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
- Understanding Valium Side Effects
- What are Valium Addiction Symptoms?
- Coping with Valium Withdrawal Symptoms
- Valium Addiction Treatment Center
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 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.
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.