Sometimes called Vs, Yellow Vs, Blue Vs, Benzos or Tranks, Valium falls under the benzodiazepine classification of drugs, and is commonly prescribed to relieve anxiety, muscle spasms and seizures as well as to ease the uncomfortable symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. However, Valium—compared to Xanax, Ativan, Halcion or Librium, which are all similar medications— is much longer acting, lasting anywhere from 20-70 hours depending on the dosage taken and the length of time the individual has been using the drug.

Valium Abuse Facts & Statistics

Most people in America are aware of the existence of Valium and addiction surrounding this potent drug. The statistics and facts on Valium addiction tell a long story of a serious public health epidemic. Specifically, the drug has been available since the mid-1960s. In 1978, more than two billion tablets were sold. As of five years ago, some 60 million prescriptions for Valium were written. More than 20,000 emergency room visits each year are the result of Valium addiction and overdose.

Valium Addiction Treatment CenterValium works by affecting hyperactive brain functions and depressing the central nervous system to relieve stress and create a long-lasting feeling of calmness and serenity. Under the care of physician, Valium is taken in pill form between one and four times a day. Typically, the onset of action for Valium is under 15 minutes with the peak onset occurring within one hour, making it a particularly fast-acting chemical compared to other drugs in the same class. And because it remains in the body for much longer than shorter-acting “Benzos” (like Ativan or Halcion), it’s an ideal drug for people who will be taking it on a regular basis and therefore want to take fewer doses per day.

Unfortunately, because of the very nature of Valium—fast onset, long-acting and very effective in relieving stress and anxiety quickly—the chances for becoming addicted to the drug are extremely high. Additionally, because the people taking it do so to cope with the pressures of daily life, these are also the people most likely to abuse the drug. And taking the drug for a long period of time—more than four months, for instance—vastly increases the likelihood of becoming addiction.

Over time, it becomes harder and harder for the Valium abuser’s brain to function normally without the drug, yet the addict may still have the perception that they don’t have a problem. The most common sign of Valium addiction is needing increasingly larger doses to feel the drug’s effects or mixing it with other depressants such as alcohol and opioids. And when this situation occurs the chances of an overdose rise dramatically.

These numbers are staggering and very concerning. However, we can bring about real change through effective treatment at our Valium Addiction Treatment Center. This life-changing opportunity will bring balance to your life and sober future ahead.

Understanding Valium Side Effects

The causes of Valium addiction vary from individual to individual, but the chances of becoming dependent are high due to the psychological and physical addiction mechanisms of the medication. Current research, however, has shown that it’s likely Valium addiction arises from a combination of factors such as brain chemistry, genetic disposition and environmental considerations.

Specifically, what is an alcohol detox program?The primary purpose of Valium is to enhance the GABA receptors in the brain while decreasing the amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin in order to alleviate anxiety and stress. However, certain individuals who have too little or too much of these brain chemicals may use the drug inappropriately in order to experience feelings of total relaxation beyond the drug’s primary purpose. When this situation results, the chances of becoming quickly addicted to this sensation are multiplied.

Additionally, individuals who are raised in a household where addiction is present are more likely to mimic these behaviors in an effort to cope with their problems. These individuals may also have a genetic predisposition to addiction: researchers have long studied the link between addiction problems within families.

Psychologically, addiction researchers have found that a dependence on benzodiazepine or diazepam is closely related to the abuse of other substances. Therefore, addicts may use Valium to enhance or decrease the effects of other drugs they may be abusing. Also, because Valium is used in the management of anxiety disorders, individuals who cannot cope with that anxiety in positive ways such as exercise, meditation or through counseling are much more likely to become addicted to the drug as this is their only outlet for relief.

Unfortunately, whenever a state of addiction or dependence on Valium is reached—and especially if that addiction includes mixing the drug with other substances or alcohol—the chances of experiencing Valium overdose symptoms are significant. Often the user will simply fall into a deep sleep while still being able to breath normally, however when other medications are introduced the consequences of an overdose can be severe and life threatening.

What are Valium Addiction Symptoms?

