If you or a loved one is addicted to benzodiazepines, the caring staff at Briarwood is here to help you reclaim your life from drug addiction with an individualized, medically-assisted detox program that is both safe and comfortable.
Benzodiazepines are some of the most commonly abused drugs in the United States because they are easy to obtain and are frequently prescribed by doctors for anxiety and insomnia. Commonly abused benzodiazepines include Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin.
Benzodiazepines are sedatives that work to calm the user by raising levels of an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, called GABA. They affect the central nervous system, reducing feelings of anxiety and relaxing the user’s muscles. Although benzodiazepines can be dangerous when misused on their own, they become even more deadly when consumed with alcohol or opioids.
Benzodiazepines are classified into three types based on how long their effects last. The three types are:
- Ultra-short acting benzodiazepines
- Short-acting benzodiazepines
- Long-acting benzodiazepines
When taken in regular doses or as prescribed, benzodiazepines are rarely dangerous. But when chronically abused or taken in high doses, they can produce many harmful side effects. These include:
- Impaired coordination
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Breathing problems
Long-term abuse of benzodiazepines has also been linked to permanent cognitive impairment.
Do I Need Benzodiazepine Detox?
The detox process is different for everyone, but you may experience very uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms during benzodiazepine detox. If you are physically addicted to benzodiazepines, a medically-assisted detox program will ensure your safety throughout the process. Contact us today to speak to an admissions coordinator about your individual needs.
Why Choose Medically Assisted Detox?
Detox for short-acting benzodiazepines like Xanax, Ativan, and Halcion can be very dangerous if attempted alone at home. Some people will experience very intense physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms which can lead to severe discomfort and self-harming actions.
A medically assisted detox program provides a safe facility, staffed with addiction detox professionals who will provide personal monitoring and care around-the-clock. Our medical team will help make the withdrawal process easier by comfortably tapering down your physical symptoms in a controlled environment. This also drastically reduces the likeliness of relapse.
In addition, our clinical staff is here to help you address your emotional responses to detox, for a well-rounded treatment that will prepare your mind, body, and spirit for ongoing addiction treatment.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms
The first physical signs of withdrawal may appear as early as the first 6-8 hours after use. If you abuse long-acting benzodiazepines like Valium or Librium, you may not begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms until the first few days of your detox. Some of the physical and psychological symptoms people commonly experience include:
- Increased heart rate
As you progress through your detox program, our medical staff will administer medications as necessary to smoothly taper down your withdrawal and make the experience a comfortable and safe one for you.
Management of Withdrawal Symptoms
Benzodiazepine detox can be very difficult and dangerous, as it can sometimes result in seizures and suicidal behaviors. The staff at Briarwood has extensive experience managing benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms and can administer medication to ease the physical symptoms of withdrawal and to ensure a safe, comfortable process. Medically assisted detox is the safest way to withdrawal from benzodiazepines.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Timeline
- 6-8 hours after the last dose: Symptoms of withdrawal may begin to appear for short-acting benzodiazepines.
- 1-4 days after the last dose: Symptoms of withdrawal may begin to appear for long-acting benzodiazepines. Insomnia and anxiety peak during this time and you may be very uncomfortable due to a lack of sleep and rest. Sweating, nausea, and increased heart rate are also common.
- 10-14 days after the last dose: Symptoms of long-acting benzodiazepines may peak at this time and can last up to four weeks after the last dose. Symptoms associated with short-acting benzodiazepines may fade away completely within 10 to 14 days after the last dose.
What Happens During Benzodiazepine Detox?
When you arrive at Briarwood for your first day of detox, your resident advocate and detox counselor will welcome you to our home-like facility. We’ll give you a tour of the facility to make sure you know where everything is and answer any questions you have about your accommodations.
After the tour, we will sit down with you to fill out your intake paperwork. We will review all of it with you and your family to make sure you fully understand everything outlined within it. Once your paperwork is completed, a nurse will perform a physical evaluation to assess your current health, learn more about your drug abuse history, and begin detox protocol based on those findings.
Within your first 24 hours at Briarwood, our friendly medical team will perform another, more in-depth comprehensive assessment to develop your individual detox program. This need-finding evaluation provides all the important details we need to determine your physical and medical needs so we can design a detox plan to best meet them. Our detox programs are the furthest thing from cookie-cutter, and that’s what makes them so effective.
We have an experienced, licensed medical staff on-site 24/7 for your safety. This team of professionals will consistently monitor your well-being throughout your detox program, ensuring your ultimate safety and comfort. We view this system as a collaborative one because it allows us to work together with you to address your physical needs in the best way possible.
Individual and Group Counseling
Detox at Briarwood isn’t just about removing harmful substances from your body—it’s about letting go of your previous, harmful lifestyle and embracing a new, healthier way of living. Your detox counselor will provide ongoing support with individual and group counseling sessions to address your emotional responses to detox. This provides a safe place to be open and honest about your feelings and address the root causes of your addiction. Regardless of what you’re feeling, we are here to walk with you through it.
How Long Does Benzodiazepine Detox Take?
The majority of detox programs at Briarwood take 5-7 days, but your individual program length will vary based on your circumstances. After your initial physical assessment, we will be able to provide more accurate information about the length of your individualized program.