Benzodiazepines, commonly known as benzos, are controlled substance medications used as tranquilizers and sedatives. They are medically prescribed for some conditions. However, they are very addictive, and an addiction to them can be challenging to break. Thankfully, benzo addiction treatment programs are highly successful.
Common benzodiazepines include Klonopin (clonazepam), Restoril (temazepam), Ativan (lorazepam), Valium (diazepam), and Xanax (alprazolam). The benzo withdrawal symptoms timeline can be challenging, but a treatment program can help. If you or a loved one suffers from a benzo addiction, contact A Better State at 781.412.1488.
Symptoms of Benzo Withdrawal
Each patient will experience some typical symptoms of benzo withdrawal to varying degrees. These symptoms can be challenging to cope with on your own. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Muscle spasms
- Panic attacks
- Aches and pains
- Unusual body sensations
- Racing pulse
- Visual disturbances
- Problems with memory and focus
Withdrawing from benzos can be difficult and sometimes dangerous. For this reason, it’s highly recommended that anyone who wants to stop using benzos does so while under the care of a benzo addiction treatment center.
What Affects the Benzo Withdrawal Timeline?
There are many different factors that determine a patient’s exact withdrawal timeline. A patient’s own benzo withdrawal symptoms timeline can be influenced by factors like:
- The dosage amount
- The specific benzodiazepine used
- The duration of benzo use
- Concurrent use of alcohol or other drugs
- Underlying mental or physical health issues
- Family history of drug use or dependency
- Weight and metabolism
Each specific type of benzodiazepine has different lengths of time required for it to leave a patient’s bloodstream. For shorter-acting benzos, such as Xanax, withdrawal can start within 10 to 12 hours. With longer-acting benzos, like Valium, symptoms may not appear for a few days.
However, short-acting benzos are thought to be more potent than others, which means users can experience more intense withdrawal symptoms. Patients who have taken benzos for a long time and those who take high doses will likely experience more significant withdrawal symptoms.
The method of ingestion also affects a person’s onset of withdrawal. Injecting or snorting benzos delivers the drug directly into the bloodstream, causing it to take effect almost immediately. Ingesting a pill delivers a slower method of delivery to the bloodstream, so withdrawal symptoms may be less intense and have a slower onset.
How Long Does a Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline Last?
Withdrawal symptoms begin within 24 to 48 hours of discontinuing benzo use, and they can last anywhere from a few days to many months. While each person experiences withdrawal differently, there are general estimations available about the benzo withdrawal timeline.
After initial symptoms begin, which are usually insomnia and anxiety, the next stage of the benzo withdrawal timeline sets in about one to four days after the final use.
This period is when many symptoms peak, then gradually diminish over the next few weeks. It may take up to a month or longer for withdrawal symptoms to disappear for patients who took high doses of benzos or used long-term.
Over the next few months, some people can experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS). These are characterized by random bouts of symptoms that come and go and can include depression, anxiety, insomnia, and others.
Safely Withdraw from Benzos with A Better State
With so many adverse symptoms of withdrawal possible, it’s critical that anyone who is ready to stop benzo use gets the proper help to do so. Professional help is available at A Better State. We’re ready to give you the support and treatment you need to live life without benzodiazepines. Call A Better State now at 781.412.1488.