Although benzodiazepine medications are commonly prescribed by physicians to treat anxiety, panic disorders and insomnia, or as mild sedatives, muscle relaxants, and to reduce seizures, their use can be tricky – let alone incidents of drug abuse by those who don’t need them for treatment in the first place. Benzos include Xanax (alprazolam), Valium (diazepam), Ativan (lorazepam), and Klonopin (clonazepam) among others.

While nobody can deny the efficiency of these drugs in the treatment of some cases – and the knowledge of doctors prescribing them – there are certain protocols to stopping these medications. Unfortunately, some patients become dependent on benzos, thinking they help them sustain a somewhat normal performance in their day-to-day lives – something that is both inaccurate, dangerous, and unsustainable.

In this article, we take a look at the proper steps taken to stop benzos the right way.

Understanding the Process

Benzodiazepines are safely stopped through medical detox; the delicate process of slowly and gradually removing dangerous substances from the patient’s system, coupled with direct medical supervision around the clock. As part of the protocol, some medications may be used throughout the detox period to manage withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. You can find more details about benzo detox here! Remember that the dosage of drugs taken, as well as the duration of their use will highly influence the withdrawal period and the symptoms involved, which requires a great deal of patience and perseverance.

Finding the Right Facility

For someone to stop taking a benzodiazepine, the ideal approach is supervised medical detox at a specialized drug treatment facility. These institutions are typically equipped with both medical and mental health professionals offering step-by-step instructions, medical care, as well as psychological support.

Along with your doctor, family and friends, look into the specialized facilities in your city and weigh your options. On one hand, inpatient centers provide a distraction-free environment to allow severely dependent patients to focus on giving up benzos, increasing the chances of long-lasting sobriety. On the other hand, outpatient treatment can be a good option for those with mild dependence, allowing them to continue working and maintaining their daily responsibilities throughout the period of their treatment.

Committing in the Long Run

After successful detox and physical stabilization, comprehensive therapy and continued mental and physical aftercare are crucial to sustain long-term sobriety. Ongoing support from specialized counseling and community groups can help ease patients back into a healthy, daily routine. Support groups that adopt the 12-step model of recovery can offer strong, lasting reinforcement, as well as a continued sense of achievement.

Care for Your Body and Mind

While benzodiazepines can be useful in the treatment of several conditions, they are highly addictive drugs, and dependency can develop rather quickly. And whether the use started out through a doctor’s prescription or as a form of drug misuse, professional help should be sought in order to stop taking benzos after acknowledging dependency. Through understanding the process of withdrawal, and knowing what to expect; proper, professional care and follow-up; and ongoing support from loved ones as well as the community, full recovery can be achieved and sustained.

Published by Charlesa Gibson