can be extremely difficult to stop, due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Just how long do benzo withdrawal symptoms last? Depending upon the user’s metabolism and the length of use, symptoms can begin as soon as 24 hours after the last dose and continue for years.
What are Benzos?
Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants. The drugs designed and prescribed to address individual symptoms can mean relief for different factors. For example, Ativan could treat either anxiety or seizures. Unfortunately, benzos are now some of the most widely abused drugs in the U.S.
How the body metabolizes benzos makes their effectiveness different for everyone. How long do benzos withdrawal symptoms last? It is difficult to pinpoint a direct timeline for withdrawal from benzos, seeing as each case is different. The following is a list of commong benzodiazepines and the symptoms they relieve:
- Xanax, Librium, Ativan, and Valium – Anxiety
- Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin – Seizures
- Valium, Ativan, and Versed – Anesthesia
- Restoril, Halcion, and Dalmane – Insomnia
- Valium, Librium, Ativan, and Serax – Alcohol withdrawal
- Valium – Muscle spasms
What are the Symptoms of Benzo Withdrawal?
Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can be severe and difficult to treat without medical supervision. Initial withdrawal symptoms are less intense, with interruptions in sleep and a vague sense of anxiety. As withdrawal symptoms continue and escalate over the next few weeks, the addict will grow uncomfortable, and medical management may alleviate the severity.
How long do these symptoms last? The timeline for withdrawal most generally remains individual and unknown. Withdrawal symptoms may become significantly severe, and hospitalization is required. Grand mal seizures can lead to coma and even death.
Physical withdrawal symptoms from benzos may include the following:
- Nausea, vomiting, dry heaves, and diarrhea
- Panic attacks, anxiety, and feelings of agitation
- Tremors and sweating
- Headaches and heart palpitations
- Muscle pains, tension, and twitching
- Tingling in arms and legs
- Seizures, blurred vision, and psychosis
- Hallucinations and short-term memory impairment
- Difficulty focusing, thinking, and mood swings
- Drug cravings
- Weight loss due to no appetite
- Suicidal thoughts
How Long do Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms Last?
How long benzo withdrawal symptoms last can vary. Withdrawal symptoms generally begin within 24 hours of the previous dosage, and there is no way to predict when they will end. Factors determining the duration of withdrawal symptoms depend upon the length of addiction and the strength of the benzo used. Still, an average timeline for withdrawal symptoms is between a few days to several months. Prolonged withdrawal symptoms last years for roughly 10% of benzo addicts.
Initial withdrawal from benzos begins when the brain starts to process without the drugs, making the addict anxious. As the body continues to function without the drug’s presence, how long benzo withdrawal symptoms last depends upon the individual’s metabolism.
The initial symptoms suppressed by benzo prescriptions will return. Acute withdrawal is the most extended time frame for symptoms to occur. Acute withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
Is Benzo Withdrawal Dangerous?
The dangers of benzo withdrawal lie within the individuals’ metabolism and how long an addict used the drug. For this reason, a tapering process is commonly relied upon while using a medical detox to ease withdrawal symptoms. How long do benzo withdrawal symptoms last? This unknown factor is also an impending danger for the addict experiencing severe symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms may appear to be under control and then suddenly without warning. Those withdrawing from benzos can suddenly experience bouts of uncharacteristic and unpredictable behaviors as the brain reacts to the reduction of the drug. How long benzo withdrawal symptoms last is still uncertain, as well as the introduction of new symptoms at any given time.
How to Detox Safely From Benzos
Safe detox from benzodiazepines can be successful with medical supervision by experienced treatment professionals and physicians. Physicians rely on medications such as antidepressants and anticonvulsants to treat the intense symptoms of withdrawal. Medical professionals can administer them both orally and intravenously. How long do benzo withdrawal symptoms last? The timeline for withdrawal symptoms to cease is individual.
Therapy, in addition to the detox treatment plan, aids in preventing relapse. Psychological and emotional concerns directly link to the withdrawal process. The individual, group, and holistic therapies come together to create a solid treatment plan. Unfortunately, treatment professionals can not predict how long benzo withdrawal symptoms last during and after detox.
Wondering How Long Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms Last in California?
If you are in California wondering how long benzo withdrawal symptoms last, contact us at Launch Centers in Los Angeles. This step in finding treatment for addiction to benzodiazepines can be difficult. We have professional staff trained in detox from benzos and the successful treatment options available. Our phone number for direct contact is throughout our site, and there are many opportunities to reach out via email. Contact us today.