Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment

What Are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines, often referred to as benzos, zannies, blues, tranks, footballs, or chill pills. These all fall within the category of central nervous system depressants and are commonly recognized as “tranquilizers.”

These synthetic medications are typically prescribed in pill form by medical professionals to address conditions such as anxiety disorders (e.g., Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), insomnia, and various other mental health disorder symptoms. Additionally, they may be administered intravenously by a physician as a sedative preceding surgical procedures.

To simplify the explanation, benzodiazepines exert a potent sedative influence on both the mind and body. They operate by influencing a neurotransmitter in the brain known as Gamma-aminobutyric Acid, or “GABA.”

GABA plays a crucial role in the brain’s communication network. Benzos stimulate the production of GABA, which in turn dampens the activity of hyperactive nerves, inducing a calming effect and conveying signals to the body to relax.

The issue arises when individuals become enamored with the soothing sensation induced by benzos and misuse these substances. This infatuation can potentially spiral into what’s commonly known as benzo addiction, a formidable challenge that can impact individuals regardless of their resilience.

Benzodiazepine addiction can yield tangible repercussions, including family strife, medical complications, financial struggles, workplace issues, and legal entanglements.


Surprisingly, there exist over 200 distinct varieties of benzodiazepines worldwide.

The majority of these remain obscure to the general populace, as they are either reserved solely for surgical applications or are not accessible within the United States.

Typically, these are the most commonly prescribed benzos in the United States:

Commercially known as Xanax, Alprazolam is widely recognized for its efficacy in treating anxiety and panic disorders.

Its widespread recognition and prescription make it a prime candidate for misuse.

Known by its brand name Onfi, Clobazam is another benzodiazepine that, while perhaps less well-known than Alprazolam, is utilized in the management of certain types of epilepsy, thus presenting potential for misuse.

Clonazepam, or Klonopin as it is better known, serves a dual purpose in both the treatment of seizure disorders and panic attacks, making it a valuable yet often misused medication.

Marketed under the name Tranxene, Clorazepate offers therapeutic benefits in managing anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and partial seizures, thereby posing a risk for dependency and misuse.

Known mostly under its brand name Librium, Chlordiazepoxide is another medication within this class used to treat anxiety disorders and withdrawal symptoms, which similarly, faces issues of misuse.

Widely known as Valium, Diazepam is perhaps one of the most recognized names in this category, prescribed for a range of conditions from anxiety disorders to muscle spasms, and even used as a sedative before medical procedures. Its broad application and efficacy contribute to its high potential for misuse.

Lorazepam, or Ativan, is prescribed to manage anxiety disorders and other mental health disorders, providing relief for those suffering but also attracting misuse due to its effective sedative properties.

Sold under the name Restoril, Temazepam is primarily used for the short-term treatment of sleeping problems (insomnia), which can lead to dependency issues if not carefully monitored.

Triazolam, otherwise known as Halcion, is another benzodiazepine aimed at tackling insomnia on a short-term basis, with its potent effects making it a drug that is often misused.

AToN Center Logo - San Diego Luxury Rehab Center

Get in Touch

compass icon

Southern California luxury rehab


The truth is that benzo addiction is very common.

While some people become physically dependent on these medications, others buy benzos on the street or other alternative sources and misuse them to get high. Benzodiazepines induce an intensely relaxed, tranquil, and serene sensation. Many individuals consume substantial quantities of these pills in pursuit of these effects.

Alternatively, some individuals crush them into powder and snort them through their nasal passages, while others opt to dilute these tranquilizers and inject them using needles.

Because misusing benzos can lead to physical dependency, people who take them regularly can quickly build a tolerance. This means they need to take more and more of the medication to get the same effect. Before long, the body begins to physically crave the drug between doses.

As a result, users frequently continue to up their dosage and take more and more pills.

Individuals are drawn to benzodiazepines due to the pleasurable sensations they induce. However, what often eludes their awareness is the potential for unwitting addiction. This class of drugs has a subtle way of creeping-up on people!

Once physical dependence takes hold, discontinuing benzo use leads to withdrawal symptoms. It’s important to delve into what this entails and why it compels users to seek more.


The pain of withdrawal (also known as detox) is often what keeps people stuck in cycle of addiction for months or even years.

