Benzodiazepine Detox in Port St. Lucie, FL

What Is Benzodiazepine Detox?

In most alcohol and drug addiction treatment, detox is the first stage that an individual in recovery will encounter. Here, medical professionals administer treatment to help the body physically recover. During benzo detox, drugs are removed from the body, along with any harmful toxins.

Although detox typically spans one or two weeks, the severity of addiction, the volume of substances, and how frequently drugs are used determine how long it takes to complete benzo detox. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be incredibly challenging. As a result, it is not uncommon for those attempting to detox to experience a relapse within twenty-four hours of starting the process.

Safe and Comfortable Benzo Detox is a Must

As benzo withdrawal can cause life-threatening symptoms in extreme circumstances, medically supervised detox is strongly recommended. Not only does this reduce the risk of relapse, but it increases the chance of long-term recovery.

Medical benzodiazepine detox is suitable for those detoxing from benzos and other central nervous system depressants. Essentially, medical detox includes going through the withdrawal process under the supervision of healthcare professionals in a treatment facility.

The main concern for doctors is preventing severe symptoms such as seizures, as they can lead to permanent brain damage or, in some cases, death. However, medically assisted detox allows health professionals to monitor a client’s vital signs and provide medical intervention if necessary.

Why are Benzodiazepines Prescribed? How Does Addiction Happen?

Benzodiazepines are often prescribed by medical professionals to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, and seizure disorders. However, taking benzos such as valium, Klonopin, or Xanax, can lead to serious health complications, especially when taken over a prolonged period. 

Irrespective of whether benzodiazepines are prescribed by a medical professional, benzo addiction can affect anyone, with a physical dependence developing within as little as four weeks.

After continued use, the body adjusts to the presence of benzos, causing many people to feel unable to function without them. In turn, a resistance to the drug develops, meaning a higher dose is needed to acquire the desired effect.

Once resistance develops, those taking benzos often increase the dose without consulting a medical professional, leading to benzodiazepine abuse and addiction.

When an individual becomes addicted to benzos, professional treatment, such as medical detox, is needed to treat the associated symptoms. Typically, this is available via inpatient and outpatient treatment centers.

Tapering Down Benzo Use

In a medically supervised benzodiazepine detox, health professionals will work with each person to create an individualized treatment plan. They consider the client’s medical and personal history and review the number of benzos they consume and the length of time they have been doing so.

Sometimes, medical professionals prescribe other benzos to help clients taper down benzo use. Although this is not for everyone, doing so can make detox and withdrawal symptoms less intense. Diazepam (valium) and clonazepam (Klonopin) are often prescribed during benzo detox because they are long-acting and less potent than other drugs. 

Although a medical benzo detox is beneficial, some people attempt to go cold turkey and cease using benzos altogether. However, medical professionals always advise against this due to the risks. Instead, they suggest exploring different treatment providers and finding a treatment program that works.

By tapering off benzo consumption slowly, the body has a chance to remove benzos gradually, meaning uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms are generally less intense, as is the case for most substance abuse detox.

What Are Withdrawal Symptoms Like With Benzodiazepine?

Withdrawal symptoms from benzo detox are particularly uncomfortable compared to symptoms often encountered when withdrawing from alcohol and other drugs. Those with a long history of benzo use or higher doses generally have more severe symptoms.

Although they differ from person to person, benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms include:

Some people report experiencing far more severe withdrawal symptoms in addition to these. The worst cases of benzodiazepine withdrawal may involve:

Due to how these symptoms can impair a person’s physical and psychological health, it is essential to remember that medical help is available to support benzo detox and withdrawal.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Timeline

Before commencing benzo detox, those hoping to recover from a drug addiction should consult with a certified addiction professional.

As noted above, symptoms vary from person to person, as do the severity. In addition, the length of time an individual experiences symptoms does too. However, benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms are generally worse on the second day of detox and reduce or stop after one week. In some instances, they can last longer.

During benzo detox, some people also experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS), whereby they experience ongoing mental, emotional, and physical symptoms often for months after completing benzodiazepine withdrawal. Here, the quality of aftercare support is paramount.

We have shared a typical timeline below to offer greater insight into what can be expected during benzo withdrawal.

Day 1 to 3 –  Symptoms can begin within six hours of starting benzodiazepine detox for some. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are common at this stage as the body starts to detoxify. Difficulty sleeping is also common in the first three days.

Day 4 to 7 – Withdrawal symptoms may begin to reduce, but cravings are often still present. The most intense benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms have generally passed by this point, although people may experience extreme exhaustion. 

Day 8 to 14 – Psychological benzo withdrawal symptoms are present by this stage and are sometimes coupled with lingering physical symptoms. Insomnia and nightmares can arise, as can anxiety and irritability. These symptoms can include panic attacks and suicidal thoughts in more extreme cases. After fourteen days, people have generally completed the acute withdrawal phase.

