Valium, also known as diazepam belongs to a group of central nervous system (CNS) depressants, also known as benzodiazepines, and work as sedatives, tranquilizers, and hypnotics. These medications are the most commonly prescribed in the US. The chemical properties in Valium or other benzodiazepines may act to slow brain activity, making them popular to treat stress, anxiety, panic, and sleep disorders. Other drugs include in this class of Benzodiazepines are Xanax, Klonopin, Prosom, and Halcion.
Physicians may prescribe Valium or diazepams for the following conditions:
- alcohol withdrawals
- muscle relaxation
- administered before the operation
- administered for uncomfortable procedures
Valium, just like other CNS depressants, works by increasing activity in the brain of GABA, a gamma-aminobutyric acid, a chemical that suppresses brain activity. This process is responsible for producing calming effects, that works best for anxiety and insomnia.
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There are some recorded effects of Valium use and misuse:
- loss of concentration
- difficulties with movement
- low blood pressure
- slowed breathing
- slurred speech
If someone takes this Benzodiazepine for a long time, they may develop dependence, which means they may need higher dosages to ger the same therapeutic effects. Repeated use of Valium or diazepam, may lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms- if the medication intake has been decreased. More severe effects of discontinuing using Valium after prolonged use, may lead to seizures.
Valium and addiction
Valium, as well as other Benzodiazepines, are commonly abused by some people due to their desirable effects of getting high. Unfortunately, the statistics are shown by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, indicate that more than 30 percent of overdoes involving Benzodiazepines, the type of prescription sedative intended for anxiety or sleep aid. Valium and other Benzodiazepines have been popular for their toxic effects, and broad accessibility.
Use and misuse of prescription Valium may lead to a disorder known as Substance Use Disorder, which leads to addiction. Long-term use of prescription Valium, even with legitimate prescription, may cause tolerance. Tolerance to a drug means that the person may need a higher dosage, and taking the medications more frequently in order to get the same effects. Once addiction to Valium takes precedence, it may cause a negative impact on a person’s health, personal relationships, and daily responsibilities.
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Some of the common signs of Valium addiction:
- inability to stop using drug
- compulsive drug seeking and drug use
- using drug despite damaging health consequences
- engaging in risky behaviors
- failing to meet daily responsibilities, such as work, school, and job
- isolation due to drug use
- doctor shopping, going from doctor to doctor to get multiple prescription
Valium withdrawal symptoms
Individuals who experience substance use disorder in a form of addiction, and stop using the drug abruptly may experience mild to severe withdrawal symptoms. Some of the physical and psychological manifestations of these symptoms are:
- rapid heart rate
- fever and sweating
- severe cravings
People with a severe addiction to prescription Valium should seek help from medical professionals without making attempts to quit the drug on their own. The reason for medical intervention is that withdrawal symptoms may have life-threatening effects.
Detox and Treatment for Valium Addiction
People who are addicted to Valium, as well as other Benzodiazepines, should undergo medically supervised detoxification. In most cases, the procedure is performed in the medical setting, and the patient’s condition is monitored and vital signs checked periodically. Prior to undergoing this procedure, the patient must have medical and mental health evaluation to address any additional physical or psychological disorders. Other mental health disorders may be present in addition to addiction disorder, and they must be addressed at the same time. The treatment plan is designed based on the patient’s personal needs and it is modified based on progress or changes occurring during a course of treatment.
Valium detox procedure may take up to a week to be completed, while valium toxins eliminated from the patient’s system. Addiction medications may be used to help a recovering addict with withdrawal symptoms, and other medications used to block opioid receptors in patient’s brain to reverse to a normal brain function.
Once the patient is stabilized, he or she transitions to a residential facility to undergo behavioral therapy and counseling treatment. Either inpatient or outpatient program can help patients through their recovery journey. Cognitive-behavioral therapy centered on modifying patient’s behavior and attitudes towards drug use helps to learn skills to cope with life’s stress without using drugs, and learn how to manage triggers and avoid relapse. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is proven to be the most effective treatment for any type of opioid addictions, and it can help patients in recovery programs to conform to life without using Benzodiazepines.
Individual and group counseling is designed to reinforce changing drug use behaviors, and share and learn from other peers, suffering from similar disorders. Family support is vital in treating addiction disorders.