Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment

Benzodiazepines a.k.a. “benzos” are among the most common that doctors tend to prescribe. They are classified as sedative-hypnotic medications, which is a drug that, as its primary pharmacological effects, reduces anxiety and induces sleep. Not all sedative-hypnotics are benzodiazepines but benzodiazepines do make up the majority of sedative-hypnotics. Benzodiazepines possess hypnotic, sedative, anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxing properties. They include such medications as alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam, and lorazepam. Benzodiazepine addiction treatment in Los Angeles often begins with help from a benzo detox center, where you can manage uncomfortable and often dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

Benzodiazepine Side Effects

therapist and client in Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment The most frequent side effects of benzodiazepines are extensions of the drug’s effect, i.e. light-headedness or drowsiness. Significant benzodiazepine side effects without a link to pharmacological activity can include hostility, aggressiveness, amnesia, insomnia, and depression. Furthermore, certain subsets of the population tend to abuse benzodiazepines and that can lead to physical dependence and addiction.

The following adverse events have been reported in association with the use of alprazolam: seizures, hallucinations, depersonalization, taste alterations, double vision, elevated bilirubin, elevated hepatic enzymes, and jaundice.

Benzodiazepine Risks

The fact is that no drug is 100% safe. Benzodiazepines are particularly problematic, especially in relation to dependence and addiction, but are potentially harmful to fetus development when administered to pregnant women.

If a person takes benzodiazepines too often, they may develop side effects that resemble the reason they started taking the medication in the first place. Benzodiazepine users may become incapable of dealing with life or getting to sleep without benzodiazepine medication. In this way, benzodiazepines cause anxiety and insomnia.

Benzodiazepine Dependence

Physiological dependence on benzodiazepines means an individual is susceptible to withdrawal symptoms whenever benzodiazepine consumption ends. It typically takes a significant length of time of daily use to become physically dependent on benzodiazepines. Dependence typically occurs following prolonged treatment with therapeutic doses. It is unknown to what extent the risk of physiological dependence is dependent upon a minimum duration of exposure or dosage of these drugs. However, dependence on alcohol or other sedatives may increase the risk of benzodiazepine dependence.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

Withdrawal is a set of recognizable signs that occur shortly after abrupt cessation or rapid tapering from benzodiazepines for any person physically dependent to benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepine withdrawal is characterized by sleep disturbance, irritability, increased tension and anxiety, panic attacks, hand tremors, sweating, difficulty in concentration, dry retching and nausea, weight loss, palpitations, headache, muscular pain and stiffness, and a host of perceptual changes.

The medical event voluntary reporting system shows that withdrawal seizures have been reported in association with the discontinuation of XANAX.


The risk of developing significant withdrawal symptoms is related to dosage and duration of treatment. Potential withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Severe anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Dysphoria (unease)
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Tremor
  • Muscle pain
  • Seizure
  • Perceptual changes (hallucinations)

Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms are typically more severe when detoxing from higher doses. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be very severe and that is why the most important benzodiazepine detox tool is a detox doctor. The reality is that benzodiazepine detox comes with serious health risks including seizure, stroke, and death.

Withdrawal from normal dosage benzodiazepine treatment can result in a number of symptomatic patterns. The most common is a short-lived “rebound” of anxiety and insomnia, coming on within 1-4 days of discontinuation, depending on the half-life of the particular drug. The second pattern is the full-blown withdrawal syndrome, usually lasting 10-14 days; finally, a third pattern may represent the return of anxiety symptoms which then persist until some treatment is reinstituted.

Sedative-Hypnotic Withdrawal Syndrome

Sedative-hypnotic withdrawal syndrome is a distressful condition that occurs from the cessation of sedative-hypnotic drugs such as benzodiazepines for any person physically dependent to sedative-hypnotics.

The syndrome comes with sleep disturbance, irritability, an increase in tension and anxiety, panic attacks, hand tremor, sweating, difficulty in concentration, dry retching and nausea, some weight loss, palpitations, headache, muscular pain and stiffness, and a host of perceptual changes.

Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment

There is no one size fits all type of treatment for benzodiazepine addiction. At LA Detox, we create an individualized addiction treatment program to help you through the first steps in the recovery process. The reason why a benzo detox center is the first step is that benzodiazepine withdrawal is potentially harmful and can include seizures, strokes, and death.

When choosing a treatment program for benzodiazepine addiction make certain they have a history of treating benzodiazepine withdrawals. Nothing is more certain to disrupt the recovery process than a bad detox. After detox, you can begin an inpatient addiction treatment program or intensive outpatient program (IOP) that provides full support through early recovery.

Learning how to get off benzodiazepines is not something you can just read in a book. It requires the skill of a knowledgeable physician, qualified counselors, and a detoxification center that knows how to make the recovery process safe, effective, and comfortable. Contact LA Detox today at (866) 932-8563 for the help you need through Benzodiazepine addiction treatment.