Unique New Approaches to Benzo Withdrawal Treatment

March 24, 2022 - Addiction Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Brooke Mckenzie

Written By

Benzodiazepines are a commonly prescribed treatment for anxiety. It 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, DreamLife Recovery provides a benzo addiction treatment program in Pennsylvania.

Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms: What to Know

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 and tapering.

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, psychotic episodes, and other life threatening side effects.

Protracted Withdrawal

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

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Benzo Withdrawl Treatment

What helps with benzo withdrawal? For some, the idea of seeking out medical help is scary. With advances in benzodiazepine 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.

Substituting Another Benzo

Substituting a different type of benzo to safely replicate the benzo high 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. The slow release eases the patient’s brain off the drug instead of shocking their system.

Herbal Remedies for Benzo Withdrawal Treatment

Growing research suggests that herbal and nutraceutical remedies are powerful allies in benzo withdrawal treatment. Before opting into these natural 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 can be a long term ailment, creating a physical dependence and other notable side-effects, it’s important to seek out methods and supplements for ongoing treatment.

How 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.

Other Herbs Aiding Benzo Withdrawal Recovery

  • 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 health and physical health.

benzo withdrawal

Mindful meditation can be a powerful tool when handling benzo withdrawal and additional treatments.

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.

Seeking Help for Benzo Withdrawal

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.

When finding the best benzo withdrawal clinics, look for the ones that offer the utmost care and attentiveness. 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. Our expert team of clinicians is ready to offer its services at one of the most accomplished benzo withdrawal treatment centers in PA.

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Medical Reviewer:

Brooke Mckenzie: Brooke McKenzie earned a bachelor’s degree and a Masters’s in Social Work, followed by earning her LCSW in 2009. She has worked in progressively more responsible positions in substance abuse since 2004, filling various roles from clinician to clinical director. Brooke spent the last 10 years as the Executive Director of a drug and alcohol facility, overseeing all levels of care including detox, residential, PHP, IOP and outpatient programming. Brooke’s determination for continuous growth and to combine her clinical experience with project management skills, led her to her most recent accomplishment of earning her MBA in Project Management from Seton Hill University. She places great emphasis on creating an atmosphere of professionalism and communication, whether that is with her colleagues, her patient’s families, outside organizations, or most significant – her patients. These assets continue to lead her success and growth in the field of behavioral health.