Even though Valium® is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety and muscle spasms under a doctor’s supervision, it is addictive. Valium®, also known as diazepam, belongs to the benzodiazepine family of medications. These medicines have addictive properties, especially for people who misuse them. At Gateway Foundation, we offer hope and healing for those struggling with Valium® addiction.
Gateway’s Valium® drug rehabilitation centers in Illinois can help you recover from benzodiazepine dependence or addiction.
WHAT IS VALIUM®?
Valium® is an addictive benzodiazepine and the brand name version of the drug diazepam. It tends to be more sought after than other drugs in this category because it’s longer-lasting, meaning users feel its effects much longer than other types of benzodiazepine and require fewer doses per day. When prescribed by a doctor, Valium® is usually ingested in pill form about one to four times per day.
Because of its pleasant relaxation effects, Valium® has a high potential for misuse. That’s why the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies it as a Schedule IV controlled substance.
WHY DO PEOPLE TAKE VALIUM®?
Benzodiazepines like Valium® diminish hyperactive brain function, creating a relaxing, sedative effect. For that reason, doctors often prescribe Valium® for severe stress and anxiety as well as muscle spasms and seizures.
Many people believe that since they have a prescription for Valium®, the drug must be safe or less addictive than illicit substances like heroin. This misconception leads some patients to be less vigilant about following their doctor’s instructions. If it’s not used as directed by a doctor, a psychological and physical addiction to Valium® can progress quickly.
HISTORY OF VALIUM®
In the mid-1950s, pharmaceutical companies were looking for safer sedative alternatives to barbiturates, which had a high risk of addiction and potential overdose. Benzodiazepines were produced out of this need and introduced to the U.S. in the early 1960s. In 1963, the use of Valium® became popular with doctors and patients. In fact, between 1969 and 1982, Valium® was the most prescribed drug in the United States.
By the 1990s, however, the potential for abuse and dependence on Valium® became more evident. While the drug remains one of the most widely prescribed psychoactive drugs in the U.S., experts view its use with far more caution.
HOW IS VALIUM® USED ILLICITLY?
When someone misuses their Valium® or takes the drug without a prescription, they increase their risk of becoming addicted. Addiction usually starts with taking larger doses of Valium® than needed. It can also begin by taking the drug more often than prescribed.
With or without a prescription, Valium® is frequently misused by people who need help dealing with the stress of daily life. Others take it to help them sleep. However, many people seek out Valium® specifically for recreational use. Some enjoy the pleasant calm it produces, while others use it to help loosen inhibitions in social situations.
Some people also misuse Valium® by taking it with other drugs or alcohol. This dangerous combination puts users at a high risk of overdose. Sadly, the misuse of benzos like Valium® is a growing problem. Emergency departments have seen a steep 139% increase in benzodiazepine-related visits in recent years.
SIDE EFFECTS OF VALIUM® USE
Using Valium®, especially in the long term, can come with a number of adverse side effects:
- Chronic drowsiness or fatigue
- Confusion or memory loss
- Sleeping problems, including nightmares
- Blood in urine or stool
Due in part to misconceptions about the drug’s safety, many people have accidentally overdosed. Here are some Valium® overdose symptoms you should be aware of:
- Bluish lips
- Double vision
- Slurred speech
- Uncoordinated movement
- Trouble breathing
- Respiratory depression
WHEN TO CONSIDER GETTING HELP FROM A VALIUM® DRUG ADDICTION TREATMENT CENTER
Addiction to Valium® can start through misuse as a prescribed patient or recreational user. Any use of Valium® that goes against a doctor’s directions counts as misuse and raises your risk of addiction. You could have an addiction to Valium® if you:
- Have uncontrollable urges to use benzodiazepines, even when you don’t have symptoms to treat.
- Need to take more Valium® to feel the same effects as before.
- Put aside relationships, hobbies and obligations to get and use Valium®.
- Perform risky behaviors to get more Valium®.
Prescribed patients and recreational users can get addicted to Valium®. If you have a prescription, you may go to multiple doctors and pharmacies to get more of it. As a recreational user, you might steal Valium® from someone you know or use illegal methods to get it.
WAYS THAT VALIUM® MISUSE CAN IMPACT YOUR WELL-BEING
Misusing Valium® can cause a variety of negative health effects, including:
- Side effects: Valium® has side effects such as drowsiness, nausea, headache and muscle weakness.
- Withdrawal symptoms: If you have a dependence on Valium®, you can experience sleeplessness, irritability and anxiety when you stop taking it.
- Interactions with other medications: Benzodiazepines like Valium® can change the effectiveness of drugs like opioids, raising the risk of overdose.
You can also overdose on Valium® if you take it in excess amounts. A Valium® overdose can cause stopped breathing, which may result in brain damage or death.
HOW A VALIUM® DRUG REHAB TREATMENT CENTER CAN TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE
Valium® addiction can make it more difficult to function in life, but a clinic can help you take back control. You will work with your treatment team to meet goals such as:
- Managing your withdrawal symptoms so you can taper off Valium®
- Reconnecting with the people you care about
- Returning to a productive life at work, school or home
- Planning a healthy future without the influence of benzodiazepines
When you enter a Valium® addiction treatment program, you get to set goals and meet them using the resources provided.
SERVICES AVAILABLE AT VALIUM® DRUG ADDICTION REHABILITATION CENTERS IN ILLINOIS
Modern models of Valium® addiction treatment aim to manage these aspects of addiction:
- Physical: Valium® addiction causes uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that make recovery difficult. Your clinic will use medication and other treatments to help you handle these effects.
- Behavioral: Addiction changes your thoughts and behaviors around drugs. Services like therapy let you learn new behaviors and manage your thoughts and feelings about Valium®.
Every treatment center takes a different approach to Valium® addiction rehab. Gateway uses a patient-centered model that saves lives.
GATEWAY’S VALIUM® DRUG ADDICTION REHAB CENTERS IN ILLINOIS
At Gateway, we provide personalized addiction treatment that targets each patient’s needs. When you join our Valium® addiction program, you receive services like:
- Tailored care plans: Our staff will develop a personalized treatment plan based on your situation, symptoms and needs.
- Medication: You may receive medication to treat a health problem related to your addiction or to relieve withdrawal symptoms.
- Therapy: During one-on-one therapy, your counselor will help you set recovery goals and create strategies to meet them.
- Group support: Patient support groups, group therapy and our alumni community keep patients like you connected.
- Relapse prevention: Throughout your treatment, we will teach you how to reduce your risk of relapse and how to get help if a relapse happens.
We believe in nurturing each patient’s recovery goals and giving them the tools they need to achieve them.
The compassionate team at Gateway supports Chicago-area patients as they go through addiction recovery. We have more than 50 years of experience in creating new futures. When you become a patient at Gateway, you get a recovery partner for life. Learn more about our services or schedule an appointment by contacting our staff online.