August 8th, 2023
Valium, classed under the diazepam drug umbrella, is a sedative primarily prescribed for anxiety. Although it is a prescription drug, Valium is highly addictive and can rapidly induce addictive tendencies in users. The danger of prescription medications comes with their ability to hide in plain sight, with many of us unaware that it is even possible to abuse something which has been approved by a doctor.
On this page, we will explore how Valium addiction can claim as many as over two-hundred lives per year, the signs, and symptoms of Valium addiction and what to do if you recognise it in yourself or a loved one.
What is Valium addiction?
Valium addiction is continuing to use the drug, despite the consequences hindering your ability to live a normal life as before. At this point, it is advised to seek professional medical help.
Just like any prescription drug addictions, Valium addiction commonly occurs when you first deviate from your prescribed dosage. You should always strictly follow the prescription assigned to you by the medical professional. Increased or frequent consumption of Valium naturally increases your tolerance level, making self-medication of Valium extremely risky.
How does Valium addiction develop?
Valium addiction stems from your brain growing accustomed to the effects of the drug. Valium is usually prescribed to those that have an insufficient production of GABA, a chemical in your brain. When you take Valium for a long length of time, your neurotransmitters can only be stimulated to release GABA chemicals with the aid of Valium. This means you may feel the need to continue taking more of the drug to maintain this feeling, which can lead to Valium addiction.
Pharmaceutical drugs are often perceived as less dangerous than illicit drugs, which explains why Valium addiction is so common among people from all walks of life.
The health risks associated with Valium addiction
Although abusing Valium alone can cause serious health issues, most severe cases are brought on by supplementing your Valium consumption with other sedatives such as alcohol. Unfortunately, this can lead to respiratory distress and heart problems, while psychologically it can alarmingly introduce suicidal thoughts.
Whenever you take Valium over the prescribed amount, you are placing yourself at risk of overdose, especially when you mix Valium with alcohol or other sedative drugs. Alcohol is also a suppressant drug, meaning when mixed with Valium, the physiological functions such as breathing and heartbeat slow down. In extreme cases, these functions can shut down, causing cardiac or respiratory failure.
An overdose can onset the following symptoms within hours:
- Loss of balance
- Slow heartbeat
- Slow breathing
- Low blood pressure
- Cool, clammy skin
- Upset stomach
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is advised to immediately contact a medical professional.
Short-term health impacts of Valium addiction
Valium is designed to alleviate conditions such as insomnia, seizures and anxiety due to its calming effects. However, Valium abuse can lead to many short-term health effects:
- Blurred vision
- Urinary problems
- Loss of libido
- Breathing problems
- Irregular heartbeat
You can easily avoid these negative effects by strictly abiding by the dosage assigned by the doctor and refraining from mixing Valium with other sedatives.
Long-term health impacts of Valium addiction
The long-term health effects can be severe, yet with a good support system and the right medical help, you can reverse these health effects.
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
- Risk of mental conditions (Alzheimer’s)
- Nerve damage
- Chronic insomnia
DID YOU KNOW?…
- Valium is commonly known as “benzos”, a shortened version of benzodiazepine, and the scientific name of the drug.
- Over the past five years, at least 250 people a year have died from abusing diazepam.
- One out of five diazepam prescriptions are misused and abused.
- Diazepam fatalities multiplied sevenfold between 1999 and 2015 (USA population)
- Last year, death certificates of 476 people in England and Wales listed diazepam as the cause of death.
Are you addicted to Valium?
As Valium is a prescription drug, people become addicted far too easily and often because they don’t recognise the dangers of abusing prescription drugs. This places countless people in the grip of addiction without them realising it. With no expectation or previous experience of addiction, it can be difficult to think straight or realise you are abusing diazepam.
You can, however keep an eye out for the following signs:
- Personal relationships become strained as your loved ones get frustrated by your change in behaviour.
- Becoming preoccupied with acquiring and consuming Valium.
- General ability to function will become impaired, such as performing well at work, forcing you to take days off.
- Ability to provide for yourself and your family will dwindle as you struggle to earn an income.
- Prioritising your medication above all aspects of life, losing interest in your friends and hobbies.
- Isolating yourself can test your mental wellbeing.
- Taking desperate measures to acquire your medication, usually doctoring your prescriptions or sourcing illegal and fake Valium online.
If you believe that you are unable to function without your medication and are going to desperate lengths to get your hands on it, you are likely addicted.
How to take action
Luckily, you can overcome your dependency by undergoing Valium detox and therapy at a Valium rehab centre. No matter where you are in your journey, it is never too late to seek out the help that you deserve, identifying the underlying causes of your addiction to truly overcome your illness and move forward into sober living.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you overdose on Valium?
If you use Valium more frequently or in larger doses than recommended by the doctor, you are placing yourself at risk of overdose. If you want to increase your dosage, always first seek professional medical advice before starting to self-medicate.
Is Valium safe?
Valium can be safe when used as prescribed by a medical professional. However, it is highly addictive, so it’s important to understand the dangers of Valium addiction, which can be as damaging as any other illicit drug. Consuming any drug poses risks, rarely making it safe.
What’s the difference between Valium and diazepam?
Diazepam is a type of drug, whereas Valium is a brand name for this substance. Valium is the most popular diazepam drug around the world, offering its users relief from severe anxiety.