Detox From Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepine Detox Program

Benzodiazepines are one of the most commonly prescribed classes of drugs, with an estimated 5.5% of the U.S. population holding a prescription. At the same time, benzo drug use and abuse has risen, as hospital visits and overdose indicate that even prescription users have consistently used the drugs in a riskier way over time. Benzos, or benzodiazepines, are a psychoactive drug with sedative and hypnotic properties, as well as a high risk of addiction and substance dependence. As a result, even long-term prescription users are often physically dependent on the drugs and must detox in order to stop using.

Detox is the process of controlling withdrawal to facilitate a safe recovery, either from prescription use or abuse and addiction. All three often overlap, because benzodiazepines including Xanax, Valium, Flurazepam, and others are highly mentally and physically addictive, meaning that any long-term user will likely require detox and may require additional benzodiazepine addiction treatment.

At Beginnings Treatment Center in sunny Orange County, California, our professional team is trained in diagnosing and treating benzodiazepine dependency. With licensed staff on hand to treat symptoms, manage progression, and help the client through the emotional and physical process of benzodiazepine detox, we offer the perfect safe place to recover from benzodiazepine dependence.

Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

Benzodiazepines interact with the GABA receptors in the brain, changing how the brain processes and uptakes gamma-Aminobutyric acid which contributes to mood regulation, happiness, depression and anxiety regulation, and serotonin reuptake. When you stop taking benzodiazepines, the reduced GABA in the brain dramatically affects the body, causing a wide range of symptoms including seizures, cold and flu symptoms, and strong psychological side-effects.

Having professional support and monitoring throughout this process is crucial to withdrawing safely. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be fatal if usage is stopped suddenly with grand mal seizures happening in 20% or more of all cases.

Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Sweating
  • Panic and anxiety attacks
  • Nausea (sometimes vomiting, inability to eat)
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia or sleep problems
  • Hallucinations and psychosis, especially feeling movement on or under the skin
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Seizures

While the risks of benzodiazepine withdrawal are quite high, managing your symptoms in a detox facility will ensure that you detox safely and quickly so you can move on to recovery.

Benzodiazepine Detox Timeline and Progression

While your exact benzodiazepine detox timeline will depend on the drug you are using, its half-life, and your length and duration of use. Many people experience drug use and withdrawal differently, and your own experience and withdrawal symptoms may be different than the standard. For this reason, Beginnings Treatment Centers always creates a personalized detox program for our patients, updating it as progression and symptoms appear, to ensure that every patient receives the best possible care.

If you have questions about detox, please contact Beginnings today for a confidential and comprehensive consultation.

Tapering Benzodiazepine Use During Detox

Tapering benzodiazepine use is the most common and safest way to cut a high dose of benzos without long and protracted withdrawal symptoms. Tapering is often used prior to detox or during a longer detox to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms, prevent grand mal seizures, and reduce the chances of PAWS. Here, you may be given increasingly smaller doses of your drug under your doctor’s supervision or given a weaker benzodiazepine, such as Klonopin or Valium instead of a longer-acting drug.

Girl holding many prescription pills in her hand

The tapering process may take up to 10 weeks before you are ready for full benzodiazepine detox.

Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment Medication

Most people are recommended to taper off most benzos over a period of 6-10 weeks before going into complete detox. However, you may also be given medication which will help to reduce withdrawal symptoms, so you can detox safely, even from a relatively small dosage of benzodiazepines. Treating benzodiazepine addiction is often more difficult simply because benzodiazepines are one of the most common drugs used in detox.

However, the most common drugs used to treat benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms include:


Typically prescribed to patients with a co-occurring anxiety disorder or a history of substance abuse. Buspirone reduces the emotional and mental side-effects of withdrawal but will take 2-3 weeks to take effect.


Flumazenil is used to block the effects of benzodiazepines, making it primarily useful for treating patients who are under outpatient care or who are at a risk of relapse. Flumazenil may relieve some withdrawal symptoms.

Is Benzodiazepine Detox Enough for Recovery?

Benzodiazepine detox is the process of safely taking you through physical dependence. This is an important step in addiction recovery, because it’s often the most difficult step to move past. With dangerous side-effects of detox and strong anxiety, many people eventually relapse to alleviate symptoms when they attempt to quit benzos on their own.

However, depending on your situation, simply getting clean may not be enough. Benzodiazepines are mentally and physically addicting, and they often create mental dependence. Here, users feel that they need the drug to make it through and may even begin to give themselves panic attacks or anxiety because they don’t have the drug. Others are also addicted to benzodiazepines because the drug makes them feel good, feel less, or more able to function, may abuse benzos with alcohol to enhance the effects of both, and may need behavioral therapy to move past the psychologically addiction.

While some people can detox from benzodiazepines and go back to their life without relapse, most need some form of therapy, counseling, and behavioral therapy to tackle the mental and psychological aspects of dependence.

Benzodiazepine Detox and Treatment at Beginnings

Beginnings Treatment Center offers a beautiful inpatient detox center located in Costa Mesa Orange County, California. With an experienced professional team including licensed nurses and therapists, Beginnings offers comprehensive physical and mental support for your well-being during recovery. Our staff offers compassionate and empathetic care, and we truly care about your recovery.

Your Insurance

Your recovery is important and you shouldn’t have to worry about your insurance. Fill out our form and we’ll help you determine if your insurance provider covers your benzodiazepine addiction treatment at Beginnings.

Most insurance programs will cover part or all of the cost of both detox and addiction treatment.

Residential Care for Personalized Treatment

We believe that each patient under our care is unique. People come to drug-use for a variety of reasons, ranging from long-term prescription use to deep-rooted emotional and mental problems. Our focus on offering individual and personalized care is designed to help each individual receive the best treatment for their needs so that they move out of detox and into recovery with the best possible prognosis for recovery. This includes full treatment for dual diagnosis, where individuals have co-occurring mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, which can greatly complicate recovery. Our trained professional staff is experienced and available to offer the full support you need for recovery.

If you or a loved one is dependent on benzodiazepines, Beginnings Treatment Center is here to help. Our beautiful detox facility is equipped with everything you need to recover safely, in comfort, and with dignity, and we are here to help.

Contact us today for a free and comprehensive consultation so we can help you to make the best choices to move into recovery.