Even if you take benzodiazepines exactly as prescribed, you can still develop a physical dependence. When you develop a physical addiction to benzodiazepines, the benzo withdrawal timeline can become much more difficult, and a longer process. Benzodiazepines are prescription medications that are commonly utilized to treat anxiety-related symptoms. While benzodiazepines are highly effective in treating certain mental health and medical conditions, they can lead to physical dependence and addiction. About 30.5 million Americans use benzodiazepines annually, with 2.1% misusing or abusing benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants that slow down your breathing and heart rate, making them extremely dangerous to mix with other depressants, like alcohol and opiates.
Benzodiazepines cause your brain to release GABA, which is a neurotransmitter that helps induce calming thoughts, feelings, and emotions. If you struggle with an anxiety-related disorder, benzos can greatly reduce your symptoms. However, the calming sensations that benzodiazepines cause can cause your brain to associate benzos with pleasure. Once your brain makes this association, it releases pleasurable neurotransmitters whenever you use benzos and restricts the release of neurotransmitters when you don’t use them. Common signs and symptoms of a benzo addiction can include:
- Acquiring benzos unlawfully
- Needing to constantly increase your benzo use to avoid withdrawal symptoms or to feel normal
- Concealing your benzo use from friends and family members
- Mixing benzos with other substances in order to intensify your high
- Inability to stop, control, or reduce your benzo use
- Friends or family members confronting you about your benzo use
If you become addicted to benzos, it can make your life unmanageable. Addiction can cause you to make your substance of choice the most important part of your life, which can interfere with your career, education, and relationships. A benzo addiction may also cause you to experience legal problems, especially if you are acquiring benzos illegally.
The Benzo Withdrawal Timeline
What makes the benzo withdrawal timeline so dangerous is that benzo withdrawal can cause life-threatening symptoms, like seizures. The severity of the symptoms you experience during your benzo withdrawal timeline depends on several factors, including your medical and mental health history and length of benzo use. The benzo withdrawal timeline can start within hours of your last use. Symptoms have a gradual onset before becoming more intense. During the benzo withdrawal timeline, you can experience symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. Because benzo addiction creates neurotransmitter imbalances, it’s common to deal with mood changes during the benzo withdrawal timeline. Sometimes, you can experience severe depression during benzo withdrawal, which typically requires immediate mental health treatment. If you have an anxiety-related mental health disorder, you can deal with major anxiety during early recovery. Treatment centers ensure that you have the support you need during detox to successfully begin your recovery journey.
Finding Help Today
If you are battling a benzo addiction, the benzo withdrawal timeline can make it hard to take the first steps in your recovery without help. Painful and potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms can occur during the first few days of your benzo withdrawal timeline, which is why contacting a treatment center before you begin detoxing is imperative. Call us today at 1.713.528.3709 to find out more about your treatment options.