When benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Klonopin) first hit the market, they were thought to be a safe alternative to barbiturates, which were causing a huge amount of overdose deaths. However, even though the tranquilizing effect of benzos matches the therapeutic value of barbiturates, they are no safer. In fact, benzos can cause death by overdose, over-sedation in situations where mental clarity is imperative (such as driving), and from withdrawals.
Needless to say, dependence on benzos can be a very frightening experience. Countless people who are physically and psychologically addicted to this sedative want to eliminate the drug from their lives, but find it nearly impossible due to the excruciating pain of withdrawals.
Many benzo users who try to get off the drug never make it longer than a few hours without another dose. In reality, the fact that these benzo dependent people don’t quit on their own is a good thing, according to doctors.
Benzo withdrawal requires medical supervision. Anyone who wants to quit using this highly addictive drug should contact a medical doctor immediately or enter a medically supervised detox. Attempting to quit “cold turkey” could cause death by cardiac arrest, stroke or seizure.
Doctors know the importance of eliminating the deadly effects of benzo withdrawal through proper, medical detoxification. Benzo withdrawal syndrome is a physiological condition that makes benzos one of the most difficult drugs to remain abstinent from. Some symptoms of this syndrome are as follows:
• Sensory disturbances
• Schizophrenia (in some cases)