Alcohol and benzodiazepines or “benzos” are the two primary substances for which death can occur during withdrawal. The biggest cause of concern is the possibility of seizures in those who are detoxing from one or both of these substances.
Withdrawal from opioids does not carry the same risk of death but should still be done under the supervision of an experienced and compassionate medical professional. It is important during this process to find a healthcare provider that you can trust and who takes your experience and symptoms seriously. At the Volpicelli Center, our philosophy is that we work collaboratively with you to ensure the safest most comfortable withdrawal possible. We do not believe that people deserve to suffer severe withdrawal symptoms, or that a harsh withdrawal motivates people to avoid drugs in the future. Rather, the use of medications to relieve withdrawal symptoms can typically make the withdrawal process safe and comfortable, even in an outpatient setting.
Withdrawal from alcohol, benzos, or opioids can be uncomfortable and even dangerous when conducted without medical supervision. The possibility of bad withdrawal symptoms should not deter anyone from seeking treatment, but rather encourage people to work together with a knowledgeable health care provider to assist in detoxification. Remember, death from detoxification is rare, but death from a drug overdose is much more likely.