Benzo Addiction: What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms?

October 28, 2021

Benzo addiction is rapidly growing in the United States and throughout the world, so it’s essential to know the withdrawal symptoms. 

Benzo, or the medical term for the drug benzodiazepine, is a class of psychoactive drug that is a depressant—a drug used to treat anxiety, restlessness, and seizures. These drugs are Schedule IV controlled substances per the Drug Enforcement Administration that should only be consumed by the person prescribed. Even though they are controlled prescription drugs, they can be addictive to those who use them and are far too often sold on the streets, causing a recent spike in benzo addiction. 

One of the most common things that keep people addicted to any drug is the discomfort of withdrawal. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at addiction, and the withdrawal symptoms for someone addicted to benzodiazepine drugs, and how long these symptoms might last. 

Benzo Addiction: Who Is Addicted?

The most common benzo drugs you’ll find are diazepam (brand name: Valium) and alprazolam (brand name: Xanax), clonazepam (brand name: Klonopin), and lorazepam (brand name: Ativan), all of which are prescribed for anxiety, muscles spasms, insomnia, or seizures. The two drugs can be addictive, which is why it’s essential only to take these medications as prescribed.

Benzo medications are not prescribed to be taken every day or for long periods of time. Many doctors will prescribe the drug for only a limited amount of time. Some of these drugs, like alprazolam, should only be taken when needed, like when someone feels anxious or has an anxiety attack. Otherwise, benzos are not a daily anti-anxiety medication. 

If you seek treatment for anxiety, insomnia, or seizures, and have a history of drug abuse, speak to your doctor about other options outside of the benzodiazepine class or another holistic method. 

So, you may ask, “what are the signs the someone is experiencing benzo addiction?” Here are some of the most common signs to look out for: 

  • Drowsiness
  • Every day, long-term use 
  • Blurred vision
  • Weakness 
  • Sudden mood changes 
  • Mixing benzodiazepine drugs with other substances, like alcohol 
  • Going to multiple doctors and pharmacies for numerous prescriptions 
  • Inability to stop taking the medication by themselves
  • Severe withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not in your system

If you notice you or a loved one is experiencing the above problems and are using benzos, it’s essential to seek help before the abuse progresses.

Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms 

If someone has developed a dependence on any form of benzodiazepine, VeryWell Mind reports that they’ll likely feel the following symptoms when the drug has worn off: 

  • Increased anxiety 
  • Panic attacks 
  • Heart Palpitations 
  • Cravings 
  • Hand tremors 
  • Headache 
  • Tension 
  • Inability to sleep 
  • Lack of concentration
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Aches and pains 
  • Hypersensitivity to stimuli (light and touch) 
  • Abnormal bodily sensations (itching, goosebumps, skin-crawling, etc.) 

The following symptoms are for extremely severe cases: 

  • Hallucinations 
  • Seizures 
  • Suicidal ideation 
  • Psychotic episodes 
  • Visual disturbances 

The above symptoms can start as soon as six to twelve hours after your last dose and typically peak at two weeks for severe cases. For less severe cases, the symptoms may only last for a few days. There’s no exact timeline as everyone reacts to withdrawal differently. Their dosage amount, the length of time they’ve been taking the drug, underlying mental health condition,  and if they used other substances with the benzos, could determine how long it will be until withdrawal symptoms substances.

Steps Recovery Centers for Benzo Addiction 

If you or someone you know struggles with benzo addiction, consider Steps Recovery Center for addiction recovery treatment and support. We are experts in helping people overcome addiction, and we’re always prepared to take in new patients in search of a healthier life. We have programs for many forms of substance abuse, including benzodiazepines that have been proven effective. At our recovery centers, located in St. George, Draper, and Payson, Utah, you can find relief from addiction. 

Contact us right away to schedule a free consultation at one of our locations. 

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