Benzodiazepine Detox

Bellagio In The Desert Residential Treatment Center


Benzodiazepines, also known as “benzos,” are a potent class of drugs often used to treat anxiety or insomnia. Popular benzos like Valium, Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin are also notorious for being much more addictive than most users realize. They can create a physical benzodiazepine dependence even when taken exactly as prescribed or for a relatively short time. Users can convince themselves that they “need” to continue taking benzos without being conscious of the serious risk of addiction and severe withdrawal symptoms.

For anyone ready to stop taking benzos, having the support of addiction treatment programs will make a real difference. There’s no reason to be embarrassed about this challenging situation millions of others have also faced. At Bellagio RTC, patients can access the compassionate support they need to improve their chances of long-term recovery from benzodiazepines.

The Dangers of Benzodiazepine Addiction

Like other addictive drugs, benzodiazepines can alter the user’s brain chemistry within weeks or even days of regular use. This causes intense cravings and other signs of dependency once the body doesn’t have enough of the drug in its system.

As they develop a tolerance to benzos, users will require higher doses to feel “normal.” This cycle of addiction can quickly spiral out of control and cause a wide range of negative consequences and difficulty with medication-assisted treatment. This is especially true when benzodiazepines are mixed with alcohol or other medications.

Whether it was obtained legally or illegally, the dangers of abusing benzos include:


Cognitive decline:

Benzodiazepine affects multiple areas of the brain, linked with slower thinking, memory loss, and a poor attention span.

Heart damage:

Benzodiazepines slow down the heart, leading to a risk of blood clots forming with long-term abuse.

Liver damage:

The liver is responsible for filtering all drugs that enter the body, including benzodiazepines, which significantly strain this vital organ with excessive use.

Beyond these more serious effects of long-term abuse, benzo addiction is incredibly disruptive to every aspect of life. Benzo abuse is associated with acute emotional and psychological harm, leading to dangers like a decline in the user’s mental health, poor performance at work, isolation from family and friends, and self-harming behavior.

The Phases of Benzodiazepine Treatment

The withdrawal symptoms from benzos are likely to be physically and emotionally overwhelming, especially for those with a history of taking greater doses or using the substance for longer. In some cases, withdrawal can even be life-threatening, so detoxing under medical detox is the best way to stay safe.

The benzodiazepine detox protocol involves gradually tapering the drug while minimizing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms with medications. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to benzo detox because benzos affect people differently depending on various factors. The right strategy will consider several factors. These may include how long the person was using, how high of a dose, different aspects of their physiology, and many other variables.

The two general stages for benzo withdrawal are the acute withdrawal phase, which will last around 5-14 days, and the protracted withdrawal phase, which can stretch out for several months or even up to two years. While each stage has difficulties, long-term recovery from benzodiazepine abuse is possible with the proper support. Eventually, there will be more good days than bad days.



The Acute Withdrawal Stage

Users of short-acting benzos, like Xanax, are likely to feel withdrawal symptoms more quickly and with more intensity. These symptoms may occur in as little as 10-12 hours after the last dose. Benzodiazepines with a longer life, like Valium, will linger in the body for several days before the detox begins. The acute stage can include severe physical flu-like symptoms and intense mental effects.

These effects may include:

Relapsing is a real possibility during the acute stage of benzodiazepine withdrawal because the benzo withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable. There’s also likely to be significant mental distress, including suicidal thoughts. Being under medical supervision can provide the resources to alleviate these challenges with both counseling and medical intervention.

Some highly effective drugs can relieve symptoms during this stage, including buspirone. Buspirone is a non-habit-forming prescription used to manage anxiety and other psychological effects of detoxing.

The Protracted Withdrawal Phase

Benzodiazepines cause lasting changes in the central nervous system. This is why patients who stop taking benzos will likely continue experiencing long-term withdrawal effects. While they probably won’t be as severe as during the acute phase, these symptoms can still affect daily life.

The protracted withdrawal phase will often last for around six months but can persist for 18 months or even longer. Some patients will recover faster, while others may need more time. Getting proper treatment to understand and manage the symptoms still present during this stage is essential.

The symptoms that are most common during the protracted withdrawal phase include:

Benzodiazepine Treatment in Lancaster, California

The team at Bellagio RTC offers patients a wealth of resources during every step of recovering from benzo addiction. We believe that alleviating the symptoms of withdrawal is only the first step. The detox process at Bellagio RTC is also focused on helping patients develop healthy coping mechanisms. While also allowing them to positively address the psychological roots of their addiction.

The benzodiazepine detox process in our facility includes the following:

Step 1: Evaluation

Our skilled clinical professionals work to understand any underlying physical or mental issues affecting their addiction. Every patient is unique, with specific needs, goals, and strengths reflected in a customized care plan developed to help them succeed.

Step 2: Supervised Withdrawal

Our care team works to monitor and manage the patient's symptoms while detoxing from benzodiazepine. Tapered withdrawal at a benzodiazepine detox center is much safer and can make the experience a lot less severe.

Step 3: Medication

While detoxing is difficult, we can provide medication to improve the patient's quality of life and minimize some symptoms, including anxiety.

Step 4: 24/7 Support

Benzodiazepines are highly addictive substances that affect the body in powerful ways. We know from experience that patients need a lot of support and attention to help them manage withdrawal.


Get Help For Benzodiazepine Addiction

The road to recovery can be long for people who are struggling. Bellagio RTC is committed to helping patients feel safe, empowered, and ready to overcome addiction.

Contact us to learn more about our programs for detoxing from benzodiazepines under medical supervision.