Detoxing from ‘Benzos’ Drugs – Harder Than You Think

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What are Benzos Drugs? Well, they are benzodiazepine drugs. You've probably heard of valium, and yes, it is a benzodiazepine drug. You've probably heard someone you know make a derogatory comment; "take some valium, why don't you?" What they mean by that is; Chill Out! That's exactly what this class of prescription benzodiazepine drugs does. It helps with insomnia, anxiety, muscle tension, nervousness, paranoia, panic attacks, seizures, and substance withdrawal symptoms. It definitely seems to work well, unfortunately, it's also highly addictive.

You can understand why this becomes so serious. If someone already has addictive attributes or an addictive personality, then they are the type of person who might most readily need a benzodiazepine drug to calm their nerves and help them cope during severe withdrawal episodes. However, if this becomes their crutch, they end up merely trading one dependency for this new one. Worse, they may end up having to contend with both, making the problem of recovery that much harder. You'd be surprised how common this scenario is (cite: 1). 

Trying to detox from benzodiazepine drugs can be difficult, trying to do it on your own without help usually results in immediate relapse or complete failure to detox in the first place. Those who recover from benzodiazepine dependency tell of the intensity and hardship during the withdrawal period which can take several days to months, or even longer. Medically trained professionals must take each case into consideration. How much is being taken, for how long and then work to slowly wean the dependent person off of the drug. The cold-turkey strategy won't work and generally causes more harm to the patient. Suicidal thoughts and severe depression are also quite common (cite: 2).

Another very serious consideration is; why was the drug originally prescribed? Was it prescribed for withdrawal symptoms of another dependency? In this case, if one stops taking the benzodiazepine then the withdrawal symptoms from the other substance will reappear (rebounding), plus the withdrawal symptoms of the benzodiazepine (cite: 3). 

Are you beginning to see why it's not wise to attempt to tackle this on your own? If any of this sounds familiar, you'll need to get busy and find a well-trusted medical professional with experience to help as soon as possible. It will only be harder the longer this goes untreated. Overdosing on benzos drugs is also common, and very serious, it can lead to death, especially when they are mixed with other substances. 

Perhaps, you've watched TV shows like ER, or Squad 51 where paramedics and emergency room professionals try to revive someone who has overdosed on valium or some similar drug. This is exactly what happens in the real world when someone overdoses on a benzodiazepine drug, often when they mix such a drug with other drugs or alcohol. It can lead to terrible outcomes (cite: 4).

At LifeSync Malibu we understand how tough it is to detox from one or more substance dependencies. We know how one thing leads to another. No single case is exactly the same, which is why special consideration and a customized detox program must be individualized to ensure success. This isn't something you can do alone. You'll need help, and a team of people who understand what you are going through - that it is real, and it won't be easy, and that it will probably be the hardest thing you ever do in your life. 

You need someone on your side, a team that 'gets it' and understands you and your situation, a group that cares and won't judge you. We are that team. We are here when you are ready. Why not give us a call, come tour the facility, let's talk. Let's lift this load off your shoulders so you can have your life back.

1.) " Benzodiazepine Dependence," Owen, R.T. & Tyrer, P. Drugs (1983) 25: 385. https://doi.org/10.2165/00003495-198325040-00003

2.) "Risk of suicide attempts after benzodiazepine and/or antidepressant," by C. Ineke Neutal, Ph.D. and Scott B. Patten, M.D., Published in Annals of Epidemiology: Volume 7, Issue 8, November 1997, Pages 568-574.

3.) "Acute Opioid Withdrawal: Identification and Treatment Strategies," by Leesa M. Prunty, PharmD, BCPS, and Jeremy J. Prunty, PharmD, BCPS. Published in US Pharmacist, Nov. 17, 2016.

4.) YouTube Video - Benzos Overdose Concerns. Jan. 30, 2019.