Benzodiazepines, commonly known as benzos, are a class of prescription drugs used to treat conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. While they can be effective for short-term use, extended or improper use of benzos can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms, which are often referred to as “benzo flu.” We’ll dive into what the Benzo flu is, and its symptoms, and discuss when it is likely to be over during the withdrawal process.
Understanding Benzo Withdrawal
Benzodiazepines, including well-known drugs like Xanax, Ativan, and Valium, can be highly habit-forming due to their calming effects. Individuals who take benzos over an extended period may develop a tolerance, meaning they need higher doses to achieve the same effects. This tolerance often leads to physical and psychological dependence on the drug.
When someone dependent on Benzos decides to stop or reduce their use, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be uncomfortable, and distressing, and are often referred to as the “Benzo flu” due to their flu-like nature. Withdrawal from benzos can be challenging, and the duration and intensity of symptoms can vary from person to person.
Symptoms of the Benzo Flu
The Benzo flu can encompass a wide range of symptoms, both physical and psychological. Common symptoms include:
- Anxiety: Heightened anxiety and panic attacks are common during Benzo’s withdrawal. This is because benzos are prescribed to treat anxiety, and the body becomes reliant on the drug for relief.
- Insomnia: Sleep disturbances are prevalent in withdrawal, with individuals experiencing difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
- Nausea and Vomiting: Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting are common, contributing to the flu-like feeling.
- Sweating and Chills: Profuse sweating, coupled with chills, is a frequent symptom, making individuals feel hot and cold alternatively.
- Muscle Pain: Muscle aches and stiffness are reported by many individuals in withdrawal.
- Tremors and Shaking: Hand tremors and overall bodily shaking can be distressing symptoms.
- Headaches: Headaches are common and can range from mild to severe.
- Palpitations: Rapid heartbeat or palpitations can be distressing and anxiety-inducing.
- Confusion and Cognitive Impairment: Difficulty concentrating, confusion, and cognitive impairment are reported in withdrawal.
- Mood Swings: Emotional instability and mood swings are prevalent, often alternating between extreme irritability and feelings of sadness.
When Will the Benzo Flu Be Over?
The duration of the Benzo flu, or Benzo withdrawal, varies from person to person and is influenced by several factors:
- Dosage and Duration of Use: The higher the dose and the longer the duration of benzo use, the more likely withdrawal symptoms will be severe and prolonged.
- Specific Benzo: The type of Benzo used can impact withdrawal. Short-acting benzos like Xanax tend to have more intense but shorter-lasting withdrawal symptoms compared to longer-acting ones like Valium.
- Individual Differences: Each person’s body and brain chemistry are unique, leading to variations in withdrawal experiences.
Typically, the acute phase of benzo withdrawal can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. During this time, individuals may experience the full range of flu-like symptoms mentioned earlier. After the acute phase, some withdrawal symptoms may continue but are generally less severe.
The good news is that with time, support, and appropriate medical care, withdrawal symptoms do improve, and individuals start to feel better. The Benzo flu is not a permanent condition, and most people will eventually recover from it.
Contact Grand Falls Center for Recovery Today
Overcoming the challenges of Benzo withdrawal, including the often debilitating symptoms of the Benzo flu, is a critical step toward a healthier and drug-free life. If you or someone you know is grappling with Benzo’s addiction or withdrawal, reaching out for professional help is a decisive and life-changing move.
Grand Falls Center for Recovery stands ready to provide the necessary guidance, support, and resources to navigate this journey effectively. Contact us today and take the first step toward a brighter and addiction-free future. Recovery is possible, and with the right support, you can emerge stronger and healthier on the other side of benzo withdrawal.