If you’re struggling to kick an addiction to benzos, detoxing from benzos at home may seem like the safest approach, but it isn’t always safe or effective.
Learn more about the risks and benefits of benzo detox before making your decision.
What Are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are a type of sedative that slows down the central nervous system. They are depressants that are used in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and acute seizures, and as general anesthetic premedication. The class of benzos includes some popular drugs such as Valium, Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin.
The problem is that benzodiazepines are addictive and tolerance to them can build up quickly—which means you’ll need higher doses to get the same effect. The process starts out innocently enough. After taking a benzo for a while, you’ll start to notice that it takes more of the drug to get the same effect.
If you stop using them, withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, anxiety and depression will set in. This can lead to abuse, addiction, and withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking them.
In some cases, people have even died from overdosing on benzos like Xanax or Valium. And it’s not just adults who take these drugs: kids as young as 12 have been known to start using prescription benzos without a doctor’s supervision.
Even worse: When teenagers misuse these drugs, they’re much more likely to die than adults because their bodies react differently and can’t tolerate high levels of the drug. A benzo withdrawal is not something you’d wish on anyone, much less you or your loved one.
Common Benzodiazepines Withdrawal Symptoms
Common benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can include but are not limited to: anxiety, depression, panic attacks, insomnia, nausea and vomiting, hypochondria (irrational fear of having a serious illness), hallucinations, and delirium tremens (DTs). You may also be experiencing severe agitation and muscle spasms.
If you have been taking benzodiazepines for more than four weeks continuously then it is recommended that you seek medical advice from your doctor before withdrawing from the drug.
Home Detox Requirements
Detoxing from benzo addiction is not a simple process. It’s possible to do it at home, but you need to have the right supplies and be committed.
Here are some helpful tips for detoxing from benzo addiction at home:
- Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water. Keep a glass of water with you throughout the day or use a hydration pack if you’re on the go.
- Eat healthy foods that provide nourishment and keep your blood sugar stable (e.g., vegetables, lean protein). Consider taking vitamin supplements while you’re detoxing to help fill in any nutritional gaps left by food alone.
- A probiotic will also be beneficial since detoxing can cause digestive issues. Consider including a cleansing procedure as part of your detox regimen as well. One study found that volunteers who underwent three days of colon hydrotherapy during their stay at a therapeutic center had lower levels of benzodiazepine metabolites in their urine than those who did not participate in the cleanse.
- Allow yourself time to rest each day during this process, too; lack of sleep can make withdrawal symptoms more severe and difficult to manage.
- Keep an emergency plan in place before beginning this process so you know what steps to take when things get tough. Benzos affect everyone differently and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to managing withdrawal. What might work for one person might not work for someone else. But with commitment and the right resources, anyone can recover from benzo addiction!
- Prepare yourself mentally for the most horrifying withdrawal experience since a benzo withdrawal can be quite severe depending on how long you’ve been using the drugs.
While you can detox from benzos at home, many people do not realize the dangers of doing so. The first danger is that it is not medically supervised and there are no doctors or health professionals monitoring your progress.
The second danger is that benzos are highly addictive and you could develop a tolerance to them easily. And finally, the third danger is that benzos are typically prescribed for anxiety disorders and withdrawal symptoms can be severe.
Get Medically-Assisted Detox for Benzo Withdrawal
Benzo detox is one of the most dangerous things you can do on your own. It is possible to safely detox at home with the help of a medical professional.
They can gradually taper down your dosage and provide medications or therapy to help manage withdrawal symptoms so that you are able to recover without any unnecessary risks. It’s recommended that anyone who wants to detox from benzos should do so under medical supervision.
If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorders, please give us a call. Innovo Detox offers the latest in evidence-based medical, psychiatric, and clinical care for those in need of detox and medical stabilization in Pennsylvania and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or a loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a detox, rehab, treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (717) 619-3260 or email our team at [email protected]. For more information on our company or services, please visit our website at www.innovodetox.com.