Benzodiazepine Withdrawal and Detox

Common symptoms of benzo withdrawal include anxiety, sweating, nausea and insomnia. A medically-supervised detox can ensure a safe recovery.

Start the road to recovery

(877) 746-0480

Call Now

Treatment Center Locator

The Camp Recovery Center

Scotts Valley, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-282-5771

Ambrosia Treatment Center – Northeast

Philadelphia, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-970-0918

Oceanside Malibu

Malibu, CA

Full Spectrum of Care

866-275-3956

The Refuge, A Healing Place

Ocklawaha, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-990-1029

The Poseidon Method

Mykonos, Greece

Full Spectrum of Care

202-370-7462

Clear Life Recovery

Costa Mesa, CA

Full Spectrum of Care

888-638-7182

Asana Recovery

Costa Mesa, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-899-6056

Greenleaf Behavioral Health Hospital

Valdosta, GA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-692-1694

Ambrosia Treatment Center – Westcoast

Beverly Hills, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-970-0918

MeadowWood Behavioral Health

New Castle, DE

Multiple Levels of Care

855-609-4051

New England Recovery & Wellness

Concord, NH

Multiple Levels of Care

844-408-1433

Recovery Unplugged Lake Worth Detox, Rehab, and Treatment Center

Lake Worth, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

888-283-0199

Ambrosia Treatment Center

West Palm Beach, FL

Inpatient

866-970-0918

Cornerstone Healing Center

Scottsdale, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care

844-931-1105

Cove Forge Behavioral Health Center

Williamsburg, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-225-6578

Starlite Recovery Center

Center Point, TX

Multiple Levels of Care

855-349-1116

Wilmington Treatment Center

Wilmington, NC

Multiple Levels of Care

877-257-1203

Blue Ridge Mountain Recovery Center

Ball Ground, GA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-498-9407

The Recovery Team

Lake Park, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

844-999-2545

Wellness Counseling & Residential Detox

Stuart, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-937-0191

Cascade Behavioral Health Hospital

Tukwila, WA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-419-6205

The Haven Detox

West Palm Beach, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-409-5866

Enlightened Solutions

Egg Harbor City, NJ

Multiple Levels of Care

855-408-7163

Colorado Medicated Assisted Recovery

Thornton, CO

Intensive Outpatient

877-757-0618

White Deer Run

Allenwood, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-638-3697

Rebound Behavioral Health Hospital

Lancaster, SC

Multiple Levels of Care

855-336-7623

Life Center of Galax

Galax, VA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-428-7940

Carus Recovery

Van Nuys, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

888-616-9024

Steps Recovery Center

Irvine, UT

Full Spectrum of Care

877-696-0054

Pinnacle Peak Recovery

Scottsdale, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care

844-225-8937

Recovery Unplugged – Austin Detox

Austin, TX

Detox

855-958-1650

Moonlight Mountain Recovery

Pocatello, ID

Multiple Levels of Care

866-831-4706

Huntington Creek Recovery Center

Shickshinny, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-892-1288

Denver Recovery Center

Denver, CO

Multiple Levels of Care

855-729-4891

Recovery First Treatment Center – Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

