Benzo is a shortened name for benzodiazepines (tranquilizers). Brand names you may recognize include Librium, Valium, and Xanax. These drugs are prescribed to individuals experiencing anxiety, insomnia, and panic attacks. Like many other prescription drugs, the user can build a tolerance that requires using a larger dose in order to achieve the same effects. If the individual stops taking the pills, benzo addiction withdrawal symptoms kick in.
Benzo Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms
Benzo addiction withdrawal symptoms start when an abuser stops taking the drug. Withdrawal symptoms can also occur in individuals who are not addicted to the drug, but have consistently taken the drug for several weeks. Those who have taken large amounts will have severe benzo addiction withdrawal symptoms. Detox from benzos is not something anyone should undertake on their own. Without proper medical supervision during detox, some withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening. In the proper treatment setting, the addicted person will be weaned gradually off the drug in order to reduce the risk of the most serious withdrawal effects occurring. Some of the common benzo addiction withdrawal symptoms include:
- Insomnia and restlessness
- Frightening and disturbing dreams
- Anxiety and panic attacks due to “fragile mood” (hypersensitivity to stimulating events)
- Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
- Tremors (can lead to seizures)
- Decreased appetite
- Lack of feeling – feeling detached
- Tinnitus (ringing in ear)
- Psychosis, delusions, and hallucinations (similar to the tremens experienced in alcohol withdrawal and can be fatal without medical treatment.
It doesn’t matter if an individual is taking illegally obtained benzos or is taking them as prescribed by their physician, the benzo addiction withdrawal symptoms are the same.
Benzo Addiction Signs
Not everyone who takes benzos under a doctor’s care will become addicted. Some persons, however, develop a dependence or an addiction to the drug. This drug can cause significant personality changes that interfere with everyday living at home and on the job. Benzo addiction signs include the following:
- Taking more than the prescribed amount
- Taking the drug for problems it is not prescribed for
- Excessive anxiety at the thought of stopping the drug
- Drastic changes in lifestyle
- Ignoring work and home responsibilities
- Skipping family or social gatherings
- Memory impairment
- Inability to concentrate
If you or someone you love shows signs of benzo addiction, it’s critical to get them help as quickly as possible. White Sands Treatment Centers offer specialized treatment for benzo addiction and will provide your loved one with the care they need through detox and rehab.
Benzo Addiction Treatment
The process of benzo addiction treatment begins with supervised detox due to the risk of dangerous side effects including seizures and suicidal behavior. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Ed. “A grand mal seizure may occur in as many as 20-30 percent of individuals undergoing untreated withdrawal…” In many situations benzo detox can include tapering down (reducing the dose) to lessen the effects of the more severe withdrawal symptoms. An inpatient detox facility is best for an individual who has been dependent or addicted to benzos for a long time because it offers a temptation-free environment. In other situations, where a milder addiction exists, outpatient detox may be indicated to allow some individuals to continue working and taking care of their families.
Each benzo addiction treatment case is considered on its own specifics and, when indicated, medication may be prescribed to help relieve withdrawal symptoms. Possible medications include Busipirone and Flumazenil. It’s important to follow detox and rehab with ongoing counseling and group therapy to prevent relapse.
Contact White Sands Treatment Centers for information on benzos addiction. One phone call can have you or a loved on on the path to recovery and a healthier life.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.