Many people have a sincere desire to stop using powerful substances like Xanax or Valium, but they quickly find that they are unable to remain abstinent for any length of time. This is because they cannot bear to experience withdrawal symptoms, and the physical agony and mental torture that accompanies withdrawal management.

Benzodiazepine withdrawal ensues when an individual has been using this substance for an extended duration and abruptly discontinues its use.

In cases of tranquilizer misuse, the brain and body become reliant on these substances for normal functioning.

Ceasing the use of the drug disrupts the natural processes that have come to depend on the chemicals provided by the drug for daily functioning. This disruption can be likened to provoking a strong reaction from the brain and body, resulting in the emergence of withdrawal symptoms as a form of protest.

Here are just a few benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms:

Individuals undergoing withdrawal may face overwhelming anxiety, a paralyzing fear that far exceeds normal worry or stress levels, making everyday tasks seem insurmountable.

Withdrawal can plunge individuals into deep depression, characterized by a pervasive sense of hopelessness, sadness, and a lack of interest in life that significantly impairs daily functioning.

Episodes of uncontrollable crying emerge as emotional responses become erratic and unmanageable, reflecting the intense psychological distress experienced during withdrawal.

Physical manifestation in the form of tremors or shakes indicates the nervous system’s reaction to the absence of the drug, affecting motor control and stability.

The abrupt discontinuation of benzodiazepines can lead to severe sleep disturbances, including insomnia, where individuals struggle to fall asleep or maintain sleep, exacerbating physical and mental health issues.

In severe cases, withdrawal can lead to life-threatening conditions such as seizures, coma, and even death, highlighting the critical need for medical supervision during detox.

Disturbing nightmares and other sleep disturbances are common, disrupting rest and contributing to the cycle of anxiety and depression.

Withdrawal often saps individuals of their motivation, leaving them feeling lethargic and unable to engage in activities they once found enjoyable or fulfilling.

Physical and mental fatigue become all-consuming, making even the simplest tasks feel overwhelmingly difficult.

A pervasive sense of restlessness may take hold, making it hard to stay still or find comfort in any position or activity.

Individuals may experience uncontrollable body movements, including twitches and spasms, as the body reacts to the absence of the drug.

Emotional volatility can result in periods of agitation and hostility, straining relationships and making social interactions challenging.

Severe and unpredictable mood swings are common, with emotions fluctuating wildly without apparent reason.

Physical withdrawal symptoms can include sweats and chills, as the body struggles to regulate its temperature in the absence of the drug.

Changes in appetite, whether an increase or decrease, can occur, affecting nutritional intake and overall health.

Withdrawal can lead to mental confusion, making it difficult to think clearly, make decisions, or remember important information.

Individuals may be plagued by an overwhelming and irrational sense of impending doom, adding to the psychological torment of withdrawal.

The psychological impact of withdrawal can lead to suicidal thoughts, underscoring the need for support groups and preventive mental health care.

Short-term and long-term memory loss may occur, affecting an individual’s ability to recall recent events or form new memories.

The desire to alleviate withdrawal symptoms can lead to overwhelming cravings for benzodiazepines, creating a vicious cycle of dependence and withdrawal.

Addiction experts agree that benzo withdrawal is not only an incredibly unpleasant experience, it can also be life-threatening and should be approached with extreme caution.

One should NEVER attempt a cold-turkey benzo detox independently. This decision can carry fatal consequences, and it cannot be emphasized enough that benzodiazepine withdrawal poses significant risks to one’s health and life.

For this reason, we strongly advocate for a professional medical detox as the safest and most prudent course of action.


The duration of benzo withdrawal is a crucial question and there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Detox timelines can vary significantly among individuals due to a multitude of factors. These variables include the duration and quantity of benzodiazepine use, overall health status, metabolic rate, genetic factors, and various other elements, all contributing to the unique withdrawal experience.

Recognizing the significance of comprehending the benzo detox process in the context of your recovery journey, let’s delve deeper into this topic.

There are two phases to benzodiazepine withdrawal – the acute withdrawal phase and the post-acute withdrawal phase:

Acute Benzodiazepine Withdrawal:

This is the first phase of addiction recovery. It happens approximately 12 to 36 hours after you take your last dose of the medication. Acute withdrawal can last anywhere from three days to two weeks. However; the average person completes this phase of withdrawal in an average of seven days.

