Valium Addiction, Side Effects & Help
Valium is a benzodiazepine that is commonly prescribed to treat anxiety, alcoholism, and seizures but can lead to adverse physical dependence and psychological addiction. This medication is generally used to treat short term problems but can be prescribed, in some cases, for prolonged periods of time and such prescription will often lead to tolerance and physical dependence that is followed by a range of adverse withdrawal effects which come as a result of no longer using the drug.
Valium Side Effects
The side effects that are commonly seen in an individual who abuses valium include many physical symptoms such as:
- Lethargy and fatigue
- Mental confusion
- Slurred speech
- Altered vision
- Dry mouth
- Slowed heart rate
Prolonged use of this medication can lead to paradoxical reactions that may include:
- Increased muscle spasm
Valium has a very high potential for abuse, even when it is prescribed to patients for a legitimate reason. Because this medication can lead to such an adverse addiction and severe withdrawal symptoms, most doctors will not prescribe valium unless necessary as a last resort method of treatment after other methods of treatment have already been exhausted.
Withdrawal Symptoms Associated with Valium Addiction
Many adverse reactions can come when a user stops taking valium, especially if the drug was taken for a prolonged period of time. Some of the symptoms of withdrawal may be severe enough to warrant immediate medical treatment while others may be manageable with time and rest or other home remedies. The following withdrawal symptoms are likely when an individual stops taking valium:
- Tremors or shakes
- Abdominal cramping
- Muscle cramps
- Sweating profusely
Typically, these symptoms will only last a few days to a week but in some severe cases, Valium withdrawal symptoms can persist for many weeks or even months. People who have been exposed to excessive doses of Valium or who have taken the medication for a prolonged period of time are at the greatest risk of suffering from extreme withdrawal symptoms that take a long time to go away. In severe cases, medical intervention could be necessary to ensure the safety of the patient when they stop taking valium because the withdrawal symptoms can become severe enough to cause major health problems.
Valium Addiction Signs
The signs of valium addiction are similar to those of valium use. The immediate signs include insomnia when not taking valium, anxiety that increases when not taking valium, and panic attacks. In addition to these signs of addiction, the patient will also have a loss of appetite, agitation and mental confusion, depression and hypertension. Many of these signs will abruptly go away when the individual detoxes but some will tend to linger for many days or weeks post detox.
Help for Valium Addiction
If you or someone you love is addicted to valium there is hope. Help is available in treatment centers and detox centers throughout the country to provide safe counseling, medical care, detox and therapeutic options for those who suffer from addiction to diazepam. Most rehab centers provide long term counseling for those suffering from valium addiction to ensure that they are psychologically healed from the pain or trauma that originally caused their addiction to take place. Additional counseling may also be provided to ensure the safe treatment of anxiety or panic attacks which could have been the original cause for the prescribed valium or which could result once the valium is no longer being taken.