Valium is a prescription medication used to treat seizures, muscle spasms, and anxiety. It is a benzodiazepine that works by depressing the central nervous system.
Abuse of prescription drugs is on the rise with 4.8m people in the US reporting that they had misused benzodiazepines in the last year when asked in 2020.
Abusing Valium can lead to addiction as the longer you use it, the more likely you are to develop dependency.
Knowing how to recognize Valium addiction can help you understand if you or a loved one has a substance abuse problem. From there you can decide if you would like to receive substance abuse treatment.
Valium is a brand name for the benzodiazepine diazepam. Diazepam works by increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) activity in the brain which reduces neuronal excitation. This causes depression of the central nervous system causing a calming and sedative effect.
Valium is used to treat anxiety, seizures, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and muscle spasms. It is also used to help you relax before an operation. It is one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the world.
Valium can be administered orally, intravenously, intramuscularly, rectally, or with a nasal spray.
Prescription drug abuse is defined as using a prescription drug in a way that was not prescribed by your doctor. This includes taking:
Valium is a Schedule IV controlled substance which means that it has a low potential for abuse compared with Schedule III substances. These are said to have the potential to lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
Despite this, there is still a considerable risk for addiction and Schedule IV substances are among the most frequently abused prescription drugs.
Using Valium for longer than four weeks produces a high risk of developing physiological and physical dependence which is where the body thinks that it cannot function normally without the drug and you experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it. This can develop into addiction.
Understanding the symptoms of Valium abuse can help you understand if you or a loved one has a substance abuse problem.
Identifying these signs before addiction develops could make seeking help and the treatment process easier.
Valium is primarily prescribed for treating anxiety, which usually co-occurs with depression. Since it does not have antidepressant properties and causes depression of the nervous system, this could exacerbate depression, suicidal behavior, and ideation.
There is an especially high risk of this if you have alcohol or opioid dependence.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that, unlike abuse, addiction is a chronic disease that is very difficult to control. It leads to compulsively seeking out and using the drug.
While it is important to understand signs of abuse so that you can deal with things earlier if wanted, recognizing signs of addiction is important so that you can look for the right support.
There is a higher risk of abusing Valium if you have particular risk factors. These include:
The amount of Valium you have to take in order to overdose varies from person to person. It depends on factors such as weight, tolerance, gender, and metabolism.
It is possible to have a fatal overdose with Valium. In 2020, around 12,290 people died from an overdose involving benzodiazepines.
Like with quitting other drugs, the first stage of quitting Valium is detox.
Detoxing is difficult because once dependency occurs, the body and brain need the drug to feel normal. When the drug is not present, you experience symptoms of withdrawal.
You are more likely to have severe withdrawal symptoms if you have been using Valium for a long period of time.
Cognitive problems may continue for six months or longer.
It is generally recommended to seek addiction treatment from addiction treatment centers. This is because you can get dedicated support to help you through unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, reducing the chances of relapse. You will also receive support after detox to help with any long-term psychological symptoms of Valium addiction.
Quitting Valium cold turkey is especially not advised as you might experience life-threatening withdrawal symptoms if you stop abruptly. Instead, it is recommended to taper off the drug. This is where you reduce the dose of Valium until you are no longer taking any at all. This is the technique used at treatment centers.
As mentioned, cognitive problems can continue for months after detoxing. It is therefore important to get continued psychological support following detox. This helps to reduce the risk of relapse and self-harm.
At Cirque Lodge, we understand that seeking substance abuse treatment can be very difficult. We are a private and exclusive treatment center offering an enriching rehabilitation experience in nature.
Our staff will make sure that you are as comfortable as possible during a medically supervised detox.
We use a combination of techniques including:
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