This is the third article of the five-part series Benzodiazepines: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You. Read part two, .
Trying to go through benzo withdrawal on your own can quickly lead back to heavy use if only to alleviate the discomfort of the withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, since benzo withdrawal can be dangerous or even fatal in some circumstances, getting professional help is essential for your safety and well-being.
Benzo withdrawal can take place through an inpatient or outpatient medical detox program.
Inpatient detox involves living at a facility while going through benzo withdrawal. Inpatient medical detox offers a high level of medical and moral support from staff and peers. Inpatient treatment is particularly important for severe benzo withdrawal or for those who have been through detox before.
During inpatient detox for benzo withdrawal, medical and mental health professionals will monitor your condition regularly and administer doses of benzodiazepines on a set schedule.
Benefits of inpatient detox include the emotional support it offers and its supervised nature, which helps prevent relapse.
Outpatient detox for benzo withdrawal involves meeting with a physician at a clinic on a regular basis to evaluate your condition and manage the reduction schedule. You’ll be asked to contact the program if you experience certain benzo withdrawal symptoms that could turn dangerous.
During outpatient detox, you’ll reduce your dose according to the schedule developed by your physician. The schedule for dose reduction may be longer for outpatient detox than for inpatient detox, since the shorter the reduction intervals, the more intense benzo withdrawal may be.
Benefits of outpatient detox include a higher level of privacy and the ability to continue working, caring for the family or attending school while undergoing detox. Outpatient detox is best for people who have a high level of intrinsic motivation to stop using benzos and who have plenty of support at home.