Benzodiazepine use in medical cannabis authorization adult patients from 2013 to 2021: Alberta, Canada Full Text

People tapering off the same original dosage of medication can have drastically different tapering experiences. After a month or so, your brain gets used to sending off more neurotransmitters just so some can get past the benzodiazepine blockade. When benzodiazepines attach to your neurons, they invite a bunch of chloride ions inside. These ions change the neuron’s electrical charge, so it has to work much harder to activate and send signals. Benzodiazepines have a sedative effect because of how they work in your brain.

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. Experiencing rebound symptoms means the symptoms you had before taking benzodiazepines come back even stronger than before.

  1. Phase two is called protracted withdrawal or post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).
  2. To find a treatment program, browse the top-rated addiction treatment facilities in each state by visiting our homepage, or by viewing the SAMHSA Treatment Services Locator.
  3. This category includes common effects such as light-headedness, slurred speech, feeling drowsy, general confusion, being unsteady or falling easily, dizziness, and memory problems.
  4. This will prevent you from altering the taper, but it might mean frequent trips to the pharmacy.
  5. KJBM, SWK, and LR are members of the Alberta Real World Evidence Consortium, an academic entity that conducts research including investigator-initiated industry-funded studies.

The longer you take it, the more severe your dependence on the drug will become. In this manner, they produce relaxation, anxiety control, seizure control, and sedation. They can even be used to treat withdrawal from alcohol and other drugs.

How Long Does It Take to Detox from Benzos?

To fully evaluate an individual’s level of dependence and addiction, a mental health professional will consider these symptoms as well as other measures. Before receiving treatments like benzo detox or addiction therapies, potential patients must undergo a thorough mental and physical assessment. Detox can allow your brain the time it needs to stabilize and heal, which is necessary for recovery. It can be difficult to stop taking benzodiazepines without professional help due to the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms. Cravings and negative physical and mental health symptoms can encourage relapse. We’ve long known that benzodiazepines can be dangerous, but in September 2020, the U.S.

All cannabis products were treated as equals, despite there being known clinical difference between products and regimens. Our study is therefore limited by the lack of these clinical details of medical cannabis, in addition to the lack of concomitant use with other non-prescription benzodiazepines agents. Among the top reasons for medical cannabis use has been an increasing clinical interest in its “sparing effect” on reducing the use of other medications, specifically benzodiazepines (as well as opioids) [8]. Conversely, there are concerns cannabis can actually increase anxiety levels.

What happens when you stop taking benzodiazepines?

The safest way to engage in a withdrawal management program from benzodiazepines is on an inpatient basis. However, if you find that you’ve developed a chemical dependence on a benzo, the safest thing to do is to consult a medical professional before you decide to quit. When benzodiazepines are active in the system, this increase in other neurotransmitters may result in a state of balance. When benzodiazepines are metabolized and leave the system, the person stops taking them; there is a state of imbalance.

Dopamine is a type of messenger that is partly responsible for how humans feel pleasure. Research indicates that physical dependence may begin in just a few weeks, even while taking the drugs in low therapeutic doses. Withdrawal symptoms may begin after as little as 3–6 weeks of use, even when a person uses the drugs as the doctor directed. Supportive counseling and other targeted therapies or medications may help a person manage the symptoms and improve their quality of life. Acute withdrawal begins after the initial withdrawal symptoms, generally within a few days.

The index dates of the unexposed group were randomly assigned based on the distribution of exposed group’s index dates. Despite alcohol prevalence, alcohol detoxification remains one of the more dangerous and difficult recovery processes. Severe alcohol detox clients can expect symptoms of depression and nausea and require the care of experienced alcohol detox specialists. If you or a loved one are considering a benzodiazepine detox program, contact Zinnia Health for more information about our centers and how we can help. This stage involves counseling and other forms of therapy to help you understand the underlying issues behind your addiction. These therapies can include cognitive behavioral therapy, individual and family counseling, support groups, and other holistic therapies.

The onset of benzodiazepine withdrawal depends on the specific medication you are taking. Short-acting drugs like Xanax (alprazolam) and Ativan (lorazepam) leave the system quicker, which means withdrawal symptoms can appear in as little antidepressants and alcohol interactions as eight to 12 hours. The primary difference between these drugs is the length of time they stay active in the body. However, benzodiazepines can cause physical dependence and withdrawal even when they are taken as directed.

This will prevent you from altering the taper, but it might mean frequent trips to the pharmacy. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be managed with a gradual dose reduction, which will cause milder symptoms that come and go in waves. You may have to pause, slow down, or speed up depending on how your body reacts to withdrawal. For example, say you’re tapering off a dose of 20 milligrams (mg) of diazepam (Valium). A very quick taper would involve reducing the dose by 5 mg (25%) each week.

Benzodiazepine Detox

Severe benzo withdrawal is a high risk for people who have a history of benzodiazepine abuse, in addition to those who have been taking a high dose of benzos for a very long time. These can become severe if you try to detox alone, or if you try to stop taking benzodiazepines very suddenly and all at once. The tapering process is adjusted to suit the needs of the individual, but often, a particular percentage of the dose will be cut down every day or every other day to slowly wean the person off the benzodiazepine. Other medications may be used to address any symptoms that are not completely controlled by the tapering process or other issues that were identified in the assessment. In some instances, benzodiazepine detox can include life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. If you are experiencing any of the benzo withdrawal symptoms listed above, or wish to have dedicated support to recover from a substance use disorder, call us today.

KJBM, SWK, and LR are members of the Alberta Real World Evidence Consortium, an academic entity that conducts research including investigator-initiated industry-funded studies. Moreover, the research funders and companies listed were not involved in any aspect of the design or write-up of the study and all analysis was performed independent from the funders and companies. The unexposed control group met the same above criteria as the exposed group, with the exception of not having medical cannabis authorization.

The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) is a public body that was involved in the project in terms of our access to the data. Further, the CPSA was not involved in the analysis or reporting of animal-assisted therapy the research project’s outcomes. Our Clinical staff will work with patients to develop an aftercare plan that meets the unique needs of each patient and transition them to the next phase of their recovery.

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