Benzodiazepine withdrawal, or benzo withdrawal, can be a hellish experience. Many benzodiazepine addictions start when a doctor prescribed a medication for anxiety or someone was simply experimenting with friends. If left untreated by medical professionals, withdrawing from these anti-anxiety tranquilizers can have deadly consequences.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms
Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms vary with the potency of each drug. Also, these drugs are often mixed with other drugs, especially alcohol. This can be dangerous and lead to permanent brain and liver damage, and even death. Deadly seizures are the biggest risk when a user decides to end an addiction to these tranquilizers without medical supervision.
Learn more about benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms, what to expect when quitting, and where to get help.
Find more information about prominent benzodiazepine drugs including:
- Xanax (alprazolam): Xanax is the most prescribed and abused benzodiazepine on the market. The fast-acting drug is often used to treat panic attacks, but Xanax’s potency also invites abuse.
- Halcion (triazolam): Halcion is intended as a short-term treatment for insomnia and is normally used to treat temporary sleep problems such as jet lag. Yet Halcion users can quickly become addicted to the drug if they use the drug beyond its suggested 7-to-10 day window.
- Klonopin (clonazepam): Klonopin is a widely prescribed medication that is used to treat anxiety and seizures. However, Klonopin can be highly addictive if taken for extended periods or at higher doses than prescribed.
- Ativan (lorazepam): Ativan is another popular anti-anxiety drug. The sedative–intended for short-term treatment–suppresses the central nervous system and calms users down.
- Oxazepam: Oxazepam (also sold under the brand name Serax) is a prescription medication used to treat a number of disorders, including insomnia, anxiety, and acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Oxazepam can become addictive if taken for an extended period.
- Valium (diazepam): Valium is used to treat anxiety, panic attacks, and muscle spasms . Although it was more widely used in the 1970s, the drug still is a highly prescribed medication.
- Librium (chlordiazepoxide): Librium is a slower-acting benzodiazepine that is used to treat anxiety and alcohol withdrawal. Although, less potent than other benzos, it still carries the same risks of addiction if abused.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal FAQs
SAMHSA says that 95 percent of benzodiazepine drug treatment admissions involved another substance.
An estimated 80 percent of benzodiazepine abuse is part of polydrug abuse, most commonly with opioids.
As many as 80 percent of alcoholics under the age of 30 have been addicted to or use at least one other drug according to the Psychiatric Annals.