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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

August 20, 2021 (Originally Published)

May 7, 2024 (Last Updated)

Table of Contents

Benzodiazepine overdose comes about when benzos are misused or abused. Luckily, for those dealing with benzodiazepine dependence, there are benzo addiction treatment centers in place to help. 

This class of medication is mainly used to treat panic and anxiety short term. But, if abused or misused, these drugs can lead to serious consequences.

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Need help getting addiction treatment?

If you think that you or a loved one is dealing with a benzo addiction problem, don’t hesitate any longer. Contact Renaissance Recovery’ substance abuse treatment program today. We have expert clinicians and a robust recovery community in place to help you through your journey. Call now and get assistance.

Find out more about the dangers of benzo overdose and learn how to get benzodiazepine overdose treatment. 

Understanding Benzodiazepine Overdose

When misused, benzo addiction can lead to serious consequences, including respiratory depression and fatal overdose. 

The most commonly prescribed benzos include: 

  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Valium
  • Librium
  • Ativan 

Benzos are prescription drugs that slow down brain activity by increasing the calming effects of GABA, a chemical in the brain. This results in a calming effect that reduces anxiety. 

Knowing the signs of a benzo overdose can help you recognize dangerous symptoms in yourself or a loved one. 

Benzodiazepine OD usually happens when you take more than the prescribed dose. Mixing benzos with other central nervous system (CNS) depressants like alcohol or opioids increases the risk. Central nervous system depression will get worse and lead to a number of other problems including heightened risk of bzd overdose.

When someone is overdosing on benzos, extreme sleepiness, slow reflexes, and confusion occur. Even though benzos are safe when taken as directed, an overdose can lead to breathing problems and coma. In the worst case, an overdose can be fatal in cases of benzodiazepine toxicity. 

Benzo Overdose Symptoms

Benzodiazepine overdose signs and symptoms vary from person to person and depend on many variables. Common side effects include: 

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Deep fatigue
  • Respiratory depression
  • Trouble breathing
  • Blue lips or fingertips
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Heightened blood pressure
  • Blurred vision
  • Weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Changed mental state
  • Hallucinations
  • Stupor
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Coma 

In severe cases of benzo addiction and overdose, problems and symptoms can get worse and worse, leading to deadly overdose and benzodiazepine deaths.

Benzo Overdose Treatment: What to Do

If you see any signs of a benzo overdose, the first thing you should do is call 911. Getting medical help quickly reduces the chance of serious consequences and death. 

When calling 911, give emergency responders as much information as possible about the person overdosing. Mention the benzodiazepine prescriptions taken and any other substances used with it. 

The overdose victim will be taken to the hospital right away. They might be treated with IV fluids and breathing support for severe respiratory depression. Sometimes, emergency medicine and medications are also used. 

Flumazenil is often given in benzo overdose cases. This medication can reverse the sedative effects of benzos and help wake up an unconscious person. It can also prevent someone from slipping back into unconsciousness or a coma. 

Recovery time after a benzo overdose can vary. It depends on how fast treatment is given and the severity of the overdose. 

Here are some simple steps you can take to lower the chance of a severe overdose: 

  • Take benzos only as prescribed
  • Use only your prescription for benzos
  • Inform your doctor about any other substances you use, including OTC medications and supplements
  • Don’t use alcohol or other drugs while taking benzos
  • Tell your doctor about any side effects you notice 

Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment at Renaissance Recovery

Addiction can affect anyone. If you or a loved one needs help getting back on track after fighting with drug or alcohol abuse, get in touch with substance abuse treatment at Renaissance Recovery in Florida or California. 

We offer treatment for benzo addiction at our luxury beachside rehab. This outpatient setting lets you get treatment while managing your personal and professional duties. We also provide more intense outpatient programs for those who need more support. If you need help with drug or alcohol withdrawal, we can connect you with detox centers near you for opioid overdose and benzodiazepine overdoses. 

All our programs offer personalized addiction treatment that may include: 

Upon entering treatment clients will go through a psychiatric evaluation to determine underlying problems that may be contributing to their drug abuse

When you’re ready to break free from addiction, call 866.330.9449 for immediate substance abuse treatment help.



At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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