Valium Addiction: Side effects, Withdrawal, and Rehab

By The Fix staff 01/21/15

Valium Addiction: Side effects, Withdrawal, and Rehab

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Valium Addiction

Valium, the common American brand name for the drug, Diazepam, is a sedative, tranquilizer, and CNS depressant. The FDA describes Diazepam, or chemical name 7-chloro- 1,3-dihydro- 1 -methyl-5-phenyl-2H-1,4-benzodiazepin-2-one, as a colorless to light yellow substance that is insoluble in water. Typically available by prescription in tablet, gel, or injectable liquid form, the drug is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the short-term (i.e. 4 months or less) medicinal relief of:

  • Anxiety in children 6 months or older and adults

  • Acute stress reactions

  • Panic attacks

  • Acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome in adults to alleviate agitation, tremor, delirium tremens, and hallucinosis

  • Sedation in adults

  • Seizure and convulsive disorders in children and adults

  • Skeletal muscle spasms

A usual dosage of Valium ranges between 2mg and 10mg but may gradually increase over time due to tolerance effects. Diazepam and drugs like it are categorized by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency as Schedule IV controlled substances. Chemicals in this category have a low potential for abuse and a low risk of dependence. However, the use of Valium is habit-forming and should only be taken under the direct supervision of a doctor.

Valium addiction is both possible and potentially life-threatening. 

Valium Addiction Side Effects

When taken in lower dosage levels, the effects of Valium include a general feeling of drowsiness, sleepiness, loss of some anterograde memory (loss of recent memories but the ability to retain those from the distant past), and confusion. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, individuals who ingest higher doses of Valium may exhibit other behaviors such as respiration problems, severe sedation, disinhibition, and excitement. The drug has the capacity to create intoxication similar to that caused by alcohol, in which the user displays drunken behaviors like disorientation and slurred speech.

Other side effects of Valium ingestion can possibly include the following adverse reactions:

  • Diminished reflexes

  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)

  • Memory loss

  • Nausea

  • Dilated pupils

  • Confusion

  • Clumsiness

  • Hallucinations

  • Tremor

  • Somnolence

  • Fatigue

  • Respiratory depression

  • Shaking

  • Blurred vision

  • Excessive perspiration

  • Sleepiness

  • Headache

  • Rash

  • Vertigo

  • Staggered movements

  • Incontinence

  • Ataxia

  • Convulsions

  • Diminished reflexes

  • Slurred speech

  • Insomnia

  • Abnormal heart palpitations

  • Abdominal cramps

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Stimulation

  • Drug dependence

  • Clammy skin

  • Paradoxical reactions of anxiety

  • Weak and rapid pulse

An overdose of Valium should be viewed as a medical emergency and assistance should be sought immediately for an affected individual. Diazepam does not typically cause death when taken exclusive of other drugs. Still, an overdose should be treated seriously. In cases in which severe cardiovascular problems or respiratory depression occur, the antidote, Flumazenil will be administered. In severe cases, coma or death could occur as a result of ingesting this drug. 

Valium may also cause severe interactions when taken in conjunction with other drugs such as other benzodiazepines, sedatives, or sleeping pills, MAO inhibitors, antidepressants, analgesics, smoking tobacco or marijuana, or cimetidine, alcohol, or other CNS depressants.

Signs of Valium Addiction

Valium, the common American brand name for the drug, Diazepam, is a sedative, tranquilizer, and CNS depressant. The FDA describes Diazepam, or chemical name 7-chloro- 1,3-dihydro- 1 -methyl-5-phenyl-2H-1,4-benzodiazepin-2-one, as a colorless to light yellow substance that is insoluble in water. Typically available by prescription in tablet, gel, or injectable liquid form, the drug is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the short-term (i.e. 4 months or less) medicinal relief of:

  • Anxiety in children 6 months or older and adults

  • Acute stress reactions

  • Panic attacks

  • Acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome in adults to alleviate agitation, tremor, delirium tremens, and hallucinosis

  • Sedation in adults

  • Seizure and convulsive disorders in children and adults

  • Skeletal muscle spasms

A usual dosage of Valium ranges between 2mg and 10mg but may gradually increase over time due to tolerance effects. Diazepam and drugs like it are categorized by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency as Schedule IV controlled substances. Chemicals in this category have a low potential for abuse and a low risk of dependence. However, the use of Valium is habit-forming and should only be taken under the direct supervision of a doctor.

Valium addiction is both possible and potentially life-threatening. 

