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Usually used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, and panic disorders, benzodiazepine medications can be obtained with a prescription. Common brand names of benzos include Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin, among others. Upon extended use, the brain will become tolerant of the effects of benzos and withdrawal symptoms will result upon reduction or cessation of use. The benzo withdrawal timeline depends on the type of medication used, as both long-acting and short-acting versions of the drug exist.
The benzo withdrawal timeline tends to be very difficult and can even be life-threatening in some cases. Along with alcohol, benzos represent one of the abused substances that absolutely requires professional assistance and monitoring due to the potential for life-threatening side effects.
Some examples of serious side-effects during withdrawal include seizures, hallucinations, and strong anxiety or manic episodes. The withdrawal timeline can last several days, up to several weeks.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, someone who experiences at least two of the following symptoms shortly after stopping or reducing benzo use may be going through withdrawal:
Factors that influence withdrawal symptoms and duration include the length of time the person used benzos, the average regular dose, the frequency of dosage, whether the drug was used with alcohol or another drug and the person’s mental health condition. As previously mentioned, the actual timeline of withdrawal also strongly depends on whether the person used short or long-acting benzos.
Xanax is an example of a short-acting benzo while Valium is an example of a long-acting drug.
Symptoms of benzo withdrawal can start within several hours after the last dose, or they may start a day or two after the last dose. When the benzo withdrawal timeline actually begins depends on the type of benzo. Drugs with a shorter half-life like Xanax can trigger Xanax withdrawal symptoms within about ten hours or so. Valium withdrawal symptoms can take up to two days to start.
The exact timing and symptoms of the withdrawal timeline may depend on all the previously mentioned factors, but the following timeline represents a typical rundown of what may happen in each phase.
Phase 1 will usually begin between six and eight hours after the last dose and includes an uptick in anxiety and sleep problems.
Phase 2 usually starts around a day after the last dose and then lasts around four days. This phase includes stronger anxiety and insomnia as well as a racing heart and rapid breathing. You may also feel nauseous during this phase.
Phase 3 represents the next few weeks of continued symptoms before they begin to subside.
Phase 4 can last for several weeks to months and basically represents protracted withdrawal. Doctors may prescribe additional medications to deal with symptoms during this time.
During benzo withdrawal, various medical complications may occur. The most dangerous complications include seizures, loss of body control, strong depression and suicidal thoughts and tendencies. Relapse occurs very frequently during withdrawal without professional help.
If you or a loved one exhibits signs of addiction to benzos, including benzo withdrawal symptoms, then Beaches Recovery in Jacksonville, Florida can help. Our medical detox program provides a safe environment for withdrawing from the physical effects of benzos. The medical staff is available at any time to treat and manage the most serious symptoms of benzo withdrawal.
After detox, Beaches Recovery provides further treatment, such as:
To have a safer benzo withdrawal timeline during addiction treatment and recovery, call Beaches Recovery today at 866.605.0532. We can help you stop benzo addiction from controlling your life.