888-603-7860

Pocono Mountain Recovery Center

Henryville, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-589-1547

Options Behavioral Health Hospital

Indianapolis, IN

Multiple Levels of Care

844-530-2836

Bowling Green Brandywine

Kennett Square, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-797-7507

Recovery Unplugged Austin Treatment Center

Austin, TX

Full Spectrum of Care

844-291-5968

Silver Lining Recovery

Huntington Beach, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-940-0031

Sunflower Wellness Retreat

Osawatomie, KS

Multiple Levels of Care

888-411-9183

Recovery Unplugged Fort Lauderdale

Fourt Lauderdale, FL

Full Spectrum of Care

855-900-6613

Sierra Tucson

Tucson, AZ

Full Spectrum of Care

855-889-6553

Amethyst Recovery

Port St. Lucie, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

888-965-6726

Beachside Rehab

Fort Pierce, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

888-452-3049

Northbound Treatment Services

Irvine, CA

Full Spectrum of Care

877-918-9085

Southeast Addiction Center

Atlanta, GA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-614-6174

Harbor Oaks Hospital

New Balitmore, MI

Inpatient

866-468-6148

Treasure Valley Recovery

Nampa, ID

Multiple Levels of Care

855-248-2193

North Tampa Behavioral Health

Tampa, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

844-870-8069

America’s Rehab Campuses

Tucson, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care

877-484-7367

SOBA New Jersey

New Brunswick, NJ

Multiple Levels of Care

888-341-1174

The Harrison House of Northern Virginia

Annandale, VA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-734-4364

Newport Institute – Southern California

Santa Ana, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-604-7184

United Recovery Project

Hollywood, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

877-586-7043

Sober Life San Diego

San Diego, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-667-8629

Riverwalk Ranch

Mansfield, TX

Multiple Levels of Care

866-634-7479

Dana Point Rehab Campus

Dana Point, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-944-2609

Northeast Addiction Treatment Center

Quincy, MA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-831-4406

JourneyPure – Tennessee

Knoxville, TN

Multiple Levels of Care

(844) 899-9541

JourneyPure – Florida

Melbourne, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

(844) 899-9541

Bradford Recovery Center

Millerton, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-769-9928

Azure Acres Recovery

Sebastopol, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-872-7360

Delta Med Center

Memphis, TN

Outpatient

877-235-0382

Pacific Grove Hospital

Riverside, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-801-1534

Recovery Unplugged Nashville

Nashville, TN

Full Spectrum of Care

877-463-0080

Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center for Women

Lemont, IL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-200-8406

Bluff Plantation

Augusta, GA

Inpatient

855-331-2490

Newport Institute – Northern California

Sunol, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-604-7184

Recovery Unplugged Austin Rehab Center

Austin, TX

Multiple Levels of Care

844-817-9493

Recovery First Treatment Center – Hollywood

Hollywood, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

888-603-7860

Mount Regis Center

Salem, VA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-539-2026

1st Step Behavioral Health

Pompano Beach, FL

Full Spectrum of Care

844-334-8400

Indiana Center for Recovery

Bloomington, IN

Full Spectrum of Care

866-657-4490

Northlake Behavioral Health System

Baton Rouge, LA

Full Spectrum of Care

1-866-647-1447

Duffy’s Napa Valley Rehab

Calistoga, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-766-4576

What Is Benzodiazepine Withdrawal?

Woman with migraineUsers often develop a tolerance to benzodiazepines, or benzos, after taking high doses for a long period of time. As tolerance gets stronger, the user needs higher doses of benzos to feel their effects. When someone stops taking the drug, withdrawal symptoms emerge. Withdrawal symptoms affect people who were prescribed benzodiazepines as much as those who were abusing them without a prescription.

Many doctors are hesitant to prescribe benzodiazepines for long-term use because of their addictive nature and intense withdrawal symptoms. Find a treatment center that provides detox for benzos today.

Symptoms of Withdrawal

The withdrawal symptoms of benzodiazepines are physically and emotionally painful, and can even be life-threatening if the user stops “cold turkey.” Those with a history of taking higher doses or taking the substance for a prolonged time have the worst withdrawal symptoms. Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms are highly variable and often come and go. They may vary in severity and frequency throughout all phases of the withdrawal process.

The most common benzo withdrawal symptoms, often called “rebound” symptoms, usually manifest within one to four days of discontinuing use, depending on the benzo used, the amount of use, and the frequency of use. These symptoms typically last up to ten days and include

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Increased tension
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive sweating
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headache
  • Muscular stiffness or discomfort
  • Mild to moderate changes in perception
  • Cravings
  • Hand tremors

Less common and more severe symptoms can occur as well, especially in cases of severe addiction. These include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis or psychotic reactions
  • Increased risk of suicidal ideation

Rebound Anxiety and Insomnia

Benzodiazepines are mainly prescribed to treat mental health conditions including generalized anxiety disorder and insomnia. Many people who stop taking these medications experience increased anxiety or restlessness. This is called the rebound effect.

Rebound effects from benzo withdrawal, such as anxiety or insomnia, typically last 2 to 3 days.

The difference between rebound effects and withdrawal is that rebound effects are the return of previous symptoms that were in existence before benzodiazepine use began, while withdrawal symptoms are caused by the body struggling to adapt to the end of benzodiazepine use.

Duration of Withdrawal

Benzodiazepines’ half-lives (time spent in the body after consumption) vary by brand. Withdrawal symptoms from shorter-acting benzos begin sooner than those from longer-acting ones because it takes a shorter amount of time for the drug to leave the user’s system.

The first signs of withdrawal usually start within 6 to 8 hours for shorter-acting benzos and 24 to 48 hours for longer-acting benzos.

Short-acting benzos are notable because of the intense and serious withdrawal symptoms people experience when they quit taking them. Long-acting benzos cause less intense withdrawal symptoms, and it takes longer for symptoms to start.

Shorter-acting Benzos Longer-acting Benzos
Xanax Valium
Dormonct Klonopin
Halcion Librium

Taking benzos more frequently, in higher doses, in more potent forms and/or for a prolonged time all increase the duration of withdrawal. In cases of mild addictions, it may take as little as seven days to overcome withdrawal symptoms. Other cases can take up to three months as the user is slowly weaned off the drug to prevent life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

Ready to get help?

Don’t waste another second. Enter your number to receive a call
from a compassionate treatment expert.

