Most people mistakenly assume Valium is a safe drug to use because it requires a prescription. However, prolonged use of this medication can turn into a valium addiction. If you are concerned you may be developing an addiction to Valium, read on to learn more about this drug.
What Exactly Is Valium?
Valium is a type of benzodiazepine – benzo – which is also known as diazepam. It is much stronger, faster-acting, and lasts longer than other benzos. Valium is often prescribed to treat various conditions, such as:
- Muscle Spasm
- Alcohol Withdrawal
- Depressive Disorders
What Does Valium Do to You?
Valium’s function in the body and brain is to address imbalances in the signals being sent through the central nervous system and the brain. The drug helps regulate these signals and reduce the intensity or frequency of negative signals, such as those that increase stress or anxiety.
Instead, they help a person remain more calm and relaxed. Therefore, when Valium is taken as prescribed, it can be beneficial. However, when taken long-term or abused by someone who does not need it, it can eventually lead to Valium addiction.
Can You Get High on Valium?
Valium can make you feel high from the first time you use it, whether you have a prescription or are misusing the drug. The drug is a sedative, so it brings about pleasurable sensations and feelings, similar to the effects of alcohol.
Many people report feeling euphoric, calm, and relaxed. However, one can also experience feeling numb, fuzzy, and even disorientated. When you are high on Valium, you may slur your speech, have problems with your coordination, and make impulsive and rash decisions.
Is Valium Addictive?
Valium is an addictive drug because of the sensations and feelings it triggers while using it. The drug alters chemical responses in the brain leading to pleasurable sensations. As a result, the brain instinctively remembers these feelings. So, naturally, the body reinforces using Valium as a rewarding behavior.
Dangers of Valium Addiction and Abuse
One of the dangers of Valium use and abuse that can lead to Valium addiction is the body’s ability to develop a tolerance to the drug. The longer it is taken, the higher the body’s tolerance to it.
As such, people who have a Valium prescription may feel like the drug is no longer working when taking the prescribed dosage and frequency. Unfortunately, since they do not experience the pleasurable sensations they have become accustomed to, it is easy to start self-medicating and increase one’s dosage to higher amounts to achieve the desired sensations.
For people who do not have a Valium prescription, they also will develop a tolerance to the drug. Sadly, they must use increased amounts of the medication to obtain a Valium high.
Sadly, tolerance is a never-ending cycle of drug misuse. As Valium dosages increase, so does the body’s tolerance.
Side Effects of Valium Abuse
The stronger the Valium addiction, the more undesirable the side effects that can occur, including:
- Memory Problems
- Mood Swings
- Loss of Appetite
- Extreme Weight Loss
Furthermore, people with Valium addictions can reach a point where they need to take so many pills just to feel normal and be able to function. Once their addiction reaches this point, it is also common for them to engage in drug-seeking behaviors because having more of the drug is all that matters.
Signs and Symptoms of Valium Withdrawal
As Valium starts wearing off, withdrawal occurs and includes a range of signs and symptoms, including:
- Extreme Nausea
- Muscle Weakness
- Panic Attacks
- Stomach Cramps
- Muscle Cramps
- Extreme Headaches
- Extreme Mood Swings
The longer you abuse Valium, the more intense the withdrawal. This is why quitting Valium “cold turkey” is highly discouraged. Rather, you need to be carefully tapered off the drug through supervised detox. Even then, withdrawal symptoms can continue to manifest for months after being off the medication.
Effective Treatment Options for Valium Addiction
One of the most effective treatment options for Valium addiction is medical or clinically supervised detox. The detox processes are supervised by healthcare professionals to ensure you are carefully tapered off the drug.
The duration of detox can vary based on the amount of Valium you were abusing, the length of time you were misusing it, and the intensity of your withdrawal symptoms. However, after about a week or two, most people are ready to transition to a partial hospitalization or outpatient treatment program while continuing to receive supervised detox.
Valium Addiction Detox and Treatment in Atlanta
Taking the first steps to get help with your Valium addiction can seem scary because you may not be able to think about your life without Valium. Yet, we are sure you can take this important first step by letting us help you at Buckhead Behavioral Health in Atlanta.
We offer custom-tailored Valium addiction detox and treatment programs, including supervised detox, medication-assisted treatment, and partial hospitalization and outpatient treatment options for adolescents and adults.
For further information about our Valium detox and addiction treatment or to speak to an intake specialist, please feel free to contact us.