Benzodiazepines (benzos, for short) are a prescription-level drug class that is commonly used to treat depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other conditions. Addiction to benzos is no laughing matter, mainly due to the ease the user can become dependent. Unlike many other substances, benzos are fast-acting; you take them when you have a rush of anxiety or when you can’t sleep, and they tend to work well. Benzos are effective for short-term use. For example, if you take Xanax for insomnia, the drug will lose its potency after a few weeks. Taking Xanax past that point can be really counterproductive. And while these can seem like innocent drugs, users can easily begin to crave the relief benzos provide, unknowingly locking themselves into a chain of dependence and addiction.
The best way to quit benzos is with the clinical guidance of a rehab center. Benzos like Xanax are notoriously some of the most difficult drugs to quit. Physical dependence can develop in a matter of weeks, and when dependence is strong, the withdrawal symptoms can be intense. Chronic users can expect significant withdrawal symptoms like panic attacks, tremors, diarrhea, excessive sweating, cognitive deterioration, and depression. These symptoms can potentially lead to suicidal thoughts, seizures, and psychosis.
It’s best to quit benzos slowly. If you’re a heavy user, quitting at full-stop can deliver the full brunt of these withdrawal symptoms. A slow taper can reduce the severity of these symptoms, making a recovery a much smoother process. Experienced clinicians can help you manage your dependence, set the pace for your taper, and provide the much-needed support as you encounter the inevitable withdrawal phase. Being under medical supervision can mean the difference between successfully quitting benzos and being stuck with a punishing dependence to these drugs.
The Next Steps for Quitting Benzos
1. Find a Treatment Center.
Attempting to quit benzos alone can be dangerous due to the severe withdrawal process described above. Medical detox is the safest option. For example, if you were prescribed Xanax for panic attacks, and you overuse the drug and develop a dependence, quitting the drug will not only bring on the common withdrawal symptoms, but it can also bring back the panic attacks. Quitting the wrong way can be one of the most destructive things you do in your recovery process.
2. Benzo Tapering.
The taper process for a drug like Xanax can often take 8 weeks. During those 8 weeks, you’ll likely experience a seesaw of emotions, and during some days it may feel like you’re not seeing any progress. This is another reason why being in a medically supervised rehab center is the best option for your recovery— you’ll have a strong support system to help you get through this process.
3. Medical Detox for Benzos.
This is really for your physician to decide, but when you begin the recovery process, the key is to decide what tapering dose to start with. A minimum of 8 weeks is required to wean off of benzos, so your physician must decide on the proper taper schedule to safely manage your withdrawal symptoms.
Medical detox is the most proven road to sobriety, and it’s best managed under medical supervision. 90210 Recovery has a supremely qualified medical staff to help chronic users confront and defeat their addictions. This is done through intelligent detox programs, appropriately tapered dosages, a full slate of extracurricular activities, and a strong support support system. For more information on how to quit using benzos, contact us today.