Valium is a brand name for a drug called diazepam, which was the second benzodiazepine drug that was synthesized. It was approved for use in 1960, and by the 1970s, it was one of the most popular drugs in the world. Valium is a central nervous system depressant that is used for its sedative-hypnotic capabilities. It’s often prescribed for people with insomnia and anxiety disorders. It can also be used to treat vertigo, muscle spasms, and seizures. Valium is GABAergic, which means it works by interacting with a chemical messenger called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) to facilitate sedation and relaxation. However, long-term use or abuse can cause chemical changes in the brain that lead to dependence and addiction.
Signs Of Valium Addiction
Valium addiction would be diagnosed as a severe substance use disorder, which is characterized by compulsive use of a drug. Addiction is often identified by continuous drug use despite consequences like health or relationship problems. Addiction can have an effect on multiple areas of your life. Though it may cause physical symptoms, it may also cause social consequences as well, like poor performance at work. Other signs can include:
- Strange sleep patterns
- Uncomfortable symptoms when you try to quit
- Trying and failing to cut back
- Hiding drugs
- Lying about drug use
- Struggling at work or school
What Is Involved In Valium Addiction Treatment?
Addiction can be a chronic disease, but it’s treatable. Addiction treatment should be tailored to your individual needs. It should also address multiple aspects of your life, including physical, psychological, and social needs. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), there are four main levels of care in addiction treatment: medical detox, inpatient, intensive outpatient, and outpatient. Detox is designed for people that may encounter severe withdrawal symptoms. Depressants like Valium can cause dangerous symptoms like seizures during withdrawal, so you may need to start with detox.
Inpatient or residential treatment involves 24-hour medically monitored treatment for people with high-level medical or psychological needs. When you’re able to live at home, you can move on to outpatient services. Intensive outpatient treatment includes more than nine hours of services per week, while outpatient treatment involves fewer than nine hours per day.
How Dangerous Is Valium?
Valium is relatively safe when it’s taken as prescribed, but it can become dangerous when it’s abused or taken for too long. The drug can cause respiratory depression and slow your heart rate if taken in high doses. In fatal overdoses, this can lead to oxygen deprivation and death. Benzodiazepines don’t lead to life-threatening overdoses as quickly as other prescription depressants like barbiturates, but with high enough doses, they can. Benzos are more likely to cause fatal overdose symptoms when they’re mixed with opioids or other depressants. It’s important to avoid drinking alcohol or taking other medications with benzodiazepines before speaking to a doctor.
Depressants like Valium can also cause dangerous symptoms during withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can cause seizures, heart palpitations, and extreme confusion or panic. In severe cases, this can lead to heart failure or fevers that can be life-threatening. If you believe you’ve become chemically dependent, speak to a doctor before quitting cold turkey.