Diazepam is a benzodiazepine, a group of prescription medicines that have a sedative effect and are often used to treat anxiety, depression and insomnia. If you have developed an addiction to Diazepam then you will need to undertake a careful detox which should occur as a tapered withdrawal under the supervision of a doctor, lowering the doses until you can take none at all.
Diazepam withdrawal symptoms can be very unpleasant and include more serious conditions such as anxiety, depression and panic attacks, but could also include insomnia, muscle pain, mood swings and lack of concentration.
Detox and withdrawal from diazepam may take from one week to many months. During this time you will need medical supervision and therapy to help you manage any anxiety and depression symptoms while you detox.
If you take Diazepam over a long period of time your body develops a tolerance to the drug, meaning that you need to keep increasing your dose to have the same effect. To break this cycle you will need to undertake a tapered and medically-supervised detox – it is important not to try it alone. This allows you to decrease the dose while still managing your withdrawal symptoms. Until the drug is out of your system it will continue to impact on the chemicals in your brain and so complete detox is important, alongside therapy and other medical care to help you manage your anxiety and depression symptoms.
Detox alone is usually not sufficient for completely successful treatment of Diazepam addiction. Following detox, residential rehab will allow you to continue your treatment in a safe and secure space, letting you concentrate on your recovery. Rehab will allow you to understand the causes of your addiction and through a range of different therapies you can learn techniques to help manage your addiction. If residential rehab is not for you, then outpatient treatment and other therapy options such as group sessions or one-on-one counselling will be helpful.
A carefully tapered Diazepam detox programme can take between one to two weeks, but if you have a more severe addiction you may need to detox for a much longer period of time. You should not attempt to detox from Diazepam abruptly by going cold turkey, you should always consult a doctor or rehab centre to help you work out the best way to slowly reduce the doses, in order to minimise withdrawal symptoms. Therapy that runs alongside this process can take longer, although exactly how long will depend on a number of factors that are unique for each individual.