benzodiazepine detox
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Detox in Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach

Benzodiazepines can serve a great purpose in treating those with sleep and anxiety disorders. By themselves, they are usually safe and effective.

However misuse and long-term use of benzodiazepines can be particularly dangerous.

Benzodiazepine drugs are also being prescribed at disturbingly high levels — being prescribed at roughly 66 million doctors’ appointments every year. Even more concerning is the fact that almost a third of these benzodiazepines are prescribed with opioid painkillers — making for a potentially deadly combination. With so much availability, both adults and youth have become addicted to benzos such as Xanax, Valium, or Klonopin.

Detoxing from benzodiazepines is among the toughest challenges in the world of substance abuse. Read further to learn about benzodiazepine detox and what our Costa Mesa treatment center can do for you or your loved one.

Benzodiazepine Detox and Withdrawal

The first step in overcoming a benzodiazepine addiction is through detoxification. In a benzodiazepine detox, patients are given the support and medical attention they need to safely clear their system of benzodiazepines and their metabolites.

Unfortunately, benzodiazepine detox can be especially brutal and come with severe side effects.

Benzodiazepines are prescription drugs that are intended to treat conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, seizures, epilepsy, muscle tension, panic attacks, and even alcohol withdrawal. And regardless if they are prescribed or taken illegally, benzos can develop chemical dependency resulting in a “rebound effect.”

The rebound effect makes benzo addiction especially concerning. Essentially what this means is that the symptoms a benzodiazepine was intended to treat can come back worse than they were before treatment.

Not only is the rebound effect concerning, but this period can last weeks to months. In extreme cases, prolonged withdrawal periods lasting up to 18 months.

Benzodiazepine Detox Phases

As with most drug detoxification processes, benzo detox can go through different phases of withdrawal symptoms. While some of the symptoms overlap, we can categorize benzo withdrawal into two phases: acute withdrawal phase and protracted withdrawal phase.

Because of the severity of some of the below symptoms, it may be recommended one taper down their benzodiazepine use carefully with supervision. Quitting benzodiazepines “cold turkey” can have severe adverse effects, including grand mal seizures.

Acute Withdrawal Phase

The initial phase, known as the acute withdrawal phase, is characterized by rebound anxiety symptoms of hypersensitivity.

The acute withdrawal phase typically lasts 5 to 14 days.

Symptoms of acute withdrawal include:

These anxiety-filled symptoms can sometimes produce hypersensitivity to sensory processing, potentially causing delusions and minor hallucinations. These feelings can also occur in sleep, causing unusual nightmares.

Protracted Withdrawal Phase

Many of the same symptoms from the acute withdrawal phase can continue into the protracted withdrawal phase — though typically to a much lesser degree.

At this point, the body has detoxified itself of benzodiazepines and their metabolites, though the body itself may still not be stable. This instability is caused by the brain’s inability to easily process the complications caused by increased stress hormones.

The protracted withdrawal phase usually lasts a few months, but can last up to 18 months in severe cases.

Symptoms of protracted withdrawal include:

Inpatient or Outpatient Detox

Due to the potential severity of benzodiazepine withdrawal, it is highly recommended to detox in a 24/7 care detox facility. Inpatient-residential detoxification allows care providers a closer analysis with 24/7 monitoring and support at both a sober living residence and treatment center.

Safe & Sound Treatment’s residential sober living facilities in Huntington Beach, CA and Treatment Center in Costa Mesa, CA are a premium choice when considering a detox program in Orange County. Here, recovering patients may better focus on their recovery without the outside stresses of everyday life.

An alternative to inpatient treatment is outpatient treatment. In Safe & Sound outpatient treatment, patients make check in at our Costa Mesa Treatment Center during the day while living at home and carrying on with most of life’s responsibilities.

While an outpatient option may be preferable to most, it is not recommended for those with stronger benzodiazepine dependencies or those with previous failed attempts at sobriety. Circumstances that may merit an outpatient detox include unavoidable obligations such as work or family responsibilities.

Detox from Benzos in Costa Mesa & Huntington Beach

Detox from benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Valium, or Klonopin can be a rather long and difficult recovery process. To ensure your best chance of recovery, it’s best you get help from professional addiction counselors who are familiar with the process.

Don’t put off your sobriety and prolong the recovery process from benzodiazepine addiction. Call a specialist at Safe & Sound Treatment in Costa Mesa, CA today!


Benzo detox can be particularly challenging due to the severe withdrawal symptoms and the risk of seizures. The process often requires a gradual tapering off the medication under medical supervision to minimize withdrawal effects.

The timeline varies significantly based on the specific benzodiazepine used, dosage, and duration of use. It can take several weeks to months for a carefully managed tapering process.

Withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, shaking, muscle stiffness, and in severe cases, seizures.

Medical supervision ensures a safe and gradual reduction in benzodiazepine use, managing withdrawal symptoms and preventing complications, including seizures.

Abruptly stopping benzodiazepines can be dangerous. A medically supervised detox is essential for long-term users to prevent severe withdrawal symptoms and complications.