Valium Addiction Side Effects

When taken in lower dosage levels, the effects of Valium include a general feeling of drowsiness, sleepiness, loss of some anterograde memory (loss of recent memories but the ability to retain those from the distant past), and confusion. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, individuals who ingest higher doses of Valium may exhibit other behaviors such as respiration problems, severe sedation, disinhibition, and excitement. The drug has the capacity to create intoxication similar to that caused by alcohol, in which the user displays drunken behaviors like disorientation and slurred speech.

Other side effects of Valium ingestion can possibly include the following adverse reactions:

  • Diminished reflexes

  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)

  • Memory loss

  • Nausea

  • Dilated pupils

  • Confusion

  • Clumsiness

  • Hallucinations

  • Tremor

  • Somnolence

  • Fatigue

  • Respiratory depression

  • Shaking

  • Blurred vision

  • Excessive perspiration

  • Sleepiness

  • Headache

  • Rash

  • Vertigo

  • Staggered movements

  • Incontinence

  • Ataxia

  • Convulsions

  • Diminished reflexes

  • Slurred speech

  • Insomnia

  • Abnormal heart palpitations

  • Abdominal cramps

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Stimulation

  • Drug dependence

  • Clammy skin

  • Paradoxical reactions of anxiety

  • Weak and rapid pulse

An overdose of Valium should be viewed as a medical emergency and assistance should be sought immediately for an affected individual. Diazepam does not typically cause death when taken exclusive of other drugs. Still, an overdose should be treated seriously. In cases in which severe cardiovascular problems or respiratory depression occur, the antidote, Flumazenil will be administered. In severe cases, coma or death could occur as a result of ingesting this drug. 

Valium may also cause severe interactions when taken in conjunction with other drugs such as other benzodiazepines, sedatives, or sleeping pills, MAO inhibitors, antidepressants, analgesics, smoking tobacco or marijuana, or cimetidine, alcohol, or other CNS depressants.

Signs of Valium Addiction

While some individuals are able to safely take prescription drugs with no adverse side effects, others are not. For some, substance use can create problems in a variety of settings, including school and work. If you or a loved one are demonstrating any of the following signs of Valium addiction, seek help with a qualified Valium addiction rehab center today:

  • Increasingly finding yourself relying on the drug to provide you with the relaxation or frame of mind to help you get through your day

  • Missing appointments, social gatherings, school, work, family functions, and other obligations because you are more interested in taking the drug or obtaining the drug

  • Allowing the drug to fill holes caused by loneliness or depression and allowing the drug to take those feelings away instead of coping with the true underlying problem

  • Noticing yourself taking more and more of the drug (even against doctor's orders) to achieve satisfaction

  • Lying, cheating, stealing, or breaking promises to hide your drug use or obtain drugs

  • Continuing to use the drug, even when you realize that it is creating serious problems in your life

Valium Addiction Withdrawal

Another sign of Valium addiction is acute withdrawal symptoms after an abrupt discontinuation or decrease in dosage. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Drugs and Human Performance Traffic Sheets, abstinence from Diazepam may cause serious Valium addiction withdrawal effects such as restlessness, dysphoria, sensitivity to light and sound, fearfulness, anxiety, dizziness, headache, muscle pain, and insomnia, as well as vomiting, abdominal cramps, delirium, sweating, panic attacks, hypertension, depersonalization, hallucinations, and various other severe symptoms. The severity of withdrawal symptoms depends on the person, the dosage, and the duration of time in which the person has been taking that dosage.

Valium Addiction Detox

Detoxification is the first essential step in recovery from Valium addiction. However, it is not safe to abruptly discontinue or abstain from Valium, once you have developed a dependency. Valium addiction detox should occur under the close supervision of a doctor who may manage the severity of withdrawal symptoms and ensure that you do not relapse in an attempt to ease those symptoms. It is recommended that the dosage of Valium be decreased gradually over time in a tapering method, rather than suddenly and all at once. It's important to remember that abruptly stopping the use of Diazepam after dependency can be fatal. Protracted withdrawal over a span of weeks or months may be necessary. You did not develop an addiction overnight, therefore you will not be able to improve drastically overnight. However, choosing to get better and reclaim your life is a significant factor in your success. 

Valium Addiction Rehab

It may be best to complete your detoxification process in a qualified rehabilitation center that has experience with safe and appropriate tapering of drugs like Valium. Choosing to go through this painful process on your own may deter your success and cause you to feel bound to the drug. Selecting a facility you can visit for as long as it takes to fully recover both physically and mentally is key to achieving success during detox. This is especially so if you have experienced significant problems in your life due to drug use such as strained relationships, absence from work or school, or dependence on other drugs currently or in your past. 

