Legacy Healing Center Blog
Valium, also known by its generic name, diazepam, is popular in the use of treating anxiety and panic disorders. It can also be used to treat alcohol withdrawal, seizures, insomnia, muscle spasms, and restless leg syndrome. If misused, however, Valium addiction can occur.
Although Valium can effectively treat many different syndromes, it has a high potential for abuse. When Valium is abused, the progression into addiction can develop rapidly and can put those who are addicted to it in danger of overdose and other serious medical problems.
Also, Valium withdrawals can be unpleasant and potentially life-threatening. Without professional help, individuals may find it incredibly challenging to get sober on their own.
Like other benzodiazepines, Valium has a high potential for abuse due to the feelings of euphoria and relaxation that users experience. When Valium is taken, it slows communication within the nervous system.
Common side effects experienced after taking Valium include euphoria, loss of coordination, memory loss, slurred speech, confusion, drowsiness, and the sensation of being drunk. However, when the pleasant side effects wear off users often experience anxiety, depression, and irritability.2
“Benzodiazepines are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. Xanax and Valium are some of the most popular benzodiazepines.”
As a Schedule IV substance, Valium can only be legally taken if an individual has a written prescription from a doctor. Valium, however, is often sold illegally on the streets. One of the most common ways Valium abuse occurs is by mixing it with other drugs like alcohol and narcotic pain relievers.
Doing this can increase the euphoric effects. Mixing it with stimulants to take away some of the less desired side effects of drugs like Adderall, cocaine, and methamphetamine will also increase the euphoria.
When Valium abuse occurs, the risk potential for adverse side effects or overdose increases. Nearly 23,000 fatal overdoses in 2013 were attributed to the abuse of benzodiazepine medications.3 Aside from the overdose potential from Valium abuse, physical dependence and addiction to Valium can develop rapidly if it is abused for an extended period.
Valium addiction can occur after the drug is abused for a significant amount of time. Users often experience a heightened tolerance the longer they abuse the drug, making their bodies require more substantial quantities of Valium to produce the effects they desire.
As tolerance continues to build, dependence can rapidly ensue, causing users to experience Valium withdrawal symptoms when they discontinue use of the drug. When tolerance and physical dependence occur, the body and mind will begin to crave the drug when it is not taken. Cravings can cause an addiction to Valium to develop.
Signs indicating that a person is suffering from Valium addiction include:
- Abusing medication, doctor shopping, or purchasing Valium illegally
- Polydrug use
- Strong cravings for the drug
- Inability to control the amount taken
- Isolating from loved ones
- Loss of interest in regular activities
- Failure to meet important obligations
- Memory loss and forgetfulness
- Feeling unable to function normally without the drug
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped abruptly
A person who is addicted to Valium may find that it is extremely difficult, or even impossible, to quit using the drug on their own. In cases like these, when a severe Valium addiction has developed, individuals can benefit from seeking addiction treatment and detox. The Legacy Healing Center in Pompano Beach Fl. can help them overcome their addiction.
Valium Withdrawal Symptoms & Timeline
The symptoms of Valium withdrawal and the length of time these symptoms will be present depends on how long the drug has been abused, the dosage, and the individual’s current state of mental and physical health.
Symptoms associated with Valium withdrawal include:1
- Anxiety, panic attacks, and depression
- Problems concentrating
- Dizziness and headaches
- Fatigue and insomnia
- Hypersensitivity to light and sound
- Mood swings and irritability
- Memory problems
- Obsessive thoughts and intense cravings
- Suicidal thoughts
- Muscle weakness
Valium is a long-acting drug, so withdrawal symptoms may not begin until 1-4 days after the last dose, but by day 3 or 4 most individuals will be experiencing acute withdrawals. Those who have been taking a higher dose of Valium will typically experience withdrawal symptoms longer than those who have been taking a lower dose.
Some may experience withdrawal symptoms for a few weeks. However, others may encounter post-acute withdrawal symptoms for more than a month after taking the last dose.
Yet, the more unfavorable withdrawal symptoms typically subside after 10-14 days. Following the acute withdrawal, post-acute withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and depression can last for variable amounts of time. It is therefore essential for individuals who are withdrawing from Valium to seek treatment and engage in mentally and physically healthy activities.
Since seizures have the potential to be fatal, it is important to never attempt Valium detox alone. Instead, Legacy Healing Center’s benzodiazepine detox in Pompano Beach can help make the withdrawal process comfortable and safe.
Medical Detox for Valium Withdrawal
The goal of detox in Pompano Beach is to help individuals suffering from addiction make their detox experience as safe and comfortable as possible. Legacy Healing Center provides around the clock medical care, emotional support, and detox medications.
“Detoxing from drugs and alcohol is the first step on the journey to recovery. A quality detox program can make all the difference in your success. Trying to stop using drugs or alcohol is often inconceivable. Legacy Healing Detox will gently ween you off of the substances that you’ve become addicted to.”
Detox medications are an integral aspect of helping alleviate withdrawal symptoms. For those suffering from Valium withdrawal, however, the best method of detox is by gradually tapering individuals off of the drug.
Addiction specialists will monitor individuals and supervise their Valium consumption by giving them small doses of the drug until they are weaned off of it completely. Using this tapering method can help mitigate withdrawal symptoms and prevent individuals from experiencing seizures and other unfavorable withdrawal symptoms.4
Other medications that may be used during detox for Valium addiction include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), sleeping medications, anticonvulsants, and muscle relaxers.
Drug Rehab in Pompano Beach for Valium Addiction
Since post-acute withdrawal symptoms from Valium addiction can last for a lengthy amount of time, it is important to seek help from a drug rehab in Pompano Beach to help prevent relapse. Drug rehab programs specializing in benzodiazepine addictions can help individuals suffering from Valium addiction through behavioral therapies and addiction treatment after the detox process is complete.
Addiction affects both the mind and the body, so treating only the physical symptoms of Valium addiction isn’t enough to make for a long-lasting recovery. However, through the help of medical detox and comprehensive addiction therapy, recovery from Valium addiction is attainable.
- 1Mental Health Daily. (2014). Valium (Diazepam) Withdrawal Symptoms: How Long To Fully Recover? Accessed June 30th 2019.
- 2Miller, N. S., M.D. Gold, M. S., M.D. (1998). Management of Withdrawal Syndromes and Relapse Prevention in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. American Family Physician. Accessed June 30th 2019.
- 3Reinberg, S. (2016). Fatal Overdoses Rising From Some Sedatives. WebMD. Accessed June 30th 2019.
- 4WebMD. (Updated 2019). Benzodiazepine Abuse. Accessed June 30th 2019.