The process of withdrawal is a daunting obstacle for those seeking recovery, as well as a major health risk. In the case of benzodiazepines (or benzos), withdrawal can have effects ranging from uncomfortable to seriously harmful. The intended effect of benzos is to manage anxiety and neurological disorders. They can be an effective treatment, but they can also easily be abused. An estimated 50 million Americans have used benzos, prescribed or not, to treat their anxiety, many of whom unknowingly opened the door to a much more devastating problem.
Benzo withdrawal symptoms can make quitting seem impossible, but there is hope for every individual. Treating the snowball effect of benzo abuse is possible with help from California Centers for Recovery. Our benzo detox center in the South Bay Area creates the ideal detox program for you to slowly, surely reduce and ultimately overcome your benzo dependency. Contact us today at 877.328.5682, or visit us online to get started.
Identifying Protracted and Acute Withdrawal
Withdrawal is neither one event nor does it remain static. Instead, benzo withdrawal symptoms change over two distinct periods. The first, called acute withdrawal, is a period lasting from one to five weeks. Most of the symptoms of acute withdrawal are inversions of the intended effects of the drug. For example, acute withdrawal from sedative drugs results in heightened anxiety, while quitting pain relievers results in even more severe pain.
This is the case, too, for benzos. Instead of lowering anxiety responses, spending just 24 hours away from benzos can result in higher anxiety levels than their pre-medicated state. Prolonged benzo use leaves the brain unprepared for situations that may not otherwise cause anxiety. This usually culminates in what feels like a need to re-up on benzos because anxiety seems to be back in full swing. Symptoms of acute withdrawal include:
- Shortness of breath
Protracted withdrawal, on the other hand, will often occur after several weeks to a month has passed and with a different array of symptoms. These are much more disjointed by comparison but are still highly discomforting and can lead to relapse. Typical protracted benzo withdrawal symptoms include:
- Impaired judgment
- Substance cravings
The Mental and Physical Dangers of Benzo Abuse
Benzodiazepines aren’t intended for long-term usage. Extended benzo use puts anxiety patients at risk of developing an addiction faster than most anti-psychoactive drugs. Both acute and protracted withdrawal are potential drivers of addiction. Those who form an addiction to benzodiazepines are more likely to have their prescription severed by their pharmacist and may turn to purchasing more potent illegal substitutes.
In addition to the chemical effects of taking excessive benzos, a psychological element is also at play. Anxiety is strenuous and refuses to let up at times. Introducing a small, accessible drug in appealing colors can create a dysfunctional relationship between the individual and their anxiety. Rather than managing it in a meaningful way, ingesting benzos serves as quick, immediate relief. This behavior makes the anxiety itself significantly harder to handle, and these drugs become a crutch.
Find Relief from Benzo Withdrawal at California Centers for Recovery
Benzo withdrawal is one of the hardest challenges in the path to recovery. Both the chemical and psychological factors involved can put immense strain on those making an effort to better themselves. Taking on withdrawal without outside help is risky and often results in relapse.
To safely navigate recovery, there’s help available for those in the South Bay Area. California Centers for Recovery is here to provide a personalized treatment plan that mediates the body’s needs, as well as those of the mind. Don’t battle benzo withdrawal symptoms alone. Contact California Centers for Recovery at 877.328.5682 today to find out how we curate treatment plans around each of our patient’s needs.