Doctors around the United States prescribe benzodiazepine or benzo drugs for several reasons. Unfortunately, they’re extremely addictive and can cause dependence quickly. Unlike other addictive drugs, most people can’t just stop taking benzos cold turkey. Instead, a benzodiazepine taper is necessary.
What Are Benzos and What Do They Do?
A benzodiazepine is a prescription drug that doctors prescribe to people who have anxiety disorders. Sometimes, they prescribe benzos for other reasons as well. Some of the most common uses for benzos include:
- PTSD treatment
- Muscle relaxant
- Insomnia treatment
- Depression treatment
- Seizure treatment
- Panic disorder treatment
In rare cases, doctors prescribe benzos for long periods of time. It doesn’t happen often because benzos are extremely addictive. The two main reasons why doctors prescribe them for long-term use are to treat restless leg syndrome and neurological disorders.
When people take benzos for too long, their bodies eventually adapt to the drug. They have to keep taking more and more benzos to get the same effect. However, their bodies stop using the drugs correctly. When this happens, the benzos do very little, if anything, to treat the original problem.
Dangers of Benzodiazepine Addiction
It doesn’t take long for people to develop a benzo addiction. In fact, some people develop it after just a few uses. Regardless of how quickly that it happens, they can’t just completely stop taking benzos. The withdrawal symptoms that they experience can lead to deadly symptoms.
How do people stop taking benzos? In most cases, people have to do a benzodiazepine taper. The term “taper” refers to the process of using a step-down method. It involves gradually taking smaller and smaller doses until they can finally quit without putting their lives in danger.
Keep in mind that tapering doesn’t completely eliminate the withdrawal symptoms. It makes them more manageable, though, especially in cases when deadly side effects are possible.
How Long Does a Benzodiazepine Taper Take?
The length of time that it takes to complete a benzodiazepine taper differs depending on the individual. A slow and safe taper typically takes between three and six months. In some cases, doctors can do it in only two to six weeks or even four to eight days if necessary. However, a faster taper isn’t always the safest option.
Doctors can let people know if a fast taper is an option for them. When medical professionals think that it’s too extreme, they’ll suggest a slow and steady benzodiazepine taper. The length of both differs depending on how long people used benzos.
Most of the time, doctors use other drugs to make tapering of off benzos easier. Which drugs they use depend on people’s individual needs and symptoms. It also depends on whether they took long-acting or short-acting benzos.
Ardu Recovery Center Can Help You Overcome Benzo Addiction
Do you struggle with benzodiazepine addiction? If so, you need a rehab center that can guide you through the tapering process. Ardu Recovery Center is a Salt Lake City alcohol detox center that also treats benzo addiction and so much more.
At Ardu Recovery Center, we work with you to create a customized treatment plan that meets your needs. Unlike rehab centers that use a one-size-fits-all method, we focus on providing a unique experience. Our friendly staff members can also make the entire recovery process easier. Some of the programs that we offer include:
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Medical and holistic detox
- Alcohol and drug rehab
- Residential treatment
- Individual and group therapies