During this period, withdrawal symptoms will be extreme – even unbearable. Most people do not stay sober through this phase of withdrawal management because it is simply too painful. Acute withdrawal is the most dangerous part of the detoxification process. Seizures, coma, and death are all very real possibilities during the first week.

Post-Acute Benzodiazepine Withdrawal:

This is the second phase of detox. Generally, once someone survives the pain of Phase One, they are no longer at risk for having seizures or other major health complications. At this point in the process, withdrawal symptoms begin to subside and become more bearable. However; there is still a long road ahead.

Many people experience post-acute withdrawal for as long as six months after they have stopped taking benzos. With time, the body and brain will begin readjusting to normal functioning – but this is an ongoing process. Most people complain of extreme anxiety, depression, sleep problems, hostility, and cravings for some time after they quit using tranquilizers.


At AToN Center, we offer detoxification services for those who have made the brave decision to begin their recovery from benzodiazepine addiction.

We believe this lays a solid foundation for ongoing recovery and eliminates the fear of benzo withdrawal for our clients.

Professional medical detox encompasses continuous monitoring and assessment, and is administered by a dedicated team of benzo addiction treatment specialists, prioritizing safety and compassion throughout the process.

As previously highlighted, benzo detox poses considerable risks, potentially leading to severe health complications, even premature death.

Our commitment to delivering top-tier medical care offers the reassurance of a safe and welcoming environment for your detoxification experience and benzo addiction treatment.

A professional medical detox involves the use of certain medications to promote wellness and comfort. We believe every client who undergoes the withdrawal process at our treatment center should be afforded the opportunity to detox with dignity and compassion. The medication assisted treatment we provide keep clients comfortable, rested, stabilized, and above all else, safe!

Another reason we promote a professional medical detox is that it kickstarts the recovery process and improves the chances of sustained sobriety. Many individuals may attempt to stop using benzos on their own, and some may achieve short-term sobriety. However, individuals often lack the essential coping skills required to manage their lives without relapsing. At AToN, our commitment extends beyond detox. We offer a comprehensive continuum of care, empowering our clients with the resources and support needed for long-term recovery, and sustained well-being.

Why endure the hardships of quitting abruptly on your own when there’s no need to? Why subject yourself to the potential life-threatening risks when our dedicated team at AToN is readily available to assist you? We have a proven track record of guiding numerous clients through benzodiazepine withdrawal safely and comfortably, minimizing the associated risks. Rest assured, we’re here to extend our support and expertise to help you as well.


After the benzodiazepine withdrawal process is complete, there is a long road ahead and work that needs to be done. Many people think they can just stop taking benzos and get on with their lives.

We wish it were that simple.

Individuals who have grappled with addiction to drugs such as Xanax, Valium, or Klonopin may perpetually face the susceptibility to relapse. The brain retains the memory of the pleasurable sensations associated with drug use and craves to revisit those feelings. It can take an extended period, sometimes years, for these cravings to diminish entirely.

To maintain enduring sobriety, individuals in recovery must acquire the skills to lead a life that is not defined by drug use. This transformative process is central to the approach we adopt at AToN, where we educate our clients on how to cultivate and sustain a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.


This is a question only you can answer. If you are misusing benzos and have tried (and failed) to stop on your own, chances are, you are may have developed physical dependence. If you are, we believe you need a professional benzo addiction treatment center to arrest the cycle of addiction. You don’t have to do this alone.

No matter how hopeless or helpless you may feel right now, we want you to know that you CAN recover from Benzodiazepine addiction. We can help you get your life back on track with substance misuse treatment. With help, you can experience freedom from the bondage of addiction.


If you’re seeking treatment and ready to find a new way to live, we have a place for you. At AToN, you will experience evidence-based medical treatment that drives positive results.  The credentialed staff at our treatment center will design a highly customized inpatient treatment process just for you.

When you’re ready to start your exciting new substance use recovery journey, we stand ready to get you on the right path.

If you or a loved one is in the grips of benzodiazepine addiction, seek professional treatment options that are available at AToN Center’s San Diego Prescription Drug Treatment Center. Call (888) 640-9709.