Benzodiazepine Detox

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Medically Assisted Benzo Detox

Are you or someone you love considering a benzo detox? At Guardian Recovery we understand how difficult benzodiazepine withdrawal can be. Many times withdrawal symptoms are so severe that those struggling with Benzodiazepine addiction return to using within 24 hours. The key to overcoming this obstacle is a medically supervised detox where withdrawal symptoms can be identified and treated immediately. At Guardian Recovery we perform an in-depth initial evaluation and tailor a treatment plan unique to each clients needs and recovery goals. Guardian Recovery provides 24 hour medical supervision and comfortable care. Our medical and client support team’s goal is to make sure all clients have a safe and comfortable benzo detox so they can begin the next phase in their recovery journey.

What are Benzos?

Benzodiazepines are a type of prescription tranquilizer most commonly used to treat moderate or severe anxiety disorders, insomnia, seizure disorders and the more severe symptoms associated with acute alcohol withdrawal. Some common brand name benzodiazepines include Valium, Xanax and Klonopin — all of which are among the most frequently prescribed medications in the U.S. If a person takes a benzodiazepine other than prescribed for an extended period of time, he or she eventually builds a tolerance. This means that a higher dosage of the medication becomes required in order to achieve the desired effect.Once tolerance develops the person who has been taking the medication often increases the dose without physician approval, which eventually leads to physical and psychological dependence. The symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal can result in life-threatening complications when not adequately addressed.

If you or someone you love has been abusing a benzodiazepine of any kind, medically monitored detox should be the first step. At Guardian Recovery Center we offer a comprehensive and highly individualized program of benzodiazepine addiction recovery, which begins with a short-term stay in one of our medical detox centers, which specialize in Benzo detox.

Facts About Benzo Abuse

Benzodiazepines can be broken down into three distinct categories:

  • Ultra-short acting –  Ultra-short acting benzos include Halcion and Versed.
  • Short-acting – Short-acting benzos include Xanax and Ativan.
  • Long-acting – Long-acting benzos include Librium, Klonopin and Valium.
All benzodiazepines are habit-forming, and can result in a range of serious personal consequences when abused. Because prescription rates are so high, rates of abuse and dependence have been increasing over the course of the past several years.

Benzo Addiction
Signs & Symptoms

The signs & symptoms of benzo addiction include:

  • Taking a higher dose of the medication than intended for longer than intended
  • Attempting to cut back on the dose of the drug or attempting to quit altogether but being unable to do so for any extended period of time
  • Continuing to use benzodiazepines despite personal consequences
  • Interpersonal problems/issues in relationships with friends and family members
  • Legal and financial issues that can be directly linked to benzodiazepine abuse
  • Continuing to use benzodiazepines despite medical advice to stop use entirely or cut back on the dose being taken
  • Neglecting personal responsibilities and failing to take care of pre-existing obligations
  • Engaging in drug-seeking behaviors, which might include stealing medications from friends or relative, doctor shopping or purchasing more benzodiazepines from a dealer
  • Developing a physical tolerance, meaning a higher dose is required in order for the same effects to be produced
  • Experiencing symptoms associated with withdrawal when benzodiazepine use is stopped suddenly
The severity of benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms depend on several factors, including the amount being taken on a daily basis, how long the benzodiazepine was being taken, whether or not more than one chemical substance was being taken at a time and whether or not there are any underlying mental health conditions. At Guardian Recovery we take all of these factors into account as we treat symptoms using a combination of evidence-based benzo detox methods.

Benzo Withdrawal
Signs & Symptoms

The onset of withdrawal symptoms depends on which specific drug was being abused. Short-acting benzodiazepines like Xanax and Ativan leave the system quickly meaning that withdrawal symptoms can take hold in as few as six hours after the last dose. Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can be extremely severe, and lead to life-threatening complications unless adequately treated. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says the withdrawal symptoms come in three phases. The first is “a short-lived ‘rebound’ anxiety and insomnia, coming on within one to four 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 form of treatment is instituted.”

Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms include:

  • Severe anxiety and panic attacks
  • Insomnia and other sleep-related issues
  • Mood swings, generally characterized by severe agitation and irritability
  • Hand tremors/uncontrollable shaking
  • Body tremors
  • Persistent headaches
  • Racing pulse/increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Hypersensitivity to light and sound
  • Muscle aches and pains/general feelings of physical discomfort
  • Issues with memory and problems with concentration
  • Depression, which can lead to suicidal ideation
  • Visual, auditory and tactile hallucinations
  • Delirium
  • Grand mal seizures
Symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal usually peak on the second day of detox and mostly resolve within one week. However, the symptoms might last longer if the substance abuse disorder was especially severe. And Post Acute Withdrawal symptoms (PAWS), which can include ongoing mental, emotional and physical symptoms, can sometimes be experienced for months after use ends, which makes aftercare important. Entering into a medically monitored benzo detox program can speed along the detox process while providing clients with a pain-free withdrawal. Guardian Recovery also helps clients plan the next steps beyond detox.

Is Medical Benzo Detox Necessary?

Because Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be life-threatening, medical detox is always a necessary first step on the road to recovery. Quitting Benzos without a tapering schedule in place and without the supervision of a medical professional can result in grand mal seizures. Additionally, the psychological symptoms associated with Benzo withdrawal can lead to serious issues like panic attacks and suicidal thoughts when not effectively addressed. If you or someone you love has been suffering at the hands of a Benzodiazepine abuse disorder of any severity it is absolutely crucial that professional care is sought before the withdrawal process begins. Contact us today to learn more or to begin our simple admissions process.

Treatment Options for Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

At Guardian Recovery we combine a number of evidence-based treatment options to thoroughly and effectively treat benzodiazepine withdrawal. The treatment options we utilize include:

  • Tapering – When it comes to avoiding the more severe symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal, tapering is an effective option. When a client is tapered off of a medication it simply means that he or she is slowly weaned off of the drug over time. Tapering schedules are developed by on-site physicians and the process is closely overseen to ensure that no complications occur.
  • Medication assisted treatment (MAT) – We utilize a number of proven medications to treat both the physical and psychological symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal. In most cases we combine high dose, non-narcotic pain relievers with non-addictive sleep aids to alleviate physical discomfort and insomnia.
  • Psychiatric intervention – Because the psychological symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal can be severe, on-staff psychiatrists evaluate each client and prescribe an anti-anxiety medication or an antidepressant whenever necessary.
  • Proven holistic treatment methods – Because benzodiazepines are initially prescribed to treat anxiety it is crucial that clients have other means of effectively coping with anxiety – while in medical detox and afterwards. We utilize evidence-based holistic methodologies like mindfulness meditation and yoga therapy to facilitate relaxation and to promote comprehensive healing.
  • Intensive behavioral therapy – At Guardian Recovery we believe that behavioral therapy is an important part of every stage of the treatment process, so we offer individualgroup and family therapy sessions.
  • Homestyle retreat with amenities geared towards client comfort – Client comfort remains our top priority. Our beautiful facilities promote healing. Some amenities include private bedrooms, serene lounge spaces and nutritious, chef-prepared meals.

Our Simple Admissions Process

At Guardian Recovery we provide a comprehensive detox program that is dedicated to leaving no stone unturned. We tackle the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual implications of active addiction as we help our clients navigate early sobriety and learn to make healthy and beneficial decisions on their own. If you or your loved one is ready to take the very first step on the journey of long-term healing, contact us today. The moment you do we begin by conducting a pre-assessment over the phone geared towards determining which level of clinical care is the most effective for each unique case. If we believe that our medical detox program is a good fit, we continue by offering a free, no obligation insurance benefit check. At Guardian Recovery we work with most major national health insurance providers and most major regional providers in Colorado, Florida, Maine, New Hampshire and New Jersey. Finally we set a date and a time for intake and help arrange plans for safe and reliable transportation. Beginning your personal journey of healing — or helping your loved one get started on the road to recovery — is truly as simple as picking up the phone and contacting us today.

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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave


Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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