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How Long Do Benzo Withdrawals Last?

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Benzodiazepine aka Benzo withdrawal symptoms can be quite painful and even life-threatening at times. Let’s discuss the Benzo detox and withdrawal timeline.

Hi everybody today’s topic is how long does benzodiazepine detox last for those of you new to the channel my name is dr b and this is dr b addiction recovery on this channel we discuss all things substance abuse and try to bring some formal understanding to you if you do like our content please feel free to push the subscribe and like button and if you’re so

Inclined we do have a patreon account for as little as three dollars a month you can contribute to our general global education endeavor let’s get started uh what are uh ben’s what is benzodiazepine detox like i’m going to change this question as well as i have done in my opiate video and reframed the question for two reasons one i think the question is um how

Long does benzodiazepine withdrawals last two i think the question is wrong by using the term detox as i’ve explained before and many times that term is almost a meaningless term and it’s misunderstood by the people that are instituting the detox programs and the public and you can see that on some of these reality shows where someone is sent to detox and

Everyone’s happy because they have overcome a huge hump now absolutely those first initial stages of dealing with your substance abuse and addiction are big issues to deal with and great accomplishments i’m not taking away from that nor am i taking away from the anxiety and potentially physiological issues people face but nevertheless the way the term is detox

What does it mean you get the substance out of your system okay once you do that are you uh have you ended your addiction absolutely not and everybody out there knows that and so it has this beginning and end that i don’t feel comfortable with and i’ve never have and i’ve said that in videos years ago when i made a few and just now they’ve changed the terms

But with opiates to medically assisted withdrawal management i like that term because beating substance abuse is not detox detox is just really getting the medication out of your system or lowering it whichever is appropriate and it doesn’t mean much in a big way without taking away the courage and the issues involved around this let’s get started what are uh

Benzodiazepines withdrawal like and again just like opiates this depends on the half-life of the benzodiazepine is it short acting long acting does it have a quick onset like xanax how much are you using how long have you been using and is there true anxiety beneath that issue is there panic attacks beneath the issue of the dependents and what are your other

Clinical factors that contribute to the withdrawal syndrome complex and you know what could be talking anyway anywhere from one one day to uh two weeks to a month this becomes very questionable because for many many people this turns into a protracted withdrawal syndrome and this could last months to years and for many people it feels like it really it almost

Turns into a lifetime uh let’s touch base on this what are some of the uh at these acute symptoms and they have different stages then they come on at different times but i want to move through this quickly and really cover as much as i can we’re talking about tremors we’re talking about anxiety we’re talking about somatic symptoms for some people perceptual

Disturbances dysphoria seizures uh autonomic instability that means your sympathetic and your parasympathetic nervous system you know you could have a severely increased blood pressure heart rate and this is a very dangerous class of substances to go through acute withdrawals that’s number one and it needs to be done under medical supervision or under the care of

A physician and it’s psychologically extremely difficult and under appreciated and those that have gone through it no it’s even worse if there is truly underlying anxiety panic disorder or things like insomnia that the person was dealing with oftentimes there’s even psychosis involved with the initial withdrawal this leads into not for everyone but for enough

People into a protracted withdrawal syndrome that is a nightmare and it could be any one of those issues lingering forever oftentimes it’s almost just like a dysphoria this uncomfortable feeling might be a sleep issue might be a tremor you hear all kinds of strange things and they’re all true different patients presented in different ways and this can go on

For many many years and it is really um it’s nightmarish and it’s real and it’s true let’s go back to the idea of the initial use of benzodiazepines and many people don’t think about or have forgotten that the indications for this class of medication which is under sedative hypnotics is short-term use and you want to avoid building up any kind of physiological

Or physical dependence and you certainly don’t want to get into the area of addiction so you want to use in general as little as possible for a shorter time as possible and address the issue in any or many other ways if possible there’s gonna always be a small class of patients that end up having to be on different benzos for long periods but the reality of it

Is this is one of the most common psychotropics prescribed and it’s been that way for many many years and it also contributes heavily to opiate overdose deaths and over the last 25-30 years emergency department visits overdoses hospitalizations for the use of benzodiazepines has skyrocketed three four hundred percent i don’t have the exact data so it’s almost

Like a hidden epidemic what has happened with this medication and uh it’s under appreciated how dangerous it is and how difficult the withdrawal complex is going from the short term to the long term protracted withdrawal which really brings me to the the most important thing i do want to address in this video and that is not just what the treatment can potentially

Be but what it’s not and it can’t be given our system of care oftentimes when i hear people talking about going into detox for benzodiazepine addiction or dependence and oftentimes many of these people some of them are young but they’ve been addicted to it long enough and some of them are older and they’ve been addicted to this stuff for a long time and it

Never makes sense to me when people are talking about going into detox for benzodiazepines because what is that three days 10 days a month how rapid is the taper going to be how is the person going to go home and the this sort of detox is extremely dangerous and appropriate although very robust evidence i’m going to argue that it’s there clinical evidence a

More sane and humane way to do this is a very long term detox with slow tapering of the medication with close monitoring of the symptom complex whatever it may be and for some people in this day and age when so many people have been on this medication for so long you know if you have a 4 50 year old or 60 year old that’s been on a long time we might have to accept

The fact that you know what a low dose of their benzodiazepine whichever one and maybe is where they’re gonna land at during this protracted tapering that we’re doing because you need to keep the patient comfortable think about it imagine asking someone an acute opiate withdrawals to feel that way for weeks months to years that would be cruel and in this case

It’s also dangerous and there’s no quality of life either so it’s quite complex the set of withdrawals they for some people not everybody but for enough people it extends into long-term very uncomfortable this dysphoric withdrawal symptoms and the treatments that we have aren’t adequate because what the system is willing to pay for and what the practitioner’s

Understanding is is that you can taper down quit right away this to me is both cruel and it is ineffective and i feel that clinically from what i’ve seen a better way is to utilize long-term individualized tapers and there are methods to do that where you empower the patient because this medication has such a strong grip on the psyche of the individual there

Has to be methods here where you put the onus of responsibility and the power of choice in the patient’s hand and without going into how it’s done in this video once you do that they are really empowered to take control of their own tapering and as i said with many people you still have to deal with potentially having to stay on this medication long term and

Now you have to assess the risk and benefit and some people have serious underlying anxiety and panic attacks that’s actually gotten worse from long-term use of this medication and you still have to deal with that and at the end you might have to end up in a place where there is low-dose use term closely monitored i hope that helps and understanding a little

Bit more about this topic if you like the video click on the link above to my left there’s other videos regarding benzodiazepines and if you are inclined we would appreciate a subscribe and a like have a great day

Transcribed from video
How Long Do Benzo Withdrawals Last? By Dr. B Addiction Recovery