Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are commonly prescribed medications for various anxiety-related issues. However, long-term use of these medications can lead to dependence and addiction. Knowing what to expect when undergoing benzo withdrawal treatment is essential.
This blog post will review some common symptoms of benzo withdrawal and what treatments are available to help manage them. We’ll also discuss strategies for preparing for and navigating through benzo withdrawal treatment.
Common Withdrawal Symptoms
When it comes to benzo withdrawal, everyone will experience it differently. Some may experience mild symptoms, while others experience more severe withdrawal symptoms.
Generally, the length and intensity of leave will depend on how long and how much of the medication has been taken. The symptoms may include:
- Muscle cramps
- Panic attacks
- Cravings for the drug, and more.
In extreme cases, seizures may occur during withdrawal treatment. Speak with your doctor about potential risks you may face while undergoing benzo withdrawal treatment.
Timeline of Withdrawal
The timeline of withdrawal depends mainly on individual factors. For example, those who have taken larger doses of benzos or used them for an extended period will typically experience longer and more intense withdrawal. On the other hand, those who have only used benzos intermittently or at lower doses may find their withdrawal process to be shorter.
On average, most people will experience their peak symptom severity within 1-4 days after their last dose. After this point, symptom intensity should slowly decrease.
Treatments for Withdrawal
In many cases, total recovery from benzo withdrawal may take up to 6 months.
Treating benzo withdrawal typically involves managing each symptom as it appears and gradually tapering off the medication. Depending on individual needs, a doctor may suggest:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Relaxation techniques
- Healthy dieting
- Nutritional supplements as adjunctive therapies during this time
When withdrawing from benzos, you must manage cravings to reduce the risk of relapse. Cravings can be intense and can be hard to ignore. Here are some strategies for controlling cravings:
Distract yourself: Whenever you have a craving, try to focus on something else, such as taking a walk, exercising, or engaging in a creative activity.
Avoid triggers: Recognize what triggers your cravings and do your best to avoid these situations. This may include avoiding certain people or places where you used to take drugs or alcohol.
Talk to someone – Talking about your cravings with a trusted friend or family member can help you gain perspective and understand why you have them. It also provides a sense of support and understanding during this difficult time.
Seek professional help: If your cravings become too challenging to manage independently, consider seeking professional help from an addiction specialist or therapist. This may include medications that can help reduce cravings or cognitive behavioral therapy that can help you learn better ways of dealing with them.
The withdrawal process from benzodiazepines can be complex and challenging, but it’s important to remember that there is hope for recovery. With the proper professional support, guidance, and treatment plan, those going through benzo withdrawal can successfully make it to the other side.
Just take it all one step at a time and stay focused on long-term sobriety and health.