7 Things About Benzo Withdrawal You Might Not Know
Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs typically used to help people reduce anxiety, prevent panic disorders, relax muscles or promote sleep. But when someone becomes addicted to these drugs, the withdrawal process generally produces polar opposite effects.
What You Need to Know
Benzos are one of the most difficult drugs to withdraw from, partly because the severity and length of the withdrawal is so long and, often, unexpectedly difficult for the patient.
The good news is that there are certain things that can be done to help minimize these symptoms.
Here are 7 things you’ll need to know about benzo withdrawal:
A Long Withdrawal Process
If you’ve been on benzos for four months or less, it will obviously take less time to recover than if you’ve been using these medications for years. But for most people, withdrawal isn’t a matter of days, but months or even years. The acute phase lasts anywhere from seven to 90 days, while post-acute withdrawal syndrome can last up to two years.
The Symptoms are Painful
Some of the most common benzo withdrawal symptoms include:
- Moderate to severe depression
- Extreme anxiety
- Body tremors
- Heart palpitations
- Burning sensations going through the brain
- Muscle twitching
However, if you choose to taper off benzos over a period of months rather than weeks, these symptoms will be far less prominent.
Cold Turkey is Never Recommended
It might seem logical to immediately stop using a drug causing physical damage, but anxiety and panic in users can become excruciatingly painful when they try and stop and levels of medication in the bloodstream become too low. It’s recommended that benzo addicts seek a medical doctor with experience in benzo withdrawal.
Medications to Ease the Process
It may seem counterintuitive, but lighter forms of benzo medications such as Clonazepam can provide tiny doses that make tapering off the drug easier while avoiding potentially serious withdrawal symptoms such as seizures.
Other Medications Make Withdrawal Worse
Although some people may turn to other medications including Phenibut and Bacloften to help ease withdrawal symptoms, these substitute medications can actually exacerbate these symptoms in some cases by causing similar effects to benzos.
Avoiding Certain Foods
Several food and food items can also make withdrawal symptoms worse including alcohol, caffeine, artificial sugars, food additives, honey and monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Getting Clean is Possible
You can too: Although benzo withdrawal can be uncomfortable at best and painful at worst, millions have successfully done it and gone on to live healthy, sober lives.
Learn more about the treatment process for benzo addiction.
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