Have you wondered, “Is Valium addictive?” but weren’t ready to know the answer? If the side effects of Valium (diazepam) have been negatively impacting your life, it may be time to seek professional help. Keep reading to learn more about Valium and where you can get help to put an end to misusing this common prescription drug.
Why Is Valium Addictive and Why Do People Use It?
Valium (diazepam) is a prescription medication used to treat seizures, prevent muscle spasms, and provide relief for anxiety. It’s classified as a benzodiazepine, which means it slows down the central nervous system to help users relax. Valium works by reducing the level of brain activity. The neurotransmitter GABA is stimulated in the person’s brain to discourage firing off messages. As a result, your brain and body slow down, which can help reduce anxiety symptoms. Moreover, Valium is considered a long-acting benzodiazepine, so it starts working quickly with the maximum effect taking place within an hour of taking it. This means the substance takes longer to process and leave your system.
But why is valium addictive? Addiction doesn’t happen overnight. You may start taking more pills than what is prescribed because your anxiety is worsening. Maybe you’re having trouble sleeping or the dosage your doctor prescribed no longer works. These behaviors may seem harmless at first. However, this is often the start of substance abuse. Individuals can get addicted to the feeling of calmness and euphoria produced by the medication Valium, leading them to misuse their prescriptions.
Valium Side Effects
In addition to easing anxiety, helping insomnia, and acting as a sedative, there are some negative side effects of using Valium. Some unwanted side effects of Valium include:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- Increased heart rate
- Trouble concentrating
- Problems with muscle control and coordination
Side effects of valium addiction also include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular or shallow breathing
- Lack of coordination
- Muscle pain or weakness
- Loss of strength or energy
- Unusual drowsiness or lethargy
- Loss of consciousness
- Irrational or disorganized thinking
So, why is valium addictive if it comes with a long list of unpleasant or life-threatening side effects? Individuals who are dependent on Valium will struggle to stop taking the medication despite the negative consequences it may have on their life and health. Those who are dependent on a substance rely on it to function. A Valium abuser will need to take Valium to prevent the onset of withdrawal symptoms. Depending on how much someone takes daily, these symptoms can start within a few hours of their last dose.
The drug’s effects make users feel more at ease and can greatly reduce anxiety symptoms. And it can be difficult to stop using it when you initially see an improvement in how you feel. You may feel tempted to use higher doses to get a stronger effect or because you have a tolerance for your prescribed dose. But with time, prolonged Valium misuse can lead to a variety of these unpleasant and dangerous symptoms as well as addiction. That’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor if your medication Valium is no longer helping. If you’re already struggling with addiction, The Willough at Naples can help you find the right treatment plan to start recovery.
Medical Detox for Valium Addiction
Now that you know the answer to the question, “Is valium addictive?”, it’s important to know what your treatment options are if you’re struggling with Valium addiction. For many people starting recovery, the first step is completing a drug and alcohol detox. Here, patients detox under the medical supervision of physicians, addiction specialists, and mental health professionals. They keep you safe and as comfortable as possible as you undergo Valium withdrawal.
What detoxing does is eliminate all of the toxins from your body so you can start recovery without the presence of any substances in your system. While you may be tempted to detox at home, some symptoms of Valium withdrawal can be dangerous. Detoxing at home also increases your chances of relapse. Withdrawal symptoms are often unpleasant, causing individuals to use again to avoid discomfort.
With that said, the longer you have been addicted to or dependent on the substance, the more severe your symptoms are likely to be. However, everyone’s bodies are different. Therefore, there’s no way to tell what symptoms you may experience. That’s another reason it’s recommended that individuals detox in the safety of a mental health and addiction treatment center such as The Willough at Naples. A medical detox puts your emotional and physical well-being at the forefront of your recovery so you get the help you need.
As with other benzodiazepines, Valium can lead to dependence. This happens when you take a substance longer than recommended or take higher doses than prescribed. Over time your body adapts to it and requires you to take as much or more of the medication to function daily. As a result, abruptly stopping usage can cause you to experience withdrawal symptoms.
Valium withdrawal symptoms include:
- Tingling in extremities
- Muscle pain and tension
- Sensory sensitivity
Is Valium Addictive Because of Its Impact on Mental Health?
Despite the benefits Valium can have for individuals struggling with an anxiety disorder or health problems such as seizures, prolonged use can be detrimental to your mental health. As mentioned, Valium can make you feel calm and even euphoric. If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or another mental health disorder, these feelings may be difficult for you to experience on your own. Addiction sometimes occurs because individuals are seeking out these feelings as a way to cope with symptoms of an underlying mental health disorder.
Studies show that nearly half of all individuals who have a substance use disorder have an additional mental health disorder. This can either be a cause or result of substance misuse. But no matter the reason alcohol and drug addictions can cause or worsen mental health problems. To overcome your addiction and manage the symptoms of your mental health disorder, it may be necessary to seek professional treatment.
An accredited addiction and mental health treatment center such as The Willough at Naples will address the complex relationship between addiction and mental health. The most effective treatment plans address the symptoms of your addiction alongside those of your mental health disorder. These treatment plans are often part of a dual diagnosis program. What they do is help you learn to improve the quality of your daily life without the use of Valium through a variety of treatment modalities.
Evidence-based treatment modalities include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Group therapy
- Family education
- Recreational therapy
- Relapse prevention
- Link to community-based services
The physicians, addiction specialists, mental health experts, and the rest of the staff at The Willough at Naples will guide you through every step of the recovery process.
Get Help for Valium Addiction Today
Now that you know the answer to the question, “Is valium addictive?”, you’re one step closer to getting the help you need. From here, you can get in touch with the admission experts at The Willough at Naples by calling 800-722-0100. You can also submit a confidential contact form online. The staff at The Willough at Naples is dedicated to helping you achieve your addiction recovery goals one step at a time.