Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that include Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, and Ativan. Also known as Benzos, they are typically prescribed medications to treat generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and similar central nervous system disorders.

However, many people who are prescribed these medications can quickly become addicted. Other people might choose to misuse benzos without a prescription from a doctor due to their relaxing effects. Addiction to benzos is serious and always involves withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit using these drugs.

Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms

Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe withdrawal symptoms and can include the following:

  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle weakness and tremors
  • Severe headaches
  • Paranoia or confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Excessive sweating, fever, and chills
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Flashbacks

While each person’s withdrawal process is unique to them, early withdrawal symptoms might start with anxiety, headaches, and nausea. More intense withdrawal symptoms tend to develop as the days progress and can include vomiting, seizures, hallucinations, and flashbacks.

Physical symptoms tend to last for approximately one week. Psychological and emotional symptoms (such as irritability and anxiety) can last for several weeks. As mentioned, each person’s withdrawal process is different, depending on their current health, dosage amount, frequency of use, and type of benzos taken, but the general benzo withdrawal process is typically the below.

Benzo Withdrawal Phases

People abuse benzos for a variety of reasons, some of which are unintentional. Because benzos can be prescribed by a doctor, some people don’t realize that it can still be extremely addictive. They might take more of the drug than is prescribed for increased effects, which is considered a form of benzo misuse. This can result in dependency.

Other people might take a form of benzo recreationally, for example, to help someone sleep. But over time, this can also cause a dependency on the drug. Before long, it might be difficult to sleep without taking a pill.

The withdrawal process from benzodiazepines includes early withdrawal and acute withdrawal. A small percentage of people will also experience protracted withdrawal.

Early Withdrawal

The first phase of benzo withdrawal is known as an early withdrawal. Symptoms begin anywhere from a few hours to a few days from when the drugs were last used. In this period of time, symptoms are typically mild with headaches, anxiety, and nausea.

Acute Withdrawal Phase

After the early withdrawal phase, the acute withdrawal phase begins. This typically occurs within a few days from when the drugs were last used and includes the more severe symptoms such as vomiting, muscle weakness, confusion, hallucinations, seizures, and others.

The severity of the acute withdrawal symptoms will vary based on which drugs were used. For example, shorter acting benzos such as Xanax tend to produce symptoms the first day after discontinuing the use of the drug. However other benzos such as Valium might take several days for the acute withdrawal phase to begin.

Protracted Withdrawal

The protracted withdrawal phase doesn’t affect everyone, but it can affect up to 10 percent of individuals. It includes symptoms of anxiety, arm and leg tingling, and difficulty sleeping that can last for months or years.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Timeline

Most people will experience withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepines within the first 24 hours of not taking the drugs. Within the first 72 hours, many people will begin to experience more severe symptoms of withdrawal. Physical symptoms typically last approximately one week but will vary from person to person.

Treatment for Benzodiazepine Addiction

The first line of treatment for overcoming a benzodiazepine addiction is medically supervised benzo detox. At Gloria Rehab, we offer medical detox to help clients safely withdraw from the drugs. Additionally, our inpatient treatment program helps you achieve long-lasting sobriety.

With our benzodiazepine recovery programs, each client receives:

  • Medical monitoring during the detox process
  • Medication-assisted treatment when needed to help reduce the detox withdrawal symptoms
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Dual-diagnosis treatment to address and treat any co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and others
  • Nutritional meals
  • Support groups to enhance recovery

Our team of medical professionals is here to provide expert support to each and every one of our clients who are struggling with benzodiazepine addiction.

With our benzodiazepine recovery programs, each client receives:

Get Help For Substance Abuse

Our team at Gloria Rehab is here to help you get your life back from benzodiazepine addiction and substance abuse. Our detox and inpatient rehab program offers effective evidence-based therapies for patients with a unique and individualized approach to care.

Contact us today to begin your treatment process.