Benzodiazepine and sedative-hypnotic withdrawal and detoxification is difficult, dangerous, and can be potentially deadly if attempted without proper medical treatment. The intensity and dangerousness of the withdrawal is greatly amplified if alcohol was used as well. Benzodiazepine withdrawal creates a very high risk for having seizures. These complications can all be avoided with a well thought out and methodical detox regimen.
Many outpatient detox options have been developed to safely and comfortably come off of benzodiazepines and sedatives. Specific medication combinations delivered in certain timing patterns can completely contain and control benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms, leaving the patient very comfortable in most cases. Most patients can continue full time employment while undergoing this process, due to the level of stability achieved. Benzodiazepine detox on an outpatient basis costs much less than inpatient detox, with substantial additional savings coming from minimal to no opportunity cost from missed workdays.
An appropriately paced detox done over a longer period of time follows more natural neurophysiologic patterns, unlike the uncomfortable and dangerous 5 to 7 day detox protocols used in most inpatient facilities. Much like as with alcohol detox, a slower process greatly reduces if not completely eliminates the brain damage that would often result from a faster detox lasting less than 10 days. Shorter alcohol or benzodiazepine detox poses a very high risk of seizures and widespread brain cell death from the electrical over-activity and excessive release of the excitatory neurotransmitter Glutamate in the central nervous system. This damaging process can be fully avoided and properly managed with appropriate medication combinations given over a longer period of time. Comfort correlates with medical safety when it comes to alcohol or benzodiazepine detoxification. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) from benzodiazepines can be managed promptly and effectively, which further improves comfort and reduces relapse rates. This is in stark contrast to most inpatient detox facilities, where patients are typically discharged before post-acute withdrawal symptoms develop, leaving them few options besides relapse. Patients that had just recently completed inpatient detox often come to the Delray Center because of intolerable post-acute withdrawal symptoms that persist due to having developed severe withdrawal complications such as seizures. Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, tremor, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle spasms, and night sweats are screened for and effectively handled. A Benzodiazepine detox cannot be considered fully completed until all of the symptoms of acute and post-acute withdrawal symptoms have resolved and the patient is fully comfortable.
Benzodiazepine and sedative hypnotic detoxification is available for patients coming off of diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), temazepam (Restoril), flurazepam (Dalmane), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), zolpidem (Ambien), phenobarbitol, butalbitol (Fioricet, Fiorinal, Esgic plus), pentobarbital, carisoprodol (Soma), Rohypnol, Baclofen, cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), and GHB (Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate). Appointments are available at convenient times both before and after common working hours. This usually allows patients to undergo outpatient benzodiazepine detox while missing little to no work.