Benzodiazepine Detox

Benzodiazepine Detox in Louisiana

Addiction is a prevalent issue in the United States, impacting millions of Americans with substance use disorders. According to a national survey, approximately 1 in 12 American adults, or nearly 19 million people, grapple with a substance use disorder. Despite the daunting nature of this problem, there is assistance available for those struggling with alcohol or drug misuse.

Benzodiazepine Addiction

A relatively recent concern in the realm of addiction is the rising number of individuals becoming addicted to benzodiazepines, commonly known as benzos. These medications, with calming or sedative effects, influence the brain and central nervous system. While benzos have proven highly useful in treating various physical and mental conditions, they possess addictive properties that often necessitate professional assistance to discontinue use.

The prevalence of benzodiazepine addiction is on the rise, with over 5 million Americans misusing benzos in 2015 alone. Emergency room visits related to benzodiazepine use increased by 150% from 2004 to 2011.

What Are Benzodiazepines Used to Treat?

Benzodiazepines are a specific class of medication used to address various mental health and nervous system disorders. They enhance the body’s neurotransmitters, particularly the GABA neurotransmitter, which has a calming effect on the brain. Common benzodiazepines, such as Klonopin, Xanax, and Valium, are frequently prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Additionally, benzos are used for conditions like insomnia, seizure disorders, and alcohol withdrawal to help manage symptoms and reduce the risk of severe withdrawal effects.

Why Are Benzodiazepines Addictive?

While benzodiazepines are effective when used properly, they possess addictive properties. In addition to inducing calming effects, benzos stimulate the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure. Continued use may lead to tolerance, requiring higher doses to achieve the same effects. Tolerance can develop in as little as six months, prompting some individuals to turn to stronger substances like opioids. Dependence on benzodiazepines may result in withdrawal symptoms upon cessation, similar to those seen with alcohol and other drugs, including nausea, disorientation, sweating, irritability, and more.

What Are Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms, and How Can They Be Avoided?

Withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepines are a genuine concern and may manifest in as little as a month of regular use. Approximately 40% of individuals using benzos for over six months will experience moderate or severe withdrawal symptoms, while 60% may experience milder symptoms. In severe cases, withdrawal can be life-threatening, emphasizing the importance of professional treatment when discontinuing the drug. Withdrawal symptoms vary among individuals, encompassing anxiety, panic attacks, irritability, depression, concentration issues, insomnia, and physical symptoms like tremors, muscle spasms, headaches, sweating, and muscle soreness. Medical professionals may recommend tapering off benzodiazepines gradually to manage withdrawal and minimize discomfort.

How Long Does Withdrawal and Detox Take?

The duration of withdrawal varies, with milder forms peaking around the second day of detox and improving by the fourth or fifth day. However, 10% to 25% of users may experience protracted withdrawal lasting several weeks.

What Are the Signs of a Benzodiazepine Addiction?

The chemical structure of benzodiazepines makes addiction likely, contributing to the estimated 30 million Americans using benzos annually, with at least 17% having misused them. Recognizable symptoms of benzodiazepine addiction include appearing drowsy, disoriented, or confused. Individuals may struggle with thinking or speaking, experience dizziness, slurred speech, and lack of coordination. Other signs mirror those of substance use disorders, including the perceived need for the drug to function, difficulties in daily activities without the substance, tolerance development, relationship challenges, performance issues, and attempts to conceal the extent of medication use. If left untreated, benzodiazepine addiction can lead to cognitive decline and a loss of physical coordination.

How Can a Benzodiazepine Addiction Be Treated?

Professional treatment is crucial for successfully addressing benzodiazepine addiction. Screening for addiction involves questionnaires and DSM-V guidelines, with appropriate treatment tailored to individual needs. Outpatient or inpatient treatment may be recommended based on the risk of relapse, and benzodiazepine use during detox should be closely monitored. Gradual tapering, rather than abrupt cessation, is often recommended. Psychological treatment, including therapy and counseling, helps individuals identify triggers, manage stressors, and develop coping strategies for a healthier life. New Day Recovery, a residential treatment program in Louisiana offers specialized programs for overcoming substance use disorders, including benzodiazepine addiction.


Benzodiazepine addiction is a serious medical concern requiring professional intervention. Withdrawal can be managed, and addiction to these drugs can be overcome with appropriate treatment. New Day Recovery and similar programs provide comprehensive care to individuals seeking recovery from benzodiazepine addiction.