The symptoms of Valium addiction vary from person to person, but there are common indicators that a level of dependence to the active ingredient diazepam has been reached. And the possibility of abusing and becoming dependent on Valium lies in how the drug affects the body and mind, known as the diazepam addiction mechanism. Diazapams inhibit certain neurotransmitters in the brain that, when too prevalent, cause uncontrollable nervousness, stress and anxiety. However, the brain quickly reacts to that neurotransmitter inhibition by developing a tolerance to the drug, requiring that more and more be taken in order to achieve the desired effect. And when Diazapams and Benzodiazepines are ceased, the changes to the neurotransmitters lead to a surge of hyper-excitability of the central nervous system.

The most outward signs that occur in the Valium addict or abuser include changes in mood and behavior:

  • irritability
  • mania
  • panic attacks
  • confusion and alternating aggression
  • hostility
  • depression

Additionally, those individuals abusing or addicted to Valium will exhibit a drastic change in appearance due to a lack of attention to personal hygiene; changes in eating habits; slowed movements and reaction times; using the drug in a manner not prescribed, such as taking more than prescribed; and taking frequent trips to multiple physicians in order to obtain more than one prescription. Valium addicts may also engage in risky and possibly illegal activities due to a lack of good judgment.

Physically symptoms of Valium addiction

  • persistent drowsiness and dizziness
  • spinning sensation
  • dry retching
  • periods of alternating restlessness and fatigue
  • muscle weakness
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • dry mouth or uncontrollable drooling
  • slurred speech
  • blurred or double vision
  • memory problems
  • skin rash or itching

Psychological symptoms of Valium abuse

  • memory problems
  • amnesia
  • possible hallucinations
  • thoughts of suicide
  • loss of inhibitions, which often lead to risky or dangerous actions and behaviors

When the physical or psychological symptoms of Valium abuse or addiction are observed by family or friends, it’s vital they strongly urge the user to seek help from addiction specialists or other healthcare professionals. The long-term effects of Valium abuse can lead to a dangerous set of conditions such as difficulty breathing, respiratory distress, slowed pulse and, in extreme circumstances, coma, heart attacks and even death. Additionally, Valium addiction often leads to a state of social isolation from loved ones as well as career problems and financial and legal troubles. And of course, a general deterioration of a healthy and productive lifestyle often accompanies diazepam and benzodiazepine abuse, including a withdrawal from once enjoyable hobbies and extraordinary efforts to hide the dependence.

The most common symptoms of a Valium overdose are:

  • bluish-colored lips and fingernails
  • blurred or double vision
  • confusion
  • depression
  • dizziness or drowsiness
  • excitability
  • uncontrollable hiccups
  • labored breathing
  • stupor or an absence of alertness
  • nystagmus (rapid movement of the eyes from side to side)
  • persistent rash
  • stomach upset
  • alternating tremors and weakness
  • uncoordinated movements

If these signs of Valium addiction or overdose or any other troubling conditions are noticed when taking Valium, it’s important to seek emergency medical care or speak immediately to the prescribing physician as they can be not only debilitating but can lead to serious medical complications that may be both irreversible and deadly.

Coping with Valium Withdrawal Symptoms

When an addict or abuser of Valium decides to reduce, or cease their use of the drug, a variety of symptoms can occur ranging from mild and annoying to serious and even life threatening.—The following conditions can occur as the body and brain attempt to cope with the withdrawal of the drug-

  • Extreme sweating
  • body tremors
  • persistent insomnia
  • psychosis and hallucinations
  • stomach cramps
  • uncontrollable anxiety or irritability
  • digestive problems
  • headache
  • sensitivity to light and sound
  • feelings of numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • vision impairment
  • increased blood pressure
  • depression
  • seizures

Many of the symptoms of ceasing Valium are the result of the withdrawal period functioning on a fluctuating schedule, meaning the addict or abuser will have period of “high” and “low” symptoms that change daily. The length of withdrawal symptoms depends on several factors—including how long the drug was taken and the amount being used—but research shows that the most severe symptoms typically last between three and six days since the last dose was taken. However, individuals will most likely experience a relapse of symptoms two weeks after initial withdrawal. Within one month, however, the symptoms should fade as the body returns to a normal state.

