Valium is a versatile sedative in the benzodiazepine family. Similar to Xanax, Valium is prescribed for anxiety disorders, hallucinations resulting from alcohol withdrawal, delirium, muscle spasms and seizures. The drug has become so popular and widely known that people will often joke, “Take a Valium!” when friends get overly excited.
However Valium is an addictive drug that is very commonly abused.
Sovereign Health provides comprehensive Valium addiction treatment in all of our locations nationwide.
Valium abuse often starts rather innocently. A friend may share a pill now and then when you’re stressed; a prescription may only be necessary for a season, but you continue to seek out refills, afraid to go without its desired effects. People are lured into dependency on the drug because:
- Sedative effects help with sleep problems
- It has muscle relaxant properties
- It causes a sense of euphoria
Symptoms of Valium abuse
Use can quickly escalate to abuse and dependency. There are several Valium addiction symptoms to watch for including:
- Blurred vision
- Changes in appetite and mood swings
- Clumsiness, slowed reflexes and other motor difficulties
- Dry mouth
- Memory and concentration problems
- Sleeping difficulties and lethargy
- Severe withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug
Red flags of Valium addiction
You or your loved ones may not think there’s a problem. Here are several indicators of valium addiction:
- Abuse of other drugs, including alcohol
- Aggressive behavior
- Doctor shopping – seeing multiple doctors in attempt to get multiple Valium prescriptions
- Episodes of psychosis
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not taking Valium
- Long-term mental impairment
- Relying on Valium just to get through the day
Valium inside the body
Valium works in the brain by influencing levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA); thus decreasing the activity of nerves. In fact, some researchers point to a correlation between lower levels of GABA and anxiety disorders or neurological conditions such as epilepsy.
Valium latches on and weighs down GABA receptors in the brain, like a runner with someone riding piggyback, creating a calming effect. This chemical “piggyback” is what makes Valium functional for medical treatment of seizures, anxiety disorders and helping alcoholics through detox.
However, the same rewiring is what can cause tolerance and dependency.
Like a piggyback ride that doesn’t end, eventually the GABA neurotransmitters accustom to the extra weight, tolerance is built and progressively more Valium is needed to achieve the same effects.