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3 Ways to Withdraw from Alprazolam

3 Ways to Withdraw from Alprazolam

how to get off benzos

A very quick taper would involve reducing the dose by 5 mg (25%) each week. Benzodiazepines have a sedative effect because of how they work in your brain. These drugs mimic the effects of a neurotransmitter called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA acts as a sort of speed bump that helps all the other chemical messengers travel through your brain at a reasonable pace. If you’re predisposed to seizures, your risk of having a seizure may also increase during the withdrawal period.

I’ve been on Vraylar for a month and want to stop taking it, do I need to taper down or can I stop?

In addition, over half of the survey respondents said benzodiazepines’ side effects or withdrawal symptoms caused them to consider suicide. That’s what makes it essential to stop taking benzodiazepines slowly, with support from a medical professional. If you take away the blockades gradually, your brain can reduce its chemical traffic to match. But if you remove the drug drug use screening tests all at once, your brain doesn’t have enough time to prepare, and you can develop life-threatening symptoms like seizures. But when you start removing benzodiazepines from your system, suddenly your clogged neurons become an open freeway with no traffic lanes. All those extra chemicals flood your brain, and the excess activity causes symptoms like anxiety and sweating.

how to get off benzos

What is the most important information I should know about benzodiazepine withdrawal?

This is particularly true if you are also giving up other substances, like alcohol or opioids. From 1996 to 2013, the number of people filling benzodiazepine prescriptions increased by 67%. Benzodiazepine abuse and dependence has become more significant among all age groups, alcohol abuse and alcoholism from teens to elderly adults. In 2016, estimates suggest that about half a million people in the United States misused sedative drugs. Though therapy generally can’t address withdrawal symptoms specifically, it can help improve some symptoms, like anxiety and insomnia.

Mental Health Therapist

Benzodiazepines are a group of central nervous system depressants used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. Benzodiazepines are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. Several types of benzodiazepines are sold under popular brand names like Valium (diazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), and Klonopin (clonazepam).

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  1. Data sources include Micromedex (updated 4 Jun 2024), Cerner Multum™ (updated 3 Jun 2024), ASHP (updated 10 Jun 2024) and others.
  2. Dependence appears to occur in a similar way to how it does with other addictive drugs.
  3. Even though quitting benzos can cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, this is essential to recovery and living a life free from substance abuse.
  4. Dependence means that your body and mind feel like they can’t function without the input of a substance.
  5. Medical experts continue to debate the best way to taper these medications, so there’s no single agreed-upon approach.

With short-acting benzodiazepines, symptoms usually peak on the second day of detox and start to improve around the fourth or fifth day. Longer-acting benzos can prolong the acute withdrawal phase for one to two weeks or more. This patient has developed numerous concerning adverse effects, including tolerance, physiologic dependence, and withdrawal. Additionally, her use of supratherapeutic doses of alprazolam poses a safety concern.

I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center.