Valium is a medication often used in treating seizures, muscle spasms, anxiety, and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The drug’s generic name is diazepam. While it is an effective medication for these conditions, it is also highly addictive and can lead to dependency and addiction.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to Valium, they will exhibit a number of signs. These signs can include physical, emotional, and behavioral changes. Read on to find out more about them in detail.
Why is Valium addictive?
Diazepam is classified as a benzodiazepine drug. It works by boosting the activity of a molecule in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is responsible for inhibiting excessive brain activity, promoting relaxation, and reducing anxiety. By increasing GABA’s activity, the drug produces a calming and sedating effect. This action is what makes it effective in treating conditions like anxiety and seizures, which are characterized by excessive activity in the brain.
The addictive potential of Valium comes from its ability to create a sense of euphoria and relaxation. When taken as prescribed, the drug provides good relief from symptoms of muscle spasms, seizures, and anxiety.
But some people misuse the drug to experience its pleasurable effects. Taking the drug recreationally eventually leads to addiction.
Repeated use of diazepam can lead to tolerance. This means your body becomes accustomed to the drug’s presence, and higher doses are needed to achieve the effects you want.
This tolerance can quickly go up, prompting you to take larger doses or use the drug more often than prescribed. If you keep increasing your dose, you also have a higher risk of becoming dependent on diazepam.
Additionally, the drug’s sedating effects can create a false sense of relief from stress and anxiety. This can make it tempting for you to rely on the drug to cope with daily life challenges. This behavior can further contribute to the development of addiction.
Abruptly stopping or reducing your dose of Valium can trigger withdrawal symptoms, which may compel you to just keep using the drug. These symptoms can include:
If these withdrawal symptoms become too uncomfortable, your last resort may be to take diazepam again. You may end up continuing your drug use for fear of experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. This is what makes it hard to quit the drug without professional help.
Aside from these physical manifestations, diazepam addiction can also affect your emotions and behavior.
Emotional signs of addiction
Diazepam addiction can also cause emotional changes. If you have an addiction to this drug, you may become more withdrawn and isolated from friends and family. You may also experience mood swings, depression, and anxiety. These emotional changes can make it difficult for you to function in daily life.
In the some cases, these can even lead to suicidal tendencies. If this happens to someone you know, call for professional help immediately.
Behavioral signs of addiction
The behavioral signs of addiction can be the most noticeable. If you are addicted to diazepam, your behavior can become erratic. Also, you may find yourself doing risky activities more often. You may also neglect your responsibilities at home and at work. Your most important relationships may also be affected. In some cases, you may find yourself engaging in illegal activities to obtain the drug.
Other behavioral signs of addiction can include:
- Lying about your drug use
- Getting prescriptions from different doctors to get more of the drug (also called “doctor shopping”)
- Stealing money or getting into debt to buy the drug
- Spending too much of your time using the drug
- Needing time to recover from the effects of the drug often
Getting help for addiction
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to this drug, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. Addiction is a chronic disease, and you need professional treatment to get rid of it. Valium rehab programs can provide the necessary support and resources to help you recover from addiction.
Drug rehab programs can vary in intensity and duration, depending on your needs and circumstances. Inpatient programs offer 24/7 medical and psychological support, while outpatient programs provide treatment on a part-time basis. Both types of programs offer individual and group therapy, as well as other resources such as support groups and medication-assisted treatment.
The difference is whether or not you have to live inside a rehab center for a while. For outpatient programs, you don’t have to. You’ll only go to the rehab center during your scheduled therapy sessions. In an inpatient program, you will have to stay in the rehab center the whole time.
During rehab, you will learn coping mechanisms to manage your cravings and avoid drug triggers. Therapists will also help you develop healthy habits. You will also learn how to address the underlying causes of your addiction, like mental health conditions or past traumas.
Overcoming addiction is not a one-size-fits-all process. Each individual’s journey to recovery is unique and requires a personalized approach. This is why it is crucial to seek help from a qualified addiction specialist. They will formulate a treatment plan for you that is appropriate for your needs.
Valium addiction is a serious problem that can have devastating consequences for you and your loved ones. The signs of addiction can include physical, emotional, and behavioral changes. These signs can vary from person to person, and not everyone who uses the drug will become addicted. However, if you or someone you know is experiencing any of these signs, it is important to seek professional help.
Valium rehab programs can provide the necessary support and resources to help individuals recover from addiction. With these, you can live a healthy, drug-free life again.