Day 15-30 – There may still be intermittent withdrawal symptoms in the later withdrawal phase, often called the protracted withdrawal phase. However, by now, all drug traces should have left the body. Some people may experience PAWS which are generally short periods of strong withdrawal symptoms months after quitting. Tapering off drug consumption with the help of a doctor can usually alleviate PAWS, as well as the worst withdrawal symptoms.

The above highlights some of the withdrawal symptoms typically encountered, but it does not offer a complete list. This is because a more specific timeline for withdrawal depends on the type of benzo used and whether it is short-acting or long-acting.

Alprazolam and lorazepam, among others, are short-acting benzos that leave the body much faster than long-acting benzos. This means withdrawal symptoms can start as soon as eight to twelve hours after the last consumption of the drug. 

In contrast, benzos such as clonazepam and diazepam are long-acting, and they generally have a lower risk of intense withdrawal symptoms. However, this depends on other factors, including dose and frequency of consumption. People detoxing from long-acting benzos may not experience symptoms until one or two days after taking the drug.

Rebound Effect

Benzodiazepines are most commonly prescribed for mental health conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and insomnia as they can help people sleep and address symptoms of GAD.

When a person stops consuming benzos, an increase in anxiety and insomnia can be common, as can feelings of intense restlessness. These experiences of increased anxiety or restlessness are called the rebound effect. Rebound effects from benzo withdrawal typically happen in the later withdrawal phase and last for two to three days.

It is essential to distinguish the difference between withdrawal symptoms and rebound effects. The rebound effects are the return of symptoms that a person struggled with before benzodiazepine use began. In contrast, withdrawal symptoms begin as the body tries to return to functioning without benzos.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS)

Irrespective of how committed a person is to their addiction treatment and sobriety, PAWS can play a significant role in relapse. The symptoms can be highly uncomfortable and even distressing and can feel like an emotional roller coaster for some, negatively impacting their recovery.

Although the above is true, it is crucial for those in recovery to be patient, practice self-care strategies, and communicate openly with family members about their feelings. Understanding the symptoms of PAWS and putting healthy coping strategies in place is the best way to prevent relapse. 

Exercising, eating healthily, and avoiding triggers can also contribute to long-term sobriety and reduce the impact of PAWS.

Treatment for Benzodiazepine Addiction Port Saint Lucie

Those who struggle with benzo addiction often suffer from underlying mental health conditions and, in some cases, other addictions.

Detox itself is rarely enough to result in long-lasting sobriety, and so some people opt for inpatient treatment after their medical detox. There, they stay at a treatment facility. Others may prefer outpatient options, where they can receive therapy without compromising their daily schedule. Following detox, those in recovery are also encouraged to join support groups.

Irrespective of the treatment option chosen, it is important for those looking to overcome their addiction to understand the physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal that may be encountered even after the withdrawal phase.

Post-Detox Recovery

Alcohol and substance abuse treatment can be daunting, but treatment centers offer holistic and flexible options.

Stabilization Stage

After detox, it is important to create coping mechanisms and responses to triggers. This can be done with medical assistance from mental health professionals, either in a residential treatment center or an outpatient center. This also provides an opportunity for those in need to seek treatment for a mental illness.


Various forms of therapy can support long-term addiction recovery and lasting sobriety, such as:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – CBT effectively helps many people in recovery as they identify unhelpful and harmful thoughts and behaviors that could hinder their progress. Working with mental health professionals, CBT encourages clients to manage their problems, change negative thought patterns, and alter the way they think. Unlike other talking therapies or treatments, CBT aims to help people deal with ongoing problems that they may face daily.

Trauma therapy – Unlike other therapies, trauma therapy helps people identify unprocessed trauma. Over half of the population will experience a traumatic experience in their lifetime. While not all people will seek therapy and support, it is important to know the profound effect of trauma. As trauma can contribute to the development of addiction, there are specific treatment plans available to help people recovering from an addiction deal with past trauma. This dual approach to addiction recovery is effective in supporting lasting sobriety

Why Choose NP Addiction Clinic?

Why our St. Lucie County rehab and mental health center is right for you and your loved ones.

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24-Hour Support

We are dedicated to helping people heal, recover and live better lives, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Count on us to be there when you need us most. 

On-Site Detox

Unlike most facilities, we provide a complete, in-house safe and comfortable medical detox.We care for you from start to finish.

Mental Health Treatment Pros

We are experts in treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction and much more. Our mental health expertise is above and beyond the norm.

Aftercare and Alumni Support

Our aftercare, alumni support and MAT programs are second to none. We’re invested in your recovery and wellness for the long haul. 

Let’s Talk Today

The Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic is committed to delivering the best mental health and addiction treatment available. We can help you or the one you love too, but you need to make the first move. Call us now at (888) 574-3506 or send us a message using this form. 

Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner


As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns


Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine