Valium is usually prescribed for short-term relief of anxiety or muscle pains. It has been available since 1963 when it was first introduced as a muscle relaxant, and now it is considered a tranquilizer. Any legitimate prescription of Valium can develop into addiction or abuse and leave patients unaware of the problem until obvious warning signs make it too late.
Benzodiazepines, a group that includes Valium, target certain chemicals located in the brain when they are unbalanced, and most of these drugs are known for their sedative capabilities as well. Recent surveys show Valium prescriptions are increasing in the United States and one possible reason is that anxiety and stress have become common problems for so many people. This particular trend is disturbing on several levels because Valium is a very powerful drug and has the unique ability to become something users “need” or want for long amounts of time, rather than the initial short-term prescription calls for.
No one with a prescription for Valium should share it with someone else, whether that person has had it in the past or not. Sadly, a lot of abusers are given Valium in this way and the cycle of addiction continues.
One past stereotype of Valium is that it is abused by upper-middle-class women who cannot handle the stress of their daily lives, with active social calendars and overwhelming family responsibilities. This scenario is only one of a long list of situations that could end in abuse. The reality of Valium addiction spreads across all demographics and frequently happens with those who have prescriptions for the drug. Known as diazepam, Valium was prescribed over 60 million times during the year 2010 and that carries a lot of potential for widespread trouble. Physicians will prescribe Valium for numerous conditions that From pill form to a liquid, it is available and used in multiple ways to achieve a hypnotic state of decreased brain activity.
Short-Term Valium Side Effects
Like any prescription drug, Valium has a series of people experience when using it. Here are some of the short-term effects of Valium abuse:
- The crash. When someone first uses Valium, they are immersed in good feelings as brain messages are traveling much more slowly, yet eventually, they will speed back up, causing the intoxicating rush to subside. In place of the rush, tolerance begins to take hold, making it tougher to reach that same level of euphoria unless the dosage amount is raised.
- Anxiety. Users often feel on edge or nervous without provocation.
- Irritation. Ups and downs will result in mood swings that are hard to control and they might also bring about an increase in aggression or hostility.
- Fever. This may also involve confusion, feeling faint, experiencing hallucinations or strange thoughts, and odd behavior while the mind is away on its drunken ride.
- Rapid heart rate. This may also lead to tremors that include uncontrollable movement and speed in all areas of muscle, including the heart.
- Stomach cramps. Digestive problems can take place, usually with some form of pain or discomfort in the stomach, or loss of control of bladder functions.
- Depression. The letdown of the decreasing impact on a person’s brain puts them in a depressed state of mind that can be accompanied by thoughts of suicide.
Long-Term Valium Side Effects
Unwarranted and extensive use of Valium has many serious, permanent, and sometimes fatal effects that everyone needs to be aware of. Real examples of long-term side effects are:
- Memory loss. This may not just be temporary; prolonged loss of memory is possible when brain waves are constantly damaged or intentionally slowing processes.
- Hallucinations. Mentioned along with fever in short-term Valium effects, illusions are common when a person chooses to stay in a hazy, semi-conscious condition.
- Difficulty breathing. Shortness of breath or an inability to perform natural, automatic, essential body functions is common.
- Slowed pulse. It would make sense that repeated attempts to slow a person’s brain also interfere with other vital processes, like blood flow through veins.
- Coma. Heavy use of a hypnotic sedative can take the user one step away from unconsciousness, and with addictive use of it, eventually, a body may fall into that deep sleep referred to as a coma.
- Heart attack. Blood pressure increases while sending each muscle group into shock mode, numbness, and shutdown, preventing blood from reaching the heart.
- Social problems. Lengthy drug abuse may cause isolation, job loss, failing relationships, and monetary setbacks.
- Accidents. While under the unauthorized influence of prescribed medication, the likeliness of an accident increases, and so does the physical damage it can leave.
Even though Valium withdrawal is not exclusive to abusers and might naturally happen with prescribed usage, the symptoms are magnified after long periods of consumption. They are similar to the more serious side effects and include seizures, hallucinations, anxiety, cessation of or shallow breathing, stomach or digestive problems, respiratory distress, tachycardia, increased blood pressure, numbness or tingling in limbs, personality changes, depression, vision impairment, extreme sweating, tremors, coma, and sleeplessness or chronic insomnia.
Recovery is not easy and it requires a qualified medical staff who can oversee the necessary detoxification process before stabilizing the patient, minimizing or actually preventing body damage, and preparing the patient for a successful rehabilitation. Interestingly, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that 23.5 million people need treatment for an illicit drug addiction, but unfortunately, just over 2.5 million receive it.
Finding Help for Valium Abuse
Starting treatment for drug abuse is the most important part of achieving recovery, and oftentimes, an addict has no idea about the dangers they live with. Valium addicts must rely on people around them or themselves to recognize the following signs and symptoms of addiction:
- Feeling a strong regular need for Valium
- Wanting a supply of Valium that is constant, regardless of whether or not a prescription actually needs to be refilled or is running low
- Unusual or dangerous behavior, such as operating heavy machinery while on Valium
- Problems functionally normally without Valium, even when certain activities are eliminated entirely
Here at Futures of Palm Beach, we specialize in treating Valium abuse with a comprehensive approach that involves. We also have a support system that considers all aspects of rehabilitation, including family therapy, an individual plan for overall well-being, comprehensive guidance towards healthy decisions, and a complete strategy for continued success. Our staff will always show the unparalleled quality of care and attention we are known for as we help you regain control of your life and finally break free from abuse and/or addiction. If you or someone you know has a Valium addiction, or there is any reason to suspect drug abuse, please contact us to learn more about how we can help you start on the path to recovery now.