Unique New Approaches to Benzo Withdrawal Treatment

Benzodiazepines can be an effective treatment for anxiety. They can also put you in the clutch of an unforgiving cycle of addiction.

Producing symptoms that range from anxiety to seizures, benzo withdrawal is vicious. Don’t wage war against benzo addiction alone. Read on to discover new approaches in the fight against benzo withdrawal.

Benzo Withdrawal: What to Know, and How to Decide Which Treatment is Right For You

Benzo addiction does not discriminate. Anyone can become addicted.

How Long Does Benzo Withdrawal Last?

The duration of benzo withdrawal varies depending on multiple factors that include:

  • Dosage
  • Type of benzo (fast acting, slow acting)
  • Duration of use
  • Underlying medical issues
  • Simultaneous use of other drugs

3 stages of benzo withdrawal:

There are three common stages of benzo withdrawal.

Early Withdrawal

Immediate onset of symptoms after the individual purges the drug. Shorter-acting benzos produce symptoms within 24 hours. The individual experiences symptoms such as:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbance

Acute Withdrawal

After the initial onset of withdrawal, physiological changes start to occur. This includes:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors.

The more severe the dependence, the more severe the symptoms. In severe cases, withdrawal can cause seizures and psychotic episodes.

Protracted Withdrawal

A small portion of people who suffer from benzo withdrawal experience symptoms after treatment. These symptoms include:

Treatment Options and Stages

For some, the idea of seeking out medical help is scary. With advances in benzo withdrawal treatment, however, you can now decide which forms of treatment fit you best.


  • Ambulatory treatment-Treatment reserved for those who are not experiencing acute withdrawal.  Patients only have to check in for treatment and experience benzo detox recovery at home.
  • Clinically Managed Residential Treatment– Takes place in more of a social setting. Though still in a clinical setting, treatment aims to make the patient feel more comfortable through the duration of their stay.
  • Medically Supervised-Reserved for the most severe cases of benzo withdrawal. 24-hour supervision from medical professionals.

Intensive Outpatient Therapy

After benzo withdrawal detox, therapy does not stop. Intensive outpatient therapy:

  • Accommodates work and school schedule after detox is completed.
  • Aims to prevent relapse.
  • Educates patients about addiction’s effects on the brain.
  • Implements stress and anger management.
  • Introduces 12 step program.

Flumazenil: The Leading Candidate

Because the intensity of benzo withdrawal is highly unpredictable, quitting cold turkey is not advised.

Most facilities have employed the tapering method. This involves gradually reducing the patient’s use of the drug they are addicted to.

Flumazenil is highly regarded in the medical community for reducing long-lasting symptoms of benzo withdrawal. Its effects on reducing long term cravings for benzo patients make it a viable supplement to tapering treatment.

If you can eliminate long term symptoms of benzo withdrawal, the prospect of long term recovery is more likely.

Substituting Another Benzo

Substituting a different type of benzo is recommended for patients who are addicted to fast-acting benzos. Substituting slow acting benzos for fast acting benzos reduces the symptoms of withdrawal. This works because of the slower release they have.

Due to their gradual release, slow-acting benzos, reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Their slow release eases the patient’s brain off the drug instead of shocking their system.

Herbal Remedies to Aid with Benzo Withdrawal

Growing research suggests that herbal and nutraceutical remedies are powerful allies in benzo withdrawal treatment. Before opting into these treatments, however, you must consult your practitioner.

Nutraceutical and herbal remedies are not considered viable treatments for benzo withdrawal by themselves.

But since benzo addiction is a lifelong ailment, it’s important to seek out methods and supplements for ongoing treatment.

Niacin Helps Accelerate Benzo Withdrawal

Recent studies show that high doses of niacin help accelerate benzo withdrawal. It is also recommended that the patient take GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) with vitamin C in addition to niacin.

Oher Herbs that aid Benzo Withdrawal Treatment

  • Nervine– Aids with sleep disruption.
  • Carminative– Relaxes your stomach and aids in treating nausea.
  • Bacopa–  Known as the ‘brain tonic’ in India. Contains potent alkaloids, saponins, and flavonoids. Helps Treats amnesia, a common side effect of benzo withdrawal.
  • Passionflower– Treats sleeplessness.
  • Chamomile-Antispasmodic actions due to its high essential oil content. Useful in treating stomach reactions to withdrawal.

Herbs should not be taken as an alternative to benzo withdrawal treatment, especially in severe cases. They are, however, highly useful in aiding benzo withdrawal treatment.

Mindful Meditation: The Ultimate Supplement to Benzo Withdrawal Treatment

The object of benzo addiction recovery should never be a temporary aspiration. The aim of the patient should always be sustained mental and physical health.

There is growing research around the long term effects of mindful meditation on the brain. Anxiety and stress are chemical components that can’t be controlled solely by one’s will. However, it’s important to understand that people should never depend on substances for peace of mind.

Mindful meditation can significantly reduce the underlying problem of stress and anxiety in a patient. It can also increase your coping ability in times of high stress.

After the initial stages of benzo withdrawal, it is important to find therapeutic practices that lead to long term recovery.

The possibility of relapsing never goes away. Developing daily mental routines is an important component of ongoing therapy.

Don’t Wait to Seek Out Help

Treating anxiety and depression still relies too heavily on prescription drugs. However, it has come a long way. The medical community no longer prescribes barbituates such as meprobamate and glutethimide.

Research has advanced our knowledge of how complex drug withdrawal is. We now have multiple levels of treatment that ensure patients’ ongoing mental and physical health.

It’s important to find a facility that knows how to treat benzo withdrawal with the care and attentiveness needed. Facilities’ goals should aim toward sustained treatment, not slapping a band-aid on a serious wound.

Check out what other services DreamLife Recovery has to offer. Don’t wait to seek out help.

Article Reviewed by Lidice Morales

Lidice MoralesLidice Morales, an honors graduate from the Kaiser University, has made a name for herself as the Director of Nursing at several behavioral health facilities and as the Director of Operations for Detox MD. Now she is the VP of Operations at DreamLife Recovery. She strives for better patient care through constant self-improvement and furthering her education. Her steadfast work ethic and passion in the field has remained the most important aspect of her professional career; showing dedication to not only the acquisition of new knowledge, but also its mastery. Lidice believes that a professional work atmosphere fosters cohesion and malleability amongst herself and her coworkers; thereby increasing both the level of patient care and quality of life.

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