How Long Does It Take to Detox from Benzos?

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One potential candidate for treatment of withdrawal symptoms in these patients is gabapentin, which works similarly to the neurotransmitter GABA [68]. However, one study showed no significant difference in BZD use in MMT patients between gabapentin and placebo [68]. However, this study was limited by a small sample size, so further randomized clinical trials need to be conducted to assess the efficacy of gabapentin treatment in BZD -dependent MMT patients [68]. Further studies need to be performed on not just gabapentin, but other medications for MMT patients with BZD dependence should be evaluated since treating them is more complicated. Captodiamine is a diphenhydramine-related compound that does not work at histamine receptors as diphenhydramine does and its mechanism of action is unclear [70]. This drug has also been studied in the context of both BZD replacement and withdrawal as a potential treatment [70].

The onset of benzodiazepine withdrawal depends on the specific medication you are taking. Short-acting drugs like Xanax (alprazolam) and Ativan (lorazepam) leave the system quicker, which means withdrawal symptoms can appear in as little as eight to 12 hours. When you are physically dependent on a drug, it means your body can’t operate normally without it. If you stop or reduce your dose suddenly, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. If you take benzodiazepines infrequently, such as once a week or once every few weeks to treat panic attacks, you can take them for a longer period of time.

In rare cases, alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening and require emergency medical intervention. Hence, it is extremely important to assess patients for alcohol dependence and monitor alcohol dependent patients carefully. The dose of buprenorphine given how much does the average american spend on alcohol must be reviewed on daily basis and adjusted based upon how well the symptoms are controlled and the presence of side effects. The greater the amount of opioid used by the patient, the larger the dose of buprenorphine required to control symptoms.

  1. BZDs gained popularity in the 1960s and 1970s through household names such as The Rolling Stones and numerous Hollywood movies sensationalizing Valium (diazepam).
  2. If you stop taking them “cold turkey,” or all at once, you may experience severe, even life threatening, withdrawal symptoms.
  3. Monitor the patient regularly during this time for excessive sedation.
  4. This type of therapy can help you challenge and reframe unhelpful beliefs and behaviors and replace them with more productive ones.

Multivitamin supplements containing B group vitamins and vitamin C are recommended. Symptomatic medications should be offered as required for aches, anxiety and other symptoms. It can provide relief to many of the physical symptoms of opioid withdrawal including sweating, diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, chills, anxiety, insomnia, and tremor.

Another study found that abrupt discontinuation and daily administration of propranolol in severely dependent patients was not a more successful treatment plan than current practice [65]. Additionally, in this study, approximately 80% of patients experience withdrawal symptoms, which is much greater than the rate in other studies [65]. The authors attribute this to the severity of patients’ dependence on BZD before treatment with propranolol [65]. More studies need to be performed on treating withdrawal with propranolol, including testing it as a potential adjunct to tapering off both long-acting and short-acting BZD. Protracted withdrawal syndrome refers to symptoms persisting for months or even years.

Protracted withdrawal is a long-term withdrawal syndrome that may come and go for several months. In the first week of tapering off, your doctor may reduce your dose as much as 30% to get you to a safe amount. After that first leap, the steps become smaller, usually 5% to 10% of the original dose. Depending on your situation, your doctor may reduce your dose on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. For example, say you’re tapering off a dose of 20 milligrams (mg) of diazepam (Valium). A very quick taper would involve reducing the dose by 5 mg (25%) each week.

Overall effects on everyday life

The best resource in your quest to quit benzodiazepines is your prescribing doctor. If you prefer someone else, any primary care physician or psychiatrist can help you taper your dose. If your reasons for quitting benzodiazepines are that you were abusing them or unable to control your use, then you may require further substance use treatment. This is particularly true if you are also giving up other substances, like alcohol or opioids. Your doctor will help make an individualized tapering schedule based on your current dose and particular circumstances.

Benzodiazepine Detox Timeline

Although many people view the medical detox process as “rehab,” it is not a rehabilitation program. The medical detox process prepares the person to engage in recovery by limiting the potential for relapse. However, if you find that you’ve developed a chemical dependence on a benzo, the safest thing to do is to consult a medical professional before you decide to quit. Benzodiazepines are a large class of drugs that attach to receptors that are specialized for GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) in the central nervous system (CNS) and scattered throughout the body. By attaching to the GABA receptors, benzodiazepines mimic the functioning of the chemical, which is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the CNS.

Overview: Benzodiazepine Withdrawal & Detox

Research indicates that physical dependence may begin in just a few weeks, even while taking the drugs in low therapeutic doses. During the acute withdrawal phase, doctors may monitor the person and recommend other drugs to control problematic symptoms. There are three possible phases for benzo withdrawals, each with an estimated timeline.

Benzos are typically co-abused with other drugs due to their euphoric effects. Medical detox involves tapering off the benzo drug under the supervision of a doctor. If you are pregnant or are thinking about becoming pregnant, talk to your OBGYN or psychiatrist about your plans. Your doctor can help you weigh the potential risks and benefits of benzodiazepine use and your pregnancy. Symptoms will be milder than acute withdrawal and they can disappear for weeks at a time.

Specifically, those with cluster B personality disorders have the worst prognosis in regard to discontinuing BZD. In one study, not a single subject diagnosed with a cluster B personality disorder successfully discontinued BZD use [63]. Additionally, younger patients tend to have a decreased success rate of discontinuing BZD use than older patients [66].

In this manner, they produce relaxation, anxiety control, seizure control, and sedation. They can even be used to treat withdrawal from alcohol and other drugs. The term ‘withdrawal management’ (WM) has been used rather than ‘detoxification’.

During inpatient medical detox, the person has access to immediate care if they need it. Most often, the tapering process consists of using a long-acting benzodiazepine like Librium or Valium, starting with a dose that controls any withdrawal symptoms and then slowly tapering down the dose over time. Another study that tested a different standardized education protocol showed more promising results [73]. The experimental group in this study was counseled on the first visit for 15–20 min on the effects, dangers, and alternatives to chronic BZD use and dependence [73].

Additionally, according to several studies, BZD use increases with age, with long-term usage most prevalent in the 65 and older population [16]. Long-term use is defined as two or more months at a therapeutic dose and when used long-term, BZDs pose potential harmful effects. Some additional side effects of concern include alcoholic nose symptoms, causes, and treatment aggressive behavior and expressing anger towards others in between 1% and 20% of users [17]. The main driving factor for dependence is the development of tolerance, causing users to need increasing doses for the same symptom relief [18]. Protracted symptoms continue to fade over a period of many months or several years.