BENZODIAZEPINE WITHDRAWAL AND DETOX
Benzodiazepines are a group of medications that are primarily used in the medical field to help a variety of psychiatric ailments. Though benzodiazepines are regulated medications, and are legal when properly used under the supervision of a medical professional, they have highly addictive qualities. There are many ways an individual can abuse benzodiazepines, which can include: ingesting the medications differently than prescribed, taking a higher dosage than prescribed, using it when not medically needed, taking it without a prescription…etc. Due to the highly addictive qualities, even individuals who do not abuse benzodiazepines have the propensity to become addicted to them. This is one of the reasons medical professionals are hesitant to prescribe benzodiazepines for extended periods of time. For individuals who abuse benzodiazepines and are at the brink of getting sober, the first step one would need to go through is detox, so as to withdraw from the abused medications. Each person is different and will have a somewhat unique experience when it comes to his or her detox process and withdrawal symptoms.
- IMS (Incidental Medical Services)
- Full Physical Examination
- All labs including blood & urine tests
- Medical Director/Physician
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- EMT’s (Emergency Medical Technicians)
- CNA’s (Certified Nurse’s Aid)
- Detox Technicians
- Substance Use Disorder Counselors
- Healthy snack & drinks
- TVs in the bedrooms
- Healthy meals prepared by chef
- Smoking area provided outdoors
Detoxification, or detox, is one of the first stages in one’s treatment for substance abuse or addiction. It is the process of ridding one’s body of the abused substance or substances. Depending on the type of substance or substances abused, an individual may select one of several detox methods available. Some individuals will choose to go through detox at home, with or without the support of another individual. Others will be urged to undergo a medically supervised detox.
Due to the fact that benzodiazepines work by adjusting one’s brain functioning, the immediate stopping of use can result in severe withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, individuals who suffer from benzodiazepine addiction are highly recommended to go through a medically supervised detox program. In a medically supervised detox facility, an individual will have twenty-four-hour access to a medical professional. A trained professional will be present to help an individual with his or her withdrawal symptoms and oversee his or her entire detox process.
When a person has abused a substance for an extended period of time, in many cases his or her body will become dependent upon the substance to function properly. Abruptly ceasing to use the abused substance will cause withdrawal symptoms. The severity of withdrawal symptoms an individual may experience will vary and will depend on several factors. The length of time a person has abused benzodiazepines, the dosage abused, if he or she simultaneously used or abused other substances, his or her personal health history, and any possible co-morbid diseases will all effect one’s withdrawal experience. A person going through detox from benzodiazepine abuse or addiction may exhibit any of the following withdrawal symptoms:
- Panic attacks
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle weakness
An individual may experience any combination of the above withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms will typically start within six to eight hours after a person has taken his or her last shorter-acting benzodiazepine dose, and between twenty-four to forty-eight hours after a person has taken his or her last longer-acting benzodiazepine dose. The length of time an individual may experience his or her withdrawal symptoms can last as short as seven days and as long as three months, in some cases longer.
Once an individual has completed his or her detox program, attending a substance abuse or addiction treatment program is strongly recommended. A person who has abused benzodiazepines for an extended period of time has most likely adjusted his or her way of life and must learn to live without relying on benzodiazepines. A substance abuse or addiction treatment program will help a person learn the proper tools and techniques to live a sober life. Additionally, a substance abuse or addiction treatment program will enable an individual to learn coping mechanisms to deal with the initial reason or reasons behind why he or she started to abuse benzodiazepines in the first place.
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If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please seriously consider getting help as soon as possible. Addiction can be an incredibly damaging disease and the sooner help is received, the better. For further information on substance abuse or addiction, feel free to reach out to us. We are happy to answer any questions and provide any information you may be looking for regarding substance abuse and addition.