Benzodiazepine Detox in Orlando

Blister pack of benzodiazepines.

While detoxification can be challenging and uncomfortable, it is a necessary step in a person’s recovery from harmful drugs, including prescription benzodiazepines. Detoxification involves the body’s removal of unwanted, harmful chemicals and is often a precursor to an in-depth rehabilitation program. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be uncomfortable and take weeks to complete, although the severity of most withdrawal symptoms can be reduced in a medical setting.

One fear that most people have when considering treatment is experiencing withdrawal. However, the process can be made more comfortable, and safer, when under the supervision of medical experts, such as those at the Orlando Recovery Center.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms

The withdrawal symptoms that come from benzodiazepine addiction can be extremely uncomfortable, even life-threatening if the person using the substance attempts the “cold turkey” approach, meaning an abrupt stop of all dosage of the drug.

The longer a drug was used and the larger the dosage, the more likely that withdrawal symptoms will be more severe. Some of the physical symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal include:

  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Other symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal include:

  • Irritability
  • Panic attacks
  • Feelings of depression
  • Mood swings

Due to their calming effects, benzodiazepines are mainly prescribed for treating anxiety and insomnia. Many people who stop using these medications experience increased anxiety or agitation since the body has become accustomed to the drug’s presence and relies on it to manage anxiousness.

Benzodiazepine Detox in Orlando

Detox is a priority when treating for a benzodiazepine addiction. During this phase of treatment, the substances are evicted from the body. Physical withdrawal symptoms usually decrease two weeks after detox begins. However, the end of physical withdrawal could take longer depending on the severity of the addiction and the dosage the person had been taking before entering detox.

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It is possible for some people to only experience minor effects of withdrawal during and after detox. However, attempting detox at home is extremely risky, in part because withdrawal-managing medications are not readily available to alleviate discomfort. If someone relapses during detox, they might return to the previous dosage before attempting to stop use of the drug, and the body might not be able to handle the high volume of the substance. This can lead to serious injury or an overdose. Therefore, choosing to undergo detox at a medical facility, where doctors and nurses can provide 24-hour supervision, is a much safer option.

Benzodiazepine Detox Timeline

Just as each person’s physical characteristics are unique, so too will their body’s response be to withdrawal and detox. However, certain symptoms are common and likely to be experienced along a general timeline.

The first signs of withdrawal usually start within 6 to 8 hours after the last use for shorter-acting benzos like Midazolam, whose effects occur quicker than other benzos. Withdrawal symptoms begin approximately 24 to 48 hours after the last use for longer-acting benzos, such as Diazepam.

The general timeline for Benzodiazepines withdrawal is:

  • Days 1–3: Mild symptoms begin. This often includes increasing anxiety, especially if the drug was used to treat anxiety
  • Days 2–4: Anxiety and insomnia are common, and physical symptoms begin.
  • Day 5–14: Symptoms worsen before peaking during the second week. Nausea and pain may lessen while emotional symptoms continue. Anxiety may become more powerful than it was prior to taking the medication.

Seizures, hallucinations and suicidal ideation may While physical symptoms of withdrawal usually subside within two weeks, psychological ones can continue well beyond detox and even after a rehabilitation program ends. Addiction not only involves a physical, chemical connection between the body and drug but also a psychological one, where the person links pleasant, anxious-free feelings to use of the drug. This dependence can be treated during counseling sessions and other treatment approaches.

Suggested detox from benzodiazepines often consists of “tapering down”, which is the reduction of a drug’s dosage to relieve the patient of severe withdrawal symptoms. While this process can take longer than the cold turkey approach, slowly reducing the dosage can prevent dangerous symptoms, including seizures.

If you are or someone you know is currently using benzodiazepines and is in the Orlando, Florida, area, consider beginning treatment at the Orlando Recovery Center. To learn more about wide-ranging treatment for benzodiazepine addiction, call one of the intake specialists who can answer any questions you might have about the detox and withdrawal process.

Medical Disclaimer: Orlando Recovery Center aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.