What are co-occurring disorders?Even though the physical symptoms of Valium withdrawal may disappear after a short time, emotional and mental symptoms may persist. If the individual was taking the drug to ease anxiety and stress, the pressures of withdrawal may worsen those conditions and lead to a relapse into Valium abuse. It’s critical, therefore, that the addict obtains professional addiction recovery help throughout the withdrawal process, as this is the best way to avoid a relapse and achieve lasting recovery.

Additionally, it’s best that the Valium addict slowly stop their use of the drug in a tapering off manner, as this helps ease the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal and increases the chances for lifelong relief from dependence. Again, this manner of ceasing Valium abuse is best done under the care of a physician or addiction specialist. Working in an inpatient- or outpatient setting, addiction counselors—with the support of friends and family as well as the patient’s doctors—can not only help the individual cope with the symptoms of withdrawal but can also prescribe ways of dealing with the stress and anxiety that comes with the detoxification process.

Valium Addiction Treatment Center in Northern California

Getting Valium addiction help and recovery begins when the addict—ideally with the support of their loved ones—recognizes they have a dependence on the drug. Typically, treatment begins with an assessment and evaluation of the level of addiction—including how much of the drug was being taken and for how long—followed by a course of action to handle detoxification. The most important procedure for treating Valium addiction is to taper off the drug slowly over a period of time in order to minimize the complicated symptoms that arise once the drug leaves the body: if the addict stops taking the drug to abruptly, serious health conditions can result including heart attacks, stroke, coma and, in rare cases, death.

The initial stages of withdrawal—during which the patient may experience a host of uncomfortable but not usually life-threatening conditions—runs its course within three to six days. But often, the addict will go through a relapse of symptoms within two weeks. And within a month the body and brain has generally returned to a normal condition where a state of dependence no longer exists. And often, medications such Propranolol, promethazine or chlormethiazole may be prescribed as they’ve been shown to help ease the worst of the detox symptoms such as alternating anxiety and depression, headaches, sensitivities to light and sound and other uncomfortable conditions.

Beacon House Mission and Commitment PhilosophyOnce the detoxification process has run its course an array of emotional and psychological problems will likely still exist for the addict. Therefore, any addiction treatment for Valium should include one-on-one or peer counseling programs that can address the underlying issues that caused the abuse and addiction in the first place. These issues are best approached through behavioral treatments and therapeutic interventions that teach healthy and effective methods of coping with the stresses of life without Valium.

Common coping techniques for avoiding a relapse into Valium use include avoiding familiar places and people related to Valium use and, of course, consistently reinforcing the negative consequences of their addiction, such as a loss of personal relationships, financial, legal, and career problems and a deterioration of family bonds and trust. By confronting these consequences, the addict vastly improves their chance for a lasting recovery from Valium addiction.

It’s been nearly six decades that Valium has been a highly-prescribed medication in our country, and throughout that time abuse of and addiction to the drug have been nearly constant, a sure signal that it’s a serious public health issue. But by combining a well-structured detoxification process with professional behavioral therapy in either an in- or outpatient setting combined with strong family and friend support, the chances of lifelong recovery from this debilitating addiction are excellent and attainable.

In Pacific Grove, California, Beacon House provides the highest quality Addiction Treatment in the state. In fact, we work with clients who are struggling with addiction to various substances.

For example, we offer programs such as:

As you can see, we cover a wide range of substances and utilize the latest technology and training during rehab. Our Valium Addiction Treatment Center will help you recognize the underlying causes behind your addiction to this medication. Moreover, we’ll address these issues with proven treatments and therapies.

Family Support During Rehab

At Beacon House, we understand how important your family’s role is during your recovery. Therefore, we offer Family Therapy to help them understand your addiction and their role as a support network.

Are you ready to face your addiction head-on at our Valium Addiction Treatment Center? If so, contact us today at 831.372.4366. We’re here to ensure your safety and growth in recovery at all times. Reach out today and build a foundation for sobriety in your life.