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Thinking of taking a break from regular use?
See the 'Making changes' page for more information on how to Manage withdrawal from drugs and alcohol.
Regardless of the dose, if you are using benzodiazepines for a long period of time, it can be dangerous to stop taking them suddenly. Make sure you speak with your doctor before stopping or cutting down. Even if you have been taking them illegally (without a prescription), you won’t be in trouble with the law for seeing a doctor for help.
Withdrawing from benzos can be difficult and is different for everyone. Some people experience symptoms for several months.
If you …
Have aches and pains
Feel sweaty or feel very hot or very cold
Have mild memory loss
Feel agitated or irritable
Feel mildly anxious
Have low mood
Have mood swings
Try these things at home:
Have increased memory loss
Have increased nausea
Vomit or dry retch
Feel increased anxiety
Feel panicked or have a panic attack
Have intense low mood
Experience intense or ongoing agitation
Have a panic attack
Feel emotionally distressed
Have heart palpitations
Call a doctor or Healthline (0800 611 116)
You can talk to your doctor about:
Have chest pain
Experience severe pain
Have a very high heartrate
Feel extremely emotionally distressed
Have trouble breathing
Have a seizure
These are signs you could be experiencing severe benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. You or the people around you should act quickly.
For more information on getting support for drug and alcohol use, see Finding support.
One Reddit user talks about his experience coming off benzos after taking them for a long time:
“You don’t know when it is going to stop so your irrational anxiety starts making you think it’s never going to stop, so you get depressed, palpitations, sweaty, shaky, numb hands and feet.”
Wondering what happens if you need an ambulance during lockdown? Blake Murray from St John answers your questions.
It can be a bit weird adjusting back to life outside your bubble, so we’ve pulled togther a few key tips to help you out if you choose to use drugs.