Browse By State:
Valium Abuse

Typically, valium is used to treat short-term moderate to severe anxiety or insomnia; however, there are many who use valium for non-medical reason, hence valium abuse. When used for a lengthy timeframe, valium has been known to cause a development in tolerance, and physiological and psychological dependency.

Valium (a benzodiazepine) is an excellent treatment for anxiety disorders; however, its potential for abuse is high and often results in addiction. When an individual abuses valium and then stops, he may undergo withdrawal symptoms, such as, convulsions, tremors, abdominal and muscle cramps, vomiting, and sweating. These symptoms usually start when an individual suddenly stops taking valium. Patients who have suffered from valium abuse (those who consumed excessive doses over a long period of time) are susceptible to severe withdrawal symptoms. However, an individual who has taken valium constantly for several months will typically experience milder withdrawal symptoms, such as dysphoria and insomnia.

It is therefore recommended that after continuously using valium, refrain from abrupt discontinuation, as dosage needs to be gradually tapered off at this point, followed by scheduled treatment. Combining valium with other narcotics should be done with extreme caution; in this case, the valium dosage and the narcotic dosage should be started at the lowest dose and slowly titrated based on the individual’s symptoms. Additionally, resuscitative equipment to support respiration should be readily available, in cases of emergency.

Valium abuse can affect an individual’s work life as well. Valium users are advised not to engage in dangerous occupations requiring total mental alertness, such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle. These occupations require the worker to be “on point”, and with valium being a sedative, fatal accidents can easily occur. The impairment is made even worse if you consume alcohol as well, because both are central nervous system depressants. The effects of long-lasting benzodiazepines can also spill over into the following day.

Long-term valium usage typically causes tolerance or dependence for the drug (valium addiction). Estimates show that up to 50 percent of individuals prescribed with valium for 6 months become physically dependent. Sudden discontinuation of use often results in withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, rapid heart rate or palpitations, hypertension, depression, tremors/ hyperactivity, sweating, decreased appetite, irritability, and mental haziness.

For these reasons, individuals suffering from the abuse of or the addiction to valium should be gradually tapered off from the drug, preferably under the supervision of a licensed physician specializing in addiction medicine. Valium addiction is like any other type of addiction. The addict needs help to recover and should not try to go it alone. Support is critical here, as most valium addicts tend to deny that they have a dependency on the drug.

There are a host of treatment facilities specializing in treating different types of drug addictions. If you or someone you know are addicted to valium, contact SAMHSA by visiting their website. By clicking on their facility locator you should be able to find a treatment center near you; many are publicly funded as well.