NOLA Detox Logo

What Are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines affect the central nervous system and sedate a person by increasing the amount of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in the user’s brain. Often prescribed for things like anxiety or insomnia, patients tend to become dependent on the drug if they take it for a prolonged period. Common benzos include:

  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)

Benzos work by depressing the central nervous system, which can make you feel calm and relaxed.

Unfortunately, the long-term effects of benzos are not great. Experts estimate that at least 44% of users eventually become dependent on benzos. Because of this, a slow benzo detox is optimal for a safe and healthy recovery.

Long-term Benefits of Detox for Benzo Addiction

There are several long-term benefits of detox for benzo addiction. The first is that it can help to protect your brain from further damage. Benzos can cause neurotoxicity, which is the destruction of nerve cells. This can lead to a number of problems, including cognitive impairment and seizures.

The second benefit is that detox can help to reduce your cravings for benzos. When you’re addicted to a drug, your body will crave it constantly. Detox can help to break the addiction cycle and reduce these cravings.

Finally, detox can help to improve your mental health. Benzo addiction can lead to anxiety and depression, but detox can help to reverse these problems. Even though benzos are often prescribed to treat insomnia, they can actually cause rebound insomnia if abused. Detoxing can help patients deal with rebound insomnia and help them to get back on a healthy sleeping routine.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

It takes roughly five days for half a benzo like Xanax to fully leave your system, depending on the dose you took. However, withdrawal symptoms can set in as early as 12 hours after you stop taking them. The severity of these symptoms depends on how long you’ve been taking benzos, the method you used to take the benzo, and how large the dose was. Your symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening.

You’ll first experience an acute withdrawal phase, which lasts up to two weeks. You’ll experience physical and mental symptoms like:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation or tremors
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension

During the protracted withdrawal stage (lasting up to six months), your mood will fluctuate between normal and depressed states with periods of hyperactivity called a rebound effect. You can also have trouble sleeping and experience sudden episodes of anger.

There’s also the possibility that you’ll develop benzo-induced depression or anxiety, which can last for up to a year after stopping use. This is especially common if you were taking these drugs long-term. While uncommon, seizures are known to occur during benzodiazepine withdrawal.

Other symptoms of withdrawal include

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation or tremors
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Rebound effect
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Sudden episodes of anger
  • Depression

Fortunately, there are medications that can help with benzo rehab. These medications help reduce or prevent withdrawal symptoms by working on the same neurotransmitters as benzos but are safer to take for a more extended period. Some of the most commonly prescribed treatments are:

  • Antidepressants (such as Prozac or Paxil)
  • Anticonvulsants, if the patient has a history of seizures
  • Beta-blockers (like Inderal)
  • Anti-nausea (Ondansetron)

Detoxification at a Treatment Center

How long it takes to detox from benzos depends on several factors. Because of the type of withdrawal symptoms, you can have with benzos, a slow, tapering detox under medical supervision is the safest way to recover. It can be tempting to simply quick cold-turkey, but among people taking benzos for longer than six months, about 40 percent experience moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms when they quit suddenly.

Therefore, inpatient treatment is much safer than detoxing at home. The program at NOLA Detox and Recovery Center offers a safe and supportive environment, as well as 24/hour care. Physicians, counselors, and other associates are available to help you manage your withdrawal symptoms, which can make the process much more comfortable.

After rehab, you’ll need a game plan to continue your care. This comes in the form of counseling, group therapy, and aftercare support. Our team can help you develop a plan that will work best for you.

Benzo Detox FAQ


Benzos have a natural half-life, which is how long they stay in your body. However, medical professionals can prescribe medications to help lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms you experience.


At NOLA Detox and Recovery Center, we take great care in making sure our patients detox and recover from their addiction in a safe, caring, and educational environment. Our patients have 24/7 access to medical professionals, and we offer many forms of therapy to prepare them for life after their stay ends.


While death from benzo withdrawal is rare, it is possible. This is why it’s so important to detox and rehab in a safe environment under the care of medical professionals.

Contact NOLA Detox and Recovery Center for Benzo Detox Help

If you’re struggling with benzo addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Detox is the first step on the road to recovery. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be difficult, but facilities such as NOLA Detox and Recovery Center are ready to help. Contact us at (504) 446-1111 or visit our campus today.

Feel Better Faster

New Orleans’ Own

Addiction is not your fault, but it is your responsibility. If you’re on our site, you’re likely facing a critical situation.
We are here for you and committed to providing the care you need.

Call or Text – available 24/7. Admissions by appointment only.