Benzodiazepine Maintenance and Treatment Options

Benzodiazepine are highly habit-forming prescription medications, utilized for numerous treatments of conditions relating to stress. Examples include anxiety issues, sleep problems such as insomnia, disorders that cause seizures (like epilepsy) and alcohol withdrawal (which can in turn lead to anxiety and seizures).

Often referred to as “benzos”, benzodiazepine based drugs tend to lead to dependence, and eventually addiction. This is particularly true if they are used and abused for extended periods of time.

While this withdrawal may appear to be daunting, there are many different ways to make benzodiazepine withdrawal more tolerable. The most effective way to guarantee comfort through the course of detox is to take part in a medically-procedural withdrawal at a licensed facility such as Detox of South Florida.

Benzodiazepine medications are habit-forming, and can cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when users suddenly stop using and abusing the drug. Specifically, they affect the gamma aminobutyric acid, or GABA, receptors.

These receptors are not meant to react to artificial GABA stimulants such as benzos, which means that your mind may “believe” that it needs to create its own natural gamma aminobutyric acid. However, when you stop taking benzos, your body is suddenly with this essential acid. Therefore, you crave benzos. This is how you build a physical and psychological dependence to benzodiazepines.

There are several different formulations of benzodiazepines, and consequently, a variety of brand names of this drug. Since benzodiazepines affect body and mind equally, the drugs’ withdrawal symptoms do as well.

Some people may have suicidal thoughts. If you experience thoughts of suicide or self-harm, seek help immediately. Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms extend past the mind and impact the body. Here are some common physical symptoms associated with benzo withdrawal:

  • Sleep difficulties
  • Restlessness
  • Impaired vision
  • Sensitivity to sound or light
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Difficulty with speech
  • Diarrhea
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Hair loss
  • Tremors
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Full body aches
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Intense abdominal pains
  • High blood pressure
  • Intestinal and digestive problems
  • Numbness or tingling in extremities
  • Heart palpitations
  • Tremors
  • Muscle pain
  • Vertigo or other balance problems

Like other drugs of abuse, benzos go by nicknames when sold on the black market. If someone you love mentions any street names for benzos and says that they are weaning off of that substance, this is a sign they may be undergoing benzo detox. Some of the drugs’ most popular street names include the following: Barbs, Downers, Georgia home boy, GHB, Grievous bodily injury, Liquid X, Nerve pills, Phennies, R2, Reds, Roofies or Rophies, Tranks, and Yellows.

Though it’s rare to die during benzodiazepine withdrawal, people have died while detoxing from benzos along with alcohol or opioids. Alcohol withdrawal particularly is closely tied to benzo withdrawal, because up to 40 percent of alcohol addicts also misuse benzos. In these multiple drug abuse cases, symptoms may include the following medical problems. Though these aren’t necessarily fatal withdrawal symptoms, they indicate that a serious degree of withdrawal that could result in death.

  • Delirium Tremens: Delirium Tremens is a medical emergency that occurs suddenly and involves full body tremors and a delirious state of mind. The condition is due to drastic changes within the nervous system when a individual’s detox includes alcohol withdrawal. It may also happen during benzo withdrawal. The condition may begin within 24 hours of chemical detox but can take up to a week to happen.
  • Grand Mal Seizures: Severe types of seizures may occur in 5% of individuals who experience alcohol detox with no professional medical aid. If a man or woman is detoxing from benzos too, the possibility of complications is much greater. Just about all alcohol withdrawal-related seizures occur less than two days following the individual’s final drink.

It is ideal to perform a benzodiazepine detox under medical supervision, where dependence professionals have established security protocols. The staff and doctors at Detox of South Florida is highly experienced, and always implements best practices among our protocols. As a licensed detox and treatment center, we are also dedicated to following all legal procedures to ensure our patients are comfortable and cared for.

Doctors may use specific drugs to help manage drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms during a medical detox. Although there are no specific medications designed especially for treating benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms, there are numerous drugs that help relieve the distress and/or pain of some indicators and help in recovery.

Dr. Vikram Tarugu MD

Dr. Vikram Tarugu, is a best-in-class, board certified gastroenterologist in South Florida. Specializing in the diagnosis and treatments of gastrointestinal tract conditions. Dr. Tarugu is currently in private practice and has privileges at Raulerson hospital. He is also the CEO of Detox of South Florida. He is routinely rated as one of the best GI doctors and liver doctors in Florida. Patients through out the US have sought his expertise and seek his help when a second opinion is needed with difficult and chronic Gastro intestinal and liver diseases.

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