Home > The Complex Nature of Abused Substances and Getting Help for Addiction > Valium Addiction
Valium is a sedative drug that is also known as Diazepam. It is a type of benzodiazepine which is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. The sedation qualities of valium make it a good choice for treating anxiety and insomnia. Those who take this substance long term are at risk of developing a physical addiction. The illegal recreational use of diazepam is common in many parts of the world; it is often combined with alcohol abuse.
Diazepam is used medicinally to treat a number of conditions including:
* Muscle spasms
* Withdrawal symptoms
* Ménière’s disease
* As a pre med before surgery
* Restless leg syndrome
Diazepam is able to slow down or stop certain signals in the brain. It works by enhancing the effect of neurotransmitter called GABA. The effect of this is to depress the central nervous system which leads to the sedative effects of the drug.
Valium is often taken illegally as a recreational drug. Many people enjoy the sedative effects, because it can allow them to temporarily escape their problems. It can also be used to enhance the effects of alcohol or combined with other drugs. There is a very high risk that anyone who abuses this drug will become addicted to it. Once the individual had become physically dependent on valium they will experience increased tolerance and withdrawal symptoms should they stop using it.
Valium addiction can have many negative consequences for physical and mental health. Such dangers include:
* Should the level of the drug in the blood stream fall too low it will lead to withdrawal symptoms.
* Overdose can lead to death. In fact it is used as part of the lethal injection given to those who are being executed in some states within the US.
* As tolerance for the drug increases the individual will need to take more of it to get the same effect.
* This type of drug abuse can lead to depression and suicide
* It can interfere with the ability of the individual to hold down a job or meet family and social obligations
* Those people who are under the influence of diazepam are more likely to be involved in accidents
* Long-term use of the drug can cause damage to different organs of the body
It can be hard for people to accept that they are addicted to a substance. If the individual has any of the following symptoms it could mean that they are now addicted:
* Difficulty stopping the drug
* Experience of withdrawal symptoms
* Inability to imagine life without the drug
* Slurred speech
* Defensiveness when anyone questions their drug use
* Acting unethically to get their hands on the drug. For example, going to see a different doctor in the hope that they will provide another prescription
* Attempts to hide the extent of their drug use
* Memory problems and forgetfulness
* Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
* Mood swings
* Financial problems
* Work or relationship problems
* Increasing amounts of time spend thinking about the drug
Not only is valium used in the treatment of withdrawals symptoms, but it can also cause them if people become physically dependent on the drug. Diazepam withdrawal symptoms include:
* Body shakes
* Rapid pulse
* Panic attacks
* Restlessness and anxiety
* Suicidal thoughts
* Body pains
* Loss of appetite
* Mood swings
* Memory loss
* Sensitivity to light or sound
There are a number of treatment options for dealing with valium addiction. One popular method is to taper down from the drug. This is usually done with the help of a doctor and involves slowly reducing the dosage over time so that the individual escapes the worst of the withdrawal symptoms. Some individuals do decide to have a clean break from the drug, but this can be dangerous without medical supervision.
Those people who have become addicted to diazepam can find it hard to cope in life without them. This is especially true if they have been abusing the drug for a long time. If people have been using valium as a crutch to make it through life, they can struggle without it. This is why it is often necessary for such people to get help at least in early recovery. Some individuals decide that a period in rehab will give them the tools they need to manage without the drug. There are also different support groups that can provide such help.
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