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The Dangers of Alcohol and Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

Using drugs and alcohol causes major changes in the brain. These changes lead to tolerance and addiction. Tolerance occurs when we require more and more of a substance to feel the same effects. Withdrawal occurs as a result of these changes, and causes one to face a variety of uncomfortable and painful symptoms when they discontinue using drugs or alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms can be extremely painful and, in some cases, lethal. Fortunately, medically assisted detox can address and manage withdrawal symptoms.

It is highly discouraged for a person to attempt to detoxify their body from drugs and alcohol without medical supervision. Some addictions, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines, carry the risk of lethal withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include depression, anxiety, insomnia, nausea, sweating, tremors, and in the most serious cases, seizures. Drink Aware explains, “When you drink alcohol, the fight or flight response in your brain is suppressed, making you feel relaxed. And when you stop drinking, the alcohol gradually leaves your brain as your body processes it. But if you regularly drink excessively, the alcohol’s effect on your brain’s chemical balance can mean you go straight into fight or flight mode as the alcohol leaves your brain, even when there’s no danger present.”

Benzodiazepine withdrawal can also cause seizures and must be managed medically to avoid dangerous symptoms. A 2011 article entitled Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Seizures and Management in the Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association explains, “Withdrawal seizures have occurred with short, medium, and long half-life benzodiazepine, if discontinued abruptly. Withdrawal seizures usually occur in patients who have been taking these medications for long periods of time and at high doses. Seizures have also been reported with less than 15 days of use and at therapeutic dosage. Almost all the withdrawal seizures reported were grand mal seizures. The severity of seizures range from a single episode to coma and death. Benzodiazepine dose tapering can be done faster in a hospital setting in high-dose abusers, but must be done more slowly in the outpatient setting in therapeutic dosage users.”

Medically assisted detoxification programs can manage the symptoms of withdrawal and make the process as comfortable as possible. Without medical supervision, withdrawal from alcohol and benzodiazepines can be extremely discomforting and possible lethal. Detox professionals are able to provide medications that minimize the risk of an individual experiencing grand mal seizure as a result of withdrawal.

Your life doesn’t have to be controlled by addiction and alcoholism. You can make the decision to seek help today and begin building a happy and healthy future in sobriety. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, offers medically assisted detox to ensure that the process is safe and clients have a positive start to the treatment process. For information about detoxification and other treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431