Valium Addiction and Abuse
Valium, also known as Diazepam, is a prescribed Benzodiazepine medication to treat anxiety and alcohol withdrawal. Its dosage depends on many criteria such as your age, condition, and response to other medications. Because determining proper dosage is so complex and precise, it is very important to stick to the dosage your doctor prescribed, otherwise addiction is very possible.
If addiction occurs, tapering is practiced to reduce the withdrawal side effects. If someone stops “cold turkey,” which is never recommended, they can experience:
Valium is meant to last a short period of time (less than 4 months), and its medical purposes can wear off, making the drug unable to treat the same symptoms it once could. Instead of stopping the medicine altogether, many up doses in fear their symptoms will return, leading to dependence and an addiction.
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Effects of Valium Use
Although allergic reactions are rare, Valium is not recommended for anyone allergic to the drugs Oxazepam, Klonopin, Xanax, or Temazepam. Like other Benzodiazepines, Valium produces calming effects and is taken orally. Side effects do occur while taking Valium and can include:
- Shallow breathing
- Mood changes
- Swelling of the face and tongue
It is extremely important to keep the drug away from children and those not prescribed. You should also discard any Valium you have leftover after expiration due to strong effects that can cause death after consumption of even a single pill.
How Do I Know If I Have a Valium Addiction?
The easiest way to know if you have an addiction is if you have the desire to take more of the drug than prescribed. You may notice you tend to hide taking the medication from others so they won’t know how much you are actually taking, or even hiding the fact that you are prescribed the drug to avoid any questions whatsoever.
You may have an addiction if you:
- Feel a “high” or enjoyment after a dose
- Finish prescriptions before their end date
- Take more of the drug to feel stronger effects
- Mix Valium with other drugs to get a better high
- Crave the drug
- Use the drug despite negative consequences
If any of these apply to you, you may have an addiction. If so, it is critical to seek treatment before it affects your everyday life.
Valium Addiction Treatment
Valium addiction treatment almost always starts with detox; however, specific treatment plans vary depending on the person and their dependency. If the addiction is less dependent, outpatient treatment may be possible. If the level of dependence is more intense, inpatient treatment is probably the best way to fight the addiction. Many doctors and rehab centers taper the patient off Valium slowly to minimize withdrawal symptoms. This eases the transition between being addicted and allows the body to function normally again.
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Treatment can be the difference between success and failure when attempting to overcome a Valium addiction. The long-term success rate of achieving sobriety after a Valium addiction is relatively good. Although a previous user might be tempted to relapse, abstinence is possible with the right mindset and dedication.
Aftercare programs are also available for those who had a high dependency on the drug and need help after rehab to keep the cravings extinct.
Statistics on Valium Abuse
Prescription Benzodiazepines like Valium were involved in about 30% of prescription drug overdose deaths in 2013.
The overdose death rate related to Benzodiazepines like Valium more than quadrupled between 1999 and 2010, from 0.58 per 100,000 adults to 3.07 per 100,000 adults.
75% of Benzodiazepine overdose deaths were found to also involve Opioid use.
Finding Treatment for Valium Abuse
Addiction to Valium can be a hard situation to get out of. Rehabilitation can help the body relearn what it’s like to function without the drug flowing throughout the body. With the willingness to heal and the right team to help, sobriety can be achieved and maintained. Contact a dedicated treatment specialist for help on finding the right facility for healing a Valium addiction.
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