Signs of Benzo Withdrawal
Many benzodiazepine abusers or addicts are first introduced to the drug when it is prescribed by a doctor to treat their anxiety, seizures, insomnia, or other health conditions. Benzodiazepine works as a depressant, slowing or numbing certain functions in the brain to keep a patient calm and relaxed. Benzodiazepine goes by many names; well-known examples include Valium and Xanax.
A benzodiazepine user becomes an abuser or addict as tolerance increases and he or she is no longer taking the drug to treat the initial medical condition but to ward off the symptoms of withdrawal. Symptoms can be both physical and psychological and may vary based upon dosage, duration, tolerance, and whether or not the benzodiazepine has been paired with other drugs.
Physical symptoms range from body pain, muscle tension, cramping, and insomnia to vomiting, tremors, sweating, and seizures. Psychological symptoms also fall along a spectrum and range from inability to concentrate, emotional outbursts, and irritability to loss of self-worth, anxiety, panic attacks, self harm, and suicidal tendencies.
As the brain adapts to the constant presence of benzodiazepine, addicts may find themselves unable to function or remain calm without the medication. There is hope for addicts, however— in time, the brain can reestablish homeostasis sans benzodiazepine and the abuser can re-learn how to function without dependence upon the drug.
Although the initial symptoms of withdrawal can seem like an overwhelming challenge at first, abusers and addicts can overcome this addiction with the professional support of a 12-step program. Withdrawal symptoms will wane over time and freedom from dependence is certainly attainable.
There are many techniques for fighting both the physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal. Exercise, meditation, and identifying (and eliminating) stress triggers can all help lessen the impact of withdrawal as users slowly decrease their benzodiazepine dosage. Many abusers will need professional support as they taper their dependence, and some may receive injections of an antidote as they are weaned off of benzodiazepine.
With the help of an addiction recovery program, individuals can discover and implement the techniques that will best help them successfully beat their dependency on benzodiazepine.
If you or someone you know is addicted to benzodiazepine, contact The Owl’s Nest today to begin the journey to freedom with the support of those who have been where you are and found a way out!