Valium, Xanax, Klonopin and Ativan are some of the most common names associated with benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are a class of prescription drugs used to depress the Central Nervous System in order to alleviate anxiety and panic, as well as other conditions. For many years, benzodiazepines have been prescribed under the guise that they are “non-dependency forming” or “non-habit forming” for those who use them according to prescription. Upon missing a single dose, many regular users of benzodiazepines are shocked to experience symptoms of withdrawals. Using benzodiazepines accordingly can cause dependency and symptoms of withdrawal, the least of which includes reexperiencing potentially severe anxiety.
Xanax and other benzodiazepines have become a popular drug for abuse. Benzodiazepine addiction can cause severe symptoms of withdrawal which are considered to be the most difficult because of their highly mental nature. Notable and concerning symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal include hallucination, insomnia, and seizures. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be life-threatening. If you or a loved one are addicted to benzodiazepines and anticipating withdrawal, here is what you can expect.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal lasts longer than withdrawal from most other substances, from a few days to a few weeks total. For short-acting benzodiazepines like Ativan and Xanax, symptoms of withdrawal can set in within hours, a maximum of eight. The peak of withdrawals are typically in the second day and last for two to three days, a longer climax than most drug detoxes. After the fifth day, the peak of the withdrawal symptoms will subside. However, the anxiety, cravings, and discomfort caused by benzodiazepine withdrawal can last for many months.
Long-acting benzodiazepines like Valium have a much different trajectory. After the last dose, a week or more may pass until withdrawal symptoms begin to appear. The peak period will last an entire week, most often the second week, and will slowly taper off into the fourth and fifth week.
Severe Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Withdrawals
It is important to know and understand the more severe possibilities that benzodiazepine withdrawal can bring.
- Loss of executive function
- Suicidal thoughts or behavior
If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Call 1-800-273-8255
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