Alcohol and Benzodiazepines: The Most Dangerous Detox

Ceasing drug and alcohol use abruptly is extremely dangerous. Our bodies have adapted to the increased intake of substances and made physiologically changes. When we abruptly discontinue drug and alcohol use, our bodies respond with painful withdrawal symptoms. Many drugs cause withdrawal symptoms that range from mild to extremely painful, but alcohol and benzodiazepines are two substances that can create lethal withdrawal symptoms.
Attempting to detoxify one’s body of alcohol and benzodiazepines can be deadly. Addiction to these substances create such major changes to the brain and body that withdrawal symptoms can cause major medical complications. Dr. Edward M. Sellers, in a Recent Advances in Pharmacotherapy article entitled Alcohol, Barbiturate, and Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndromes: Clinical Management, explains, “Alcohol, barbiturates and benzodiazepines, depressants of the central nervous system (CNS), are subject to abuse and dependence. Acquired tolerance to and physical dependence on these drugs, as with opiates, are manifestations of compensatory neurophysiologic changes that offset the depressant effect on neuronal excitability, impulse conduction and transmitter release. When drug intake is abruptly stopped or decreased the compensatory changes give rise to signs and symptoms of withdrawal, the severity of which varies with the class of drug, the individual and the drug exposure.” These types of drugs require medical management to ensure safe detoxification.
Alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal can cause a variety of symptoms, including shakiness, fatigue, headaches, sweating, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. The most dangerous symptom, however, is seizures. Adi Jaffe, in a 2010 Psychology Today article entitled Alcohol, Benzos, and Opiates—Withdrawal That Might Kill You, explains, “Whether Xanax (alprazolam), Ativan (lorazepam), Valium (diazepam) or other variations, long term use of Benzodiazepines requires medical supervision to be completed successfully with minimal side-effects and risk to the patient. Normally, the withdrawal process is managed by slowly reducing the dose and transferring the patient from a slow acting, to a long acting, form of the drug.” Alcohol, like benzodiazepines, can cause grand mal seizures during withdrawal. The only way to ensure safety during detoxification is by receiving medical supervision throughout the entirety of the process. Medical staff are able to treat withdrawal symptoms as the occur, often with the use of medications, to make sure a patient is as comfortable and safe as possible.

Your story doesn’t have to be one of pain and suffering as a result of addiction. You can make the courageous decision to seek help now and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, believes that detox does not need to be painful or unbearable– it can be quick and seamless so that you can successfully move on to long-term addiction treatment and begin the first phase of your substance-free life. For more information about Detox and other individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777