Man sits on edge of bed and ponders how long benzo withdrawal symptoms last

How Long Do Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

Benzodiazepines, known as benzos for short, are a class of prescription drugs used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and other psychological conditions. Benzos have sedative effects that impart relaxation and calm, making them desirable for recreational use as well. The effects of benzo abuse can disrupt your daily life and lead to addiction, but quitting can result in uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. How long do benzo withdrawal symptoms last, and how can you minimize them? 

Professional benzo addiction treatment is your best choice when quitting benzodiazepines. Call Washburn House at 855.298.3104 now. Our whole-person approach to recovery will prepare you for a brighter, happier future free of benzo dependence.

Side Effects of Benzo Abuse

Benzo abuse means using benzodiazepines recreationally or taking your prescribed medication more often or in higher doses than prescribed. Using benzodiazepines in this way can lead to the following side effects:

  • Extreme drowsiness and confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Impaired memory
  • Impaired judgment
  • Respiratory depression
  • Loss of consciousness

In addition to these side effects, you are at a greater risk of developing tolerance to benzos over time. Your body may require more of the drug to achieve the same level of relaxation and sedation, influencing you to use more of the drug or use it more often. Eventually, you may become dependent on benzodiazepines.

What Happens During Benzo Withdrawal?

If you have a benzo dependence, you can experience withdrawal symptoms if you attempt to reduce or stop your usage. Some common physical and psychological benzo withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety and panic attacks – Many people are prescribed benzodiazepines to treat anxiety and panic attacks. Once you are dependent on benzos and try to quit, the anxiety and panic symptoms will intensify as the drug leaves your body.
  • Insomnia – Like anxiety, benzodiazepines are also used to treat insomnia. Discontinuing benzos when you are addicted can amplify insomnia symptoms and make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.
  • Sweating – If excessive, sweating can also lead to dehydration and headaches.
  • Tremors and seizures – Extreme cases of benzo withdrawal can include tremors or seizures requiring immediate medical attention.
  • Psychosis – Benzo withdrawal can also lead to psychological issues such as hallucinations and delusions.

It can be tempting to quit benzodiazepines on your own, but unless you have a mild case of dependence or have not yet developed a dependence on the drug, it is best to consult with addiction treatment professionals. They can provide the expertise needed to ensure your comfort and safety as you withdraw from benzodiazepines.

How Long Do Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

How long do benzo withdrawal symptoms last? The duration of benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person. Some factors that play a role in your withdrawal experience include:

  • How long you have used benzos
  • The dosage of benzos used
  • The type of benzo used

Generally, withdrawal symptoms will last longer if you have a long history of benzo abuse or take high doses. Also, benzodiazepines with a longer half-life will remain in the body longer, extending the length of the withdrawal period. For comparison, Klonopin (clonazepam) and Valium (diazepam) are popular examples of long-acting benzos, while Xanax (alprazolam) and Halcion (triazolam) are commonly prescribed short-acting benzos.

Onset of Withdrawal Symptoms

Benzo withdrawal symptoms can begin as soon as ten hours after the last dose of short-acting benzodiazepines. For their long-acting counterparts, symptoms may not appear for several days afterward. 

Peak of Symptoms

Depending on the severity of withdrawal, your symptoms may peak between several days to two weeks after the last dose of benzos. 

Fading of Symptoms

Symptoms slowly start to ease after they peak and can last anywhere from several days to weeks or even months if left untreated. 

Reach Out to Washburn House to Begin Benzo Addiction Treatment 

While benzodiazepines can be beneficial when used as prescribed, abusing these drugs can lead to side effects and challenging withdrawal symptoms. If you need the support and guidance of a benzo addiction treatment program, reach out to Washburn House at 855.298.3104 or use the online form. We can help you or a loved one achieve a brighter future.

Scroll to Top