Makana Path Blog

December 24, 2019

Is Benzo Withdrawal Dangerous?

is benzo withdrawal dangerous

is benzo withdrawal dangerous

Withdrawal is how your body experiences quitting a substance. Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on which substance a person has been taking. In some cases, withdrawal can be dangerous if it’s not supervised by professionals. It’s a common question heard by addiction treatment professionals – “Is benzo withdrawal dangerous?”

The short answer is yes, but it’s important to understand that this simple question requires a little context to properly answer. There are many factors at play when determining how serious withdrawal might be. When you enter detox, a professional will review your medical history and ask you other questions about your previous drug use.

For some people, benzodiazepine withdrawal will be worse than it is for others. Each case must be met with specific considerations in mind.

So, Is Benzo Withdrawal Dangerous or Not?

Benzo withdrawal can be very dangerous under certain circumstances, which we’ll review in a moment. First, let’s establish what we mean by the term “benzo.”

Benzo is short for benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that suppress the central nervous system. Doctors prescribe benzodiazepines mostly to treat anxiety and insomnia. Examples of benzodiazepines include…

  • Alprazolam (Xanax),
  • Lorazepam (Ativan),
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin),
  • Diazepam (Valium), and
  • Temazepam (Restoril).

Doctors order approximately 90 million benzodiazepine prescriptions every year in the U.S. They are commonly used and misused, which means there are many people who have become physically dependent on these drugs.

What Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Looks Like

Benzodiazepine withdrawal can include several symptoms, including…

  • Insomnia,
  • Irritability,
  • Sweating,
  • Anxiety and panic attacks,
  • Muscular pain
  • Tremors,
  • Nausea, and
  • Headaches.

In the first one to four days after quitting benzos, a person often experiences an increase in anxiety. Soon after a person stops taking benzodiazepines, withdrawal begins. It can last anywhere from 10 to 14 days, which is much longer than withdrawal from most other substances.

Factors That Determine the Severity of Benzo Withdrawal

Benzo withdrawal varies depending on several factors. The length of use and the amount being taken will affect the dangers of withdrawal. If a person has also been taken other substances, this will also affect how serious their symptoms might be. When helping someone with detoxification, addiction professionals will also consider the existing health of a client.

Individuals with similar physical makeups and similar use history can experience benzo withdrawal very differently. In other words, how serious withdrawal will be varies greatly from one person to another. Addiction treatment professionals monitor the health of the person in withdrawal to manage these symptoms and make the process as comfortable as possible.

Is Benzo Withdrawal Dangerous? Work with a Professional to Manage Your Symptoms

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to benzodiazepines, then you should know that working with a professional can make quitting this drug much easier on you. Yes, benzodiazepine withdrawal can potentially be dangerous and very uncomfortable. However, a professional who is familiar with detoxification and withdrawal can help you every step of the way.

The Detoxification Program at Makana Path

We know that each person’s experience will be different. We provide a clinical and medical evaluation, 24/7 care and individualized detox treatment planning. In detoxification, our clients meet daily with a member of our medical team to discuss any issues they’re experiencing. Our goal is to help clients deal with any psychological or physical challenges they might face.

Contact the Addiction Treatment Professionals at Makana Path to Learn More

At Makana Path, we help people find the path that works for them. For those with an addiction to benzodiazepines, the detox and withdrawal process is critical to get right. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, contact Makana Path to speak to our team.