Make a Call (855) 826-4464

- OR -

Request a Call
(877) 746-0480

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Timeline

The withdrawal timeline for benzos is different for every user. The following table is just a guideline, as most people have to taper down their benzo use over several weeks.

First 6-8 hrs. The first signs of withdrawal, typically anxiety and insomnia, may emerge within several hours after stopping use. This depends on how long it takes for the substance to leave the system. Withdrawal symptoms usually appear in 6-8 hours for those taking short-acting benzos.
Days 1-4 Rebound anxiety and insomnia peak after a couple of days. During this time, intense discomfort from insomnia and increased anxiety are common. Other symptoms that peak during this time are increased heart and breathing rate, sweating, and nausea. People who used longer-acting benzodiazepines start feeling the first signs of withdrawal during this time.
Days 10-14 The symptoms of withdrawal typically continue for at least 10-14 days before fading away completely. The withdrawal symptoms tied to longer-acting benzos begin to peak during this time, eventually fading within 3-4 weeks from the quit date.
Days 15+ People who are heavily dependent on benzodiazepines may experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms, also known as PAWS. These are random periods of sharp withdrawal symptoms months after quitting. Tapering down benzo use with the help of a doctor can prevent PAWS.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS)

Post-acute withdrawal symptoms often continue to occur for six months or longer after ceasing benzodiazepine use. Symptoms of PAWS include:

  • Persistent anxiety
  • Chronic insomnia
  • Difficulty performing complex tasks
  • Poor concentration
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Depression

Benzo Detox

The first step in treating a benzodiazepine addiction is removing the drug from the addict’s system. This process is known as detox and can cause dangerous side effects if not done properly. Quitting cold turkey can even be lethal in some circumstances. A supervising physician must be present to monitor for potentially fatal symptoms, including seizures and suicidal behavior.

A grand mal seizure may occur in perhaps as many as 20-30 percent of individuals undergoing untreated withdrawal from these substances.

- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Ed.

A medically supervised detox helps people stay safe and healthy while they get clean. Medical detox also reduces the discomfort of withdrawal, which in turn reduces the chances of relapsing into addiction. Detox can last several months depending on the drug taken and the duration of use.

Tapering Down Benzodiazepine Use

Medical detoxification from benzodiazepines often involves tapering down from the drug. Tapering down can mean reducing the dose or prescribing a less potent benzo. The strategy used is determined by the severity of addiction and the type of drug that was abused.

Benzos used for detox may include diazepam (Valium) or clonazepam (Klonopin). These drugs are used for tapering down because they are long-acting and less potent than other benzos. These drugs keep withdrawal symptoms at bay while the user reduces their dose.

Benzo Detox Medications

Although most people gradually reduce their dose until it’s safe to stop taking the drug altogether, there are also medications that can help relieve withdrawal symptoms during the detox period. Some of these include:

  • Buspirone

    People with generalized anxiety disorder who have a history of substance abuse are often prescribed buspirone. This drug doesn’t cause physical dependence and can relieve the emotional effects of withdrawal.

    The only downside is that buspirone takes 2-3 weeks before it begins to take effect. Patients in detox may begin taking buspirone as they taper down their benzo doses.

  • Flumazenil

    This drug is primarily used to treat benzodiazepine overdoses, but has shown some success in reducing withdrawal symptoms of long-acting benzos. Flumazenil is able to block the effects of benzos and relieve withdrawal symptoms because it attaches to the same pleasure centers in the brain as benzodiazepines.

    It may also be used for rapid detox as the drug forces benzodiazepines out of the body. This drug should be used with caution as rapid detox can make withdrawal worse.

Scroll to Find Your Insurance

Treatment for Benzo Addiction

Detox on its own is rarely enough to build long-lasting sobriety. Many people choose an inpatient rehab that offers benzo detox, as inpatient rehab provides a distraction- and temptation-free environment in which to recover. People with mild benzo addictions may choose an outpatient detox instead of an inpatient rehab center. Outpatient care allows people to get treatment without upsetting their daily schedule.

Counseling and support groups are also important parts of recovery. Many former benzo addicts continue therapy and attend meetings long after rehab to prevent a relapse. If you’re someone that’s ready to overcome benzodiazepine addiction, get in touch with a dedicated treatment provider to learn about your rehabilitation options today.

 

Treatment professionals are waiting for your call

(855) 826-4464

Take control of your life

Our treatment providers offer 24/7 assistance.

  • Access to top treatment centers
  • Caring, supportive guidance
  • Financial assistance options

Call now:

(855) 826-4464

OR

Have us call you:

(877) 746-0480

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by one of our treatment partners below.

All calls are private and confidential. Find out more about Addiction Center.

A treatment facility paid to have their center promoted here. Learn more about how to be featured in a paid listing.