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Benzo Addiction and Withdrawal Timeline 

Benzodiazepines have been one of the easiest drugs to get prescriptions from your family doctor but are some of the hardest drugs to detox from. Benzos can lead to addiction if the person who is prescribed starts using more of the medication than recommended. When taking benzos people should refrain from drinking alcohol due to both drugs acting as a sedative, which can lead to a fatal overdose.

How Long Does Detox Take? 

Detoxing from benzos can take anywhere from 5 days, up to 20 days for heavy abusers. Symptoms of withdrawal and side effects can linger for months which is why we always recommend an inpatient drug rehab center that specializes in benzo detox and treatment. A dual diagnosis treatment program that has doctors on staff to adjust medications if needed, is preferred to holistic non-medication-based treatment when dealing with a heavy benzodiazepine-addicted patient.

Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal include aches and pains, delirium, muscle spasms, anxiety, depression, nausea, insomnia, gran mal seizures, abnormal body sensations

Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal include aches and pains, delirium, muscle spasms, anxiety, depression, nausea, insomnia, gran mal seizures, abnormal body sensations

Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms

With all the dangerous withdrawal symptoms that can become life-threatening, it is never recommended that someone try to just stop their medications without consulting their prescribing doctor first.  When going through detox from benzos it is important to keep affirming that this will not last forever and that you are almost done with detox. Dwelling on the detox can make it worse so keep your mind busy and stay positive. Withdrawal from benzos can start in as little as 4 hours for short-acting benzos and last upwards of 12 to 15 days for some patients. When withdrawal starts, the first thing you are going to feel is heavy anxiety. You may wonder how long will this feeling last, or you may think that the withdrawal is taking too long, or wonder if there is something wrong. Prepare for 15 days of detox. If it takes less time, then you get an early feeling of accomplishment. This first accomplishment can help you take the next step into treatment to handle the underlying problems and conditions that lead to the addiction.

1: Prepare for 2 weeks or more of physical withdrawal symptoms and longer for regular sleep patterns to return. The initial symptoms that are typical for benzo withdrawal usually start off mild, with small bouts of anxiety, muscle aches, back pain, inability to be comfortable, and difficulty staying asleep and or falling asleep.  With short and ultra short-acting benzos this can take 2 to 12 hours to start to manifest. Longer-lasting benzodiazepines can take as long as 4 -5 days to start feeling the onset of withdrawal symptoms

2: Physical and mental withdrawal symptoms can take a few days to manifest and up to a week with peak withdrawal symptoms which can last up to two weeks or longer for severe cases.  This is the time when you are going to feel completely wrecked and horrible for what can seem like an eternity. Once you start to enter into peak withdrawal from benzodiazepines you will feel that this is going to last forever and it keeps getting worse. With muscle pains, insomnia, and the inability to find comfort in anything, time will seem like it is at a standstill. Minutes can seem like hours, days can seem like weeks. This is not meant to scare anyone away from detox but it is meant to show the need for medical supervision and treatment to help throughout the detoxification process. With medical intervention and detox programs, this discomfort can be held to a minimum with the ability to administer medications and keep you nourished and hydrated while monitoring you for any irregularities in your vital signs to ensure a safe withdrawal process. 

3:  Once the worst part of the detox is over you can expect mild symptoms to reemerge randomly for the next few months. Benzodiazepines are typically prescribed for sleeping disorders and anxiety issues so expect these symptoms to become extreme during a benzo detox. You may not be able to tell the difference between the medication detox and your normal symptoms for the condition for which the medication was prescribed in the first place. It is common to feel periodic withdrawal symptoms for months after the initial detox symptoms subside. Depression and elevated anxiety are quite normal for a couple of months after the last use. A long-term drug rehab program can help you avoid relapse, which is quite common. After a medical detox is completed entering into short or long-term inpatient drug rehab can be the difference between long-term recovery and relapse. 


Some of the symptoms from benzo detox in its peak stages can include:
  • Flu-like pains (feeling like you are hurting all over your body)
  • Sleeping irregularities and insomnia
  • Panic attacks with bouts of depression
  • Loss of muscle coordination
  • Pounding heart
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Psychosis and hallucinations
  • Heavy sweating or perspiration 
  • Violent muscle spasms
  • Seizures can be deadly for some 

Below we have listed a few life changes and hacks that can help you in your early recovery from Benzos.

  • Eat healthily and get plenty of exercise
  • Get a support person that you can call 24 hours a day if you are feeling like a relapse is imminent 
  • Surround yourself with people who support and encourage you to be your best
  • Find a hobby that you can get enjoyment and a sense of accomplishment.
  • Try to free yourself from caring about what others think about you. You can’t change that anyway.
  • Follow your dreams, and set short and long-term goals.
  • Try and live in the moment, we can’t change the past or control the future, but we can make a difference in the present. 

Addiction specialists can help you with local options for detox and treatment. We will help you decide what is the best level of care for your current benzodiazepine dependency or addiction. Inpatient treatment for benzo addiction is always the best option to ensure a long-lasting recovery. It is sometimes beneficial for the client to go to treatment further away from home. Getting away from temptations and friends who may still be using is often better for many people. Clients who go to rehab in another state also have a harder time leaving treatment early as well. Depending on the situation, our counselors may suggest looking for substance abuse programs that are a plane flight away. Give us a call toll-free to find out how you can become free from the grips of your benzodiazepine medications.



Treatment improvement protocol (TIP) series, no. 38. Rockville, MD.




Smart Recovery Meetings

Erik Epp – Content Author
Benzo Addiction and Withdrawal Timeline 
Service Type
Benzo Addiction and Withdrawal Timeline 
Nationwide help for Benzo detox and addiction to Benzodiazepines
Withdrawal symptoms and signs of detox for Xanax and Benzos. Get help for addiction and dependence on Benzos today. Call us at 1-800-513-5423


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