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Diazepam (Valium) Addiction

Diazepam (Valium) is commonly prescribed for the calming properties that it provides. For this reason, it is quite effective in the treatment of muscle spasms and anxiety. However, the drug is also commonly abused due to its addictive potential. Read on to find out more:

About The Diazepam (Valium)

Doctors often prescribe Diazepam (Valium) for the treatment of seizures, muscle spasms, and anxiety. However, it is also effective in the treatment of acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

The drug essentially works by reducing the hyperactivity of the brain. By so doing, it effectively relieves anxiety and severe stress. It is also available in the form of a pill that you should take orally 1 to 4 times every day - or exactly as your doctor prescribed.

Since it is a long-acting benzodiazepine medication, Valium often stays in the human body longer than other short-acting benzodiazepine drugs like Halcion. As a result, you may be able to take fewer doses of it on any given day than if you receive a prescription for a short-acting benzo.

Even so, you need to take this drug on a regular basis for it to be effective. However, if you start using more of it than your doctor advised - or if you use it without a valid prescription - you would increase your risk of developing a substance use disorder.

Other Names for Diazepam (Valium)

On the streets, Valium is known by various names by people who abuse, sell, or traffic it. Most of them do so to avoid being detected by law enforcement officials and other authorities. Examples of these street names include but are not always limited to:

  • Benzos
  • Blue Vs
  • Dead flower powers
  • Downers
  • Foofoo
  • Howards
  • Sleep away
  • Tranks (or tranquilizers)
  • Vs
  • Yellow Vs

Signs and Symptoms of Diazepam (Valium) Addiction

One of the easiest way to tell that you are addicted to Diazepam (Valium) is when you get to a point where you need to use this drug in higher doses or more often than you used to before you can feel its effects. This condition is known as tolerance.

Other signs and symptoms of Valium addiction include:

  • A change in your appearance
  • Changes in your eating habits
  • Changes in hygiene
  • Coma
  • Delusions of wellbeing
  • Depression
  • Difficult urination
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Disorientation
  • Double vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent somnolence (or excessive sleepiness)
  • Getting into trouble with law enforcement officials due to actions like drugged driving
  • Getting multiple prescriptions from more than one doctor
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Irrational thinking
  • Irritability
  • Losing a job due to your drug use
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of coordination
  • Memory problems
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Painful urination
  • Paranoia
  • Poor judgment
  • Pounding heart
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Shaking
  • Slow movements
  • Slowed speech
  • Slurred speech
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Traveling long distances so that you fill prescriptions for the drug
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

All of these symptoms of addiction should be a clear warning sign that you need professional help so that you can overcome your growing substance use disorder before it gets out of hand and causes to suffer more than you should.

Short and Long-Term Effects of Diazepam (Valium) Abuse

You may start abusing this drug to deal with the stresses of daily life. However, there are many other reasons why you could find yourself using it for any reason other than your doctor advised. Irrespective of the reasons, you can expect to experience the following short and long term effects of Valium abuse:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Anxiety
  • Appetite changes
  • Being unable to empty your bladder
  • Big hives
  • Blurred vision
  • Changes in heart rhythm and rate
  • Clumsiness
  • Cognitive deficits
  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Decreased memory consolidation
  • Decreased respiratory rate
  • Delayed reflexes
  • Delirium
  • Delusional beliefs
  • Depression
  • Difficult urination
  • Difficulties with concentration
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Disrupted breathing pattern
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Euphoria
  • Falling down
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling drunk
  • Feeling faint
  • Fever
  • Further drug abuse
  • Hallucinations
  • Heart attack
  • Impaired judgment
  • Inability to maintain continued focus
  • Inability to perform some physical activities
  • Indigestion
  • Insomnia
  • Irritated stomach
  • Itching
  • Lack of coordination
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of muscle coordination
  • Memory loss
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Nightmares
  • Painful urination
  • Paranoia
  • Physical dependence
  • Pounding heart
  • Problems with memory
  • Psychological dependence
  • Psychotic experiences
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Rash
  • Rebound anxiety
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Restlessness
  • Salivating excessively
  • Seizures
  • Severe loss in the amount of water that is in your body
  • Skin yellowing
  • Sleepiness
  • Slowed pulse
  • Slowed respiration
  • Slurred speech
  • Spinning feeling
  • Stomach cramps
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Tendencies toward aggression
  • Tremors in your feet and hands
  • Trouble urinating
  • Vertigo
  • Violence
  • Visual disturbances
  • Weakness
  • Whirling feeling

Although some of these effects might be pleasurable in the short term, most of them will often turn out to be adverse or even fatal if you continue abusing Diazepam (Valium) over the long term.

Diazepam (Valium) Overdose

Just because Valium is legal does not necessarily mean that it is always safe for you to use. In fact, it is this misconception that could increase your risk of suffering a drug overdose when you take this medication. When this happens, you could display some of the signs of a drug overdose:

  • Ataxia (or the inability to control your body)
  • Bluish lips
  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Death
  • Double vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Hypotension
  • Hypotonia (or a floppy quality to your body)
  • Reduced reflex power
  • Respiratory depression
  • Trouble breathing
  • Uncoordinated movement
  • Weakness

If you experience any of these signs, it is recommended that you call 911 immediately. This is because any type of drug overdose - even that involving a benzodiazepine like Valium - could turn out to be fatal unless you seek emergency medical attention as soon as possible.

Diazepam (Valium) Withdrawal Symptoms

After you have become tolerant to the effects of Valium, you may find yourself taking the drug in higher doses or more often than you used to. If you stop abusing the drug or significantly reduce the dose that you have become accustomed to, there is a high risk that you could suffer some withdrawal symptoms - most of which could turn out to be uncomfortable and dangerous. Examples of these symptoms include:

  • Aches
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Death
  • Depersonalization
  • Derealization
  • Discomfort
  • Epileptic seizures
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Hallucinations
  • Headaches
  • Heightened anxiety
  • Increased sensitivity to touch, light, or sound
  • Irritability
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle pain
  • Numbness in the limbs
  • Panic attacks
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Sweating
  • Tension
  • Tingling in the limbs
  • Tremors

The only way you can deal with these symptoms of withdrawal - so that you can overcome your physical tolerance and dependence on Valium - is by going for medical detox services. In the following section, you will find more information about what this involves, and the other additional treatment services that you are going to need before you can stop abusing this medication.

The Best Options for Diazepam (Valium) Addiction Treatment

Since it is such a risky condition, Valium withdrawal can only be managed under a medically supervised detox environment. To be able to overcome your Valium abuse and addiction, it is important that you check into a professional addiction treatment and rehabilitation program.

Often, treatment will begin with a medical detox service in which you will be taken through a tapering schedule to wean you off the drugs that you used to take. This will potentially reduce the withdrawal symptoms that you suffer.

After you have successfully completed the detox process, you should go for further rehabilitation services. This could either be on an outpatient or an inpatient basis depending on various factors.

These factors include the severity and extent of your addiction, the duration of your substance abuse, the existence of other co-occurring medical and mental health disorders, and the presence of poly-substance abuse.

It is recommended that you undertake inpatient treatment if you have a severe addiction involving Valium and any other drug or if you also have a dual diagnosis for another disorder over and above your addiction.

Outpatient treatment would be ideal if your addiction is relatively mild and short lasting or if you have already been through an inpatient drug rehabilitation program but still need additional help to overcome your substance abuse.

In the long term, both inpatient and outpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs can help you overcome your Valium use, abuse, dependence, tolerance, withdrawal, and addiction.


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