Even though Valium is a prescribed drug, it is still listed by the DEA as having a potential for abuse. This means that ,even if you did not obtain it off the streets like other addictive drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or marijuana, it can still be a detriment to your health and growth.

Enroll in a Valium addiction rehab facility under the supervision of experienced addiction specialists who can attend to your unique needs. Obtaining distance from the life stressors that promoted chemical dependency in the first place can feel like a burden but, while friends and loved ones may have the best intentions, it may be ideal for you to utilize an environment understanding of your symptoms and the difficult struggle you must overcome. In addition, rehabilitation facilities offer the close-knit presence of a support group who has gone through similar experiences, along with access to balanced nutrition, spiritual guidance if you request it, counseling, and psychotherapy. These will help you to build new and more adaptive coping mechanisms for life's problems without resorting to drugs.

While some individuals are able to safely take prescription drugs with no adverse side effects, others are not. For some, substance use can create problems in a variety of settings, including school and work. If you or a loved one are demonstrating any of the following signs of Valium addiction, seek help with a qualified Valium addiction rehab center today:

  • Increasingly finding yourself relying on the drug to provide you with the relaxation or frame of mind to help you get through your day

  • Missing appointments, social gatherings, school, work, family functions, and other obligations because you are more interested in taking the drug or obtaining the drug

  • Allowing the drug to fill holes caused by loneliness or depression and allowing the drug to take those feelings away instead of coping with the true underlying problem

  • Noticing yourself taking more and more of the drug (even against doctor's orders) to achieve satisfaction

  • Lying, cheating, stealing, or breaking promises to hide your drug use or obtain drugs

  • Continuing to use the drug, even when you realize that it is creating serious problems in your life

Valium Addiction Withdrawal

Another sign of Valium addiction is acute withdrawal symptoms after an abrupt discontinuation or decrease in dosage. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Drugs and Human Performance Traffic Sheets, abstinence from Diazepam may cause serious Valium addiction withdrawal effects such as restlessness, dysphoria, sensitivity to light and sound, fearfulness, anxiety, dizziness, headache, muscle pain, and insomnia, as well as vomiting, abdominal cramps, delirium, sweating, panic attacks, hypertension, depersonalization, hallucinations, and various other severe symptoms. The severity of withdrawal symptoms depends on the person, the dosage, and the duration of time in which the person has been taking that dosage.

Valium Addiction Detox

Detoxification is the first essential step in recovery from Valium addiction. However, it is not safe to abruptly discontinue or abstain from Valium, once you have developed a dependency. Valium addiction detox should occur under the close supervision of a doctor who may manage the severity of withdrawal symptoms and ensure that you do not relapse in an attempt to ease those symptoms. It is recommended that the dosage of Valium be decreased gradually over time in a tapering method, rather than suddenly and all at once. It's important to remember that abruptly stopping the use of Diazepam after dependency can be fatal. Protracted withdrawal over a span of weeks or months may be necessary. You did not develop an addiction overnight, therefore you will not be able to improve drastically overnight. However, choosing to get better and reclaim your life is a significant factor in your success. 

Valium Addiction Rehab

It may be best to complete your detoxification process in a qualified rehabilitation center that has experience with safe and appropriate tapering of drugs like Valium. Choosing to go through this painful process on your own may deter your success and cause you to feel bound to the drug. Selecting a facility you can visit for as long as it takes to fully recover both physically and mentally is key to achieving success during detox. This is especially so if you have experienced significant problems in your life due to drug use such as strained relationships, absence from work or school, or dependence on other drugs currently or in your past. 

Even though Valium is a prescribed drug, it is still listed by the DEA as having a potential for abuse. This means that ,even if you did not obtain it off the streets like other addictive drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or marijuana, it can still be a detriment to your health and growth.

Enroll in a Valium addiction rehab facility under the supervision of experienced addiction specialists who can attend to your unique needs. Obtaining distance from the life stressors that promoted chemical dependency in the first place can feel like a burden but, while friends and loved ones may have the best intentions, it may be ideal for you to utilize an environment understanding of your symptoms and the difficult struggle you must overcome. In addition, rehabilitation facilities offer the close-knit presence of a support group who has gone through similar experiences, along with access to balanced nutrition, spiritual guidance if you request it, counseling, and psychotherapy. These will help you to build new and more adaptive coping mechanisms for life's problems without resorting to drugs.

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