Detoxing from benzodiazepines can be a difficult, overwhelming experience. In this comprehensive guide, we have provided 10 crucial steps to help you cope with withdrawal symptoms during benzo detox so that you can get on the path to recovery with confidence.
From recognizing signs of acute withdrawal syndrome (AWS), planning ahead for contingencies, and creating an aftercare plan – these tips provide a supportive framework for managing your individual needs while going through detox.
Understand the Benzodiazepine Detox Process
The first step to coping with benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms is to get an understanding of the detox process. This includes being aware of the potential side effects, how long these side effects can last, and when medical intervention may be required. Some of these potential side effects and how long they can last are:
- Insomnia: up to 2 days after the initial withdrawal
- Headache: up to 3 days after the initial withdrawal
- Anxiety/Panic Attacks: up to 4 weeks after the initial withdrawal
- Depression: up to 2 months after the initial withdrawal
It’s important to have a basic understanding of the timeline for detox including the acute withdrawal period, post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), and long-term recovery. This knowledge can help you have realistic expectations about the process which can in turn reduce stress and anxiety.
Create a Detox Plan
Creating a detox plan can help you stay organized and on track throughout the process. This includes setting realistic goals, breaking them down into manageable steps, and having contingencies in place for difficult moments.
Make sure to include self-care items such as exercise, meditation, or journaling so that you have multiple tools to choose from for managing withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a support system such as family or friends who can provide encouragement and accountability.
Utilize Medication and Supplements
In some cases, medications may be prescribed by your doctor in order to manage benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms. It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of any medications prior to taking them.
Additionally, there are certain supplements such as magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and Vitamin C and B vitamins that have been shown to aid in recovery while going through detox. Talk with your doctor or a health professional about incorporating these into your individualized plan.
The stressors of daily life can compound the effects of withdrawing from benzos, so it is important to find ways to reduce stress. This may include reducing your workload if possible, avoiding over-stimulating environments or activities, and creating space for self-care. Engaging in calming activities such as yoga, nature walks or reading can help reduce stress and provide relaxation.
Seek Professional Support
It can be difficult to cope with withdrawal symptoms alone, so seeking out professional support is highly recommended. This may include speaking with your doctor or a mental health professional who can provide guidance throughout the detox process. Additionally, therapy or counseling can be beneficial for managing anxiety and depression while going through withdrawal.
Make Diet Adjustments
Diet plays a big role in the detox process and can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with withdrawal. Eating nutritious meals throughout the day can help improve energy levels and reduce any digestive issues that may arise during detox. Some nutritious foods can include:
- Whole grains
- Lean proteins
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Healthy fats such as nuts and avocados
Avoiding processed foods, sugary drinks and caffeine can help minimize any cravings for benzos. Additionally, staying hydrated is crucial for managing withdrawal symptoms so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Get Plenty of Rest
Sleep deprivation is a common symptom associated with benzo withdrawal and can increase feelings of anxiety, irritability, and depression. Aiming for at least 8 hours of quality sleep each night can help reduce these symptoms as well as improve your overall mood. Additionally, taking short naps can also be beneficial for recharging your energy levels.
Develop an Aftercare Plan
It is important to have a plan in place for after detox as this will help ensure long-term success. This may include attending support groups or individual therapy sessions, finding sober activities to participate in, and developing healthy habits such as eating nutritious meals and exercising regularly. Having an aftercare plan will provide structure and accountability which can be beneficial in maintaining sobriety.
Finally, it is important to stay positive throughout the detox process even when things get difficult. Remember that you are not alone and there are people who can help support you in your journey. Surround yourself with positive affirmations and mantras that remind you of your strength and resilience. Making a habit of focusing on the present moment can help ease any feelings of anxiety or fear during this time.
Contact Findlay Recovery Center Today
It’s important not to overexert yourself too much, though – ration out what you do so that you don’t overwhelm yourself. Learning to relax and find regular moments of leisure time during detox can also be beneficial for calming both the mind and body.
Finally, if you are looking for compassionate and experienced care while undergoing detox, consider contacting Findlay Recovery Center today. We can provide you with the guidance you need to properly navigate this journey towards a healthier lifestyle overload.
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