What Are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are a type of drug that is used to treat anxiety and other psychiatric disorders, including depression. Benzodiazepines work by reducing the activity of certain chemicals in the brain, which helps to relieve symptoms of anxiety and improve mood. Benzodiazepines are one of the most commonly prescribed medications for anxiety, and they are generally safe and effective when used as directed. However, benzodiazepines can be addictive and should only be used as prescribed by a doctor.
Commonly Prescribed Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines are a group of drugs that act on the central nervous system to produce a calming effect. They are commonly used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. There are several different types of benzodiazepines, each with its own unique set of benefits. Some of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines include:
- Alprazolam (Xanax): Alprazolam is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It is one of the most potent benzodiazepines, and its effects can be felt relatively quickly.
- Chlordiazepoxide (Librium): Chlordiazepoxide is an anti-anxiety and alcohol withdrawal medication. It’s a long-acting benzodiazepine that has sedative effects that can last for several hours.
- Diazepam (Valium): Diazepam is used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures. It is one of the most widely prescribed benzodiazepines, and its effects can last for several hours.
- Lorazepam (Ativan): Lorazepam is used to treat anxiety and seizure disorders. It is a short-acting benzodiazepine, meaning its effects only last for a few hours.
But what most people don’t know is that benzodiazepines are a type of medication that can be habit-forming. This means that if you take them for a long time, your body can become used to them, and you may need more and more to get the same effect.
Taking benzodiazepines for more than 3-5 weeks can cause physical dependence, which means your body needs the drug just to feel normal. If you stop taking benzodiazepines suddenly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, sweating, shaking, and seizures.
Can I Detox from Benzos Cold-Turkey?
If you’re addicted to benzos, detoxing cold-turkey may not be the best idea. Benzos are extremely strong drugs, and giving them up can lead to intense withdrawal symptoms. It’s crucial to detox under medical care so that if anything goes wrong, help is immediately available. Withdrawing from benzos can be very dangerous; in some instances, it may even be fatal.
Medical detox is the safest and most comfortable way to detox from benzos. During medical detox, you’ll be monitored 24/7 by a team of medical professionals. They’ll make sure you’re as comfortable as possible and help you through the tough symptoms of withdrawal.
Can Benzodiazepines Withdrawal Kill You?
Withdrawing from benzodiazepines can be dangerous and even life-threatening. The severity of the withdrawal symptoms depends on how long you have been taking the drug, the dose you were taking, and your individual response to withdrawal.
Symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal can include anxiety, insomnia, irritability, muscle tension, tremors, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, confusion, and seizures (in severe cases).
Seizures are the most serious potential complication of benzodiazepine withdrawal. Seizures can occur in anyone who abruptly stops taking benzodiazepines, but they are more likely in people who have been taking high doses for a long time. Seizures can be fatal.
Also, when people mix benzodiazepines with other drugs, alcohol, or opioids, the risk of seizure increases. Unfortunately, a lot of people start engaging in suicidal behavior during benzodiazepine withdrawal because the symptoms are so difficult to manage. Hopelessness and despair are common, and some people feel like they can’t go on living without the drug.
That’s why all medical experts recommend tapering off of benzodiazepines slowly, under medical supervision. Withdrawal symptoms can be managed more effectively when the dose is reduced gradually. Drug rehab centers can provide around-the-clock care and support during detox and withdrawal, which can make the process much safer.
If you or someone you love is struggling with benzodiazepine addiction, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help.