Benzodiazepine withdrawal and detox
You may have heard the term “the mind is like a sponge”, but did you know it’s the same with our bodies? When you engage in long-term benzo use, it can be like sucking up all those harmful chemicals. Benzodiazepine detox is the act of wringing out that sponge and letting all those toxins wash away.
At Banbury Lodge, our benzo detox programmes provide personalised care, expert guidance and a supportive environment to help ensure a safe and successful outcome. Join us as we guide you through the benzodiazepine detox process and help you reclaim control of your life, one step at a time.
What is benzodiazepine detox?
Benzodiazepine detox is a type of prescription drug detox, intended to remove benzodiazepines from your system and break your physical aspect of benzodiazepine addiction. This process is the first step in the journey towards recovery for those struggling with an addiction to benzodiazepines
While it may be tempting to try to detox from benzodiazepines on your own, it’s important to understand that this can be dangerous and even life-threatening. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can cause severe withdrawal symptoms and attempting to detox without medical supervision can put your health at risk.
The benefits of benzo detox at Banbury Lodge
At Banbury Lodge, our detox treatment programmes are designed to provide a safe and supportive environment for those seeking treatment. Our approach to benzo detox involves a step-by-step process, with close monitoring from our team of medical professionals to ensure that you are able to safely and successfully break the physical dependence on benzodiazepines.
Benefits of our professional benzo detox include:
- The opportunity to break your physical dependence on the drug and begin further recovery steps with a clean system.
- A safe and supportive environment where you can receive medical attention and specialised benzo withdrawal treatment if needed.
- 24/7 medical support and supervision for any potential complications during the benzo withdrawal process.
- The chance to get to know other people in recovery so you can become part of our community and give and receive advice and support.
What forms of benzo detox are offered at Banbury Lodge?
Banbury Lodge provides benzodiazepine detox for a number of prescription benzos including:
Diazepam (Valium) Detox
Diazepam is a commonly prescribed benzodiazepine with long-acting effects. The detox process for diazepam typically involves a slow and gradual reduction in dose under close supervision from medical professionals to ensure a safe and successful withdrawal.
Chlordiazepoxide (or as it is also known, Librium) is a long-acting benzodiazepine used for its calming and sedative properties. Detox also involves a gradual decrease in dose over time to prevent the most severe benzo withdrawal symptoms.
Lorazepam (Ativan) Detox
Lorazepam is a popular benzodiazepine due to its fast-acting properties. Detox often involves a more rapid reduction in dose, typically over the course of a few days, with medical professionals providing close supervision and support.
Alprazolam (Xanax) Det0x
Alprazolam is a widely prescribed short-acting benzodiazepine. The detox process for alprazolam also involves a rapid reduction in dose, which is safest under medical supervision.
How benzodiazepines affect the brain and body
Benzodiazepines work by increasing the levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate anxiety and promote relaxation. When benzodiazepines bind to GABA receptors, they enhance the effects of GABA, leading to a reduction in anxiety and an increase in relaxation. Over time, regular use of benzodiazepines can lead to physical dependence as the brain becomes accustomed to the increased levels of GABA. When you then stop taking benzodiazepines, your brain is no longer receiving the extra GABA and so withdrawal symptoms may occur as a result.
Common benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms
Benzo withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person depending on your health and the extent and duration of your benzo use but some common symptoms include:
- Panic attacks
- Muscle pain
Benzodiazepine withdrawal timeline
- Days one to three: A day or so after your last dose, benzo withdrawal symptoms may start to occur and you may experience increased anxiety, insomnia and restlessness.
- Days four to seven: At this point, benzo withdrawal symptoms may become more severe, with the addition of tremors, sweating and muscle pain. Nausea and vomiting may also occur.
- Day seven to fourteen: Withdrawal symptoms will likely peak during this time and can become even more severe without professional medical support, including seizures, hallucinations and delirium.
- Two to three weeks: Benzo withdrawal symptoms should start to subside at this point but you may still experience some residual effects such as insomnia, anxiety and irritability.
- Week three and beyond: Most of the withdrawal symptoms should have subsided by now but you may still experience some residual effects, especially if you were taking benzodiazepines for an extended period.
It’s important to note that, in some cases, withdrawal symptoms can last for several months, so you should seek help from a professional detox centre like Banbury Lodge for the best possible outcome.
What is benzodiazepine rebound anxiety?
Benzodiazepine rebound anxiety is a phenomenon where benzo withdrawal can actually cause an increase in anxiety levels compared to pre-detox levels. This is due to the brain’s adjustment to functioning without the drug and can occur even after a gradual reduction in dose.
Rebound anxiety can be a temporary phenomenon that subsides with time but it can also persist and even worsen without proper treatment. In severe cases, rebound anxiety can lead to distressing panic attacks which require medical attention.
Rebound anxiety is just one of the many potential challenges associated with benzodiazepine detox and it highlights the importance of seeking professional help to ensure a successful and lasting recovery.
Top tips for benzodiazepine detox
Benzo detox can be a daunting process but if you are well-prepared and determined to make positive changes in your life, it can be the most important decision you ever make. Here are our top three tips for making the most of benzo detox:
1. Be prepared for benzo withdrawal symptoms …
Unfortunately, withdrawal symptoms are a common part of the benzodiazepine detox process but if you undergo detox under medical supervision, you will be safe and comfortable. However, being mentally and physically prepared to experience some level of benzo withdrawal can help to make the detox process less overwhelming.
2. Engage in healthy habits…
Engaging in healthy habits such as exercise, eating a nutritious diet, and getting enough sleep can help to support the body during the benzo detox process and can also help to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
3. Seek support…
The benzo detox process can be emotionally and mentally challenging and it’s important to seek support from loved ones and other members of your support network. This can help you to feel less isolated and can provide a source of encouragement and motivation during difficult moments.
What comes after benzo detox?
Benzodiazepine detox is just the first step in the journey towards recovery. After detox, it’s important to take the next steps in the form of benzodiazepine rehab and aftercare to help address the underlying issues that may have led to dependency and to prevent relapse after you leave your detox clinic. At Banbury Lodge, we offer comprehensive treatment programmes incorporating benzo detox, rehab and aftercare to deal with every aspect of your condition, help you to achieve to help long-term recovery and regain control of your life.
Helping a loved one who is going through benzo detox
Watching a friend or family member go through benzo detox can be a scary thing so here are some tips for how you can help your loved one on this crucial step of their recovery journey:
Be there for them at all times
Show your support for your loved one and let them know that you are there for them. Listen to their concerns and offer comfort and patience while encouraging them to seek professional help.
Educate yourself on the benzo detox process
Learning as much as possible about what your loved one is going through can help you better understand their situation and how you can help.
Avoid enabling your loved one
Don’t enable your loved one’s condition by giving them money, bailing them out or covering up for their benzo-fuelled behaviour. Instead, encourage them to take responsibility for their actions and to seek help.
Offer practical support
This can include helping with household chores or transportation and making their home benzo-free to ease the burden on your loved one during the detox process and beyond.
Take care of yourself
Caring for a loved one going through benzodiazepine detox can be emotionally and mentally draining. It’s important to take care of your own physical and mental health and to seek support if needed so that you have the strength and energy required to be their rock.
How to get started with benzo detox
If you or a loved one is struggling with a dependence on benzos, our team of experienced medical professionals and support staff is here to provide the care and support you need to begin the journey towards recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our benzo detox programmes and how they can help.