Valium is a benzodiazepine that relieves anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures and ease uncomfortable symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1963 to help with the stress of everyday life.
According to the Addiction Center, 14.7 million were prescribed Valium and in 2013, 1.2 million abused Valium for the first time. The problem is that people prescribed Valium become addicted to it as they feel their body will not be normal without it which can cause serious consequences.
Valium can affect your brain chemistry by enhancing GABA receptors in the brain, calming nervous activity, and decreases serotonin, affecting mood.
People who are addicted to Valium feel that they are lacking these chemicals and need to be on medication. Addicts can also pick up addiction from their home if they see relatives taking Valium in order to improve their stress levels, depression, and any trauma they face. It also helps to have experience in addiction to be under the influence of another substance.
Valium can be taken in pill form one to four times a day when prescribed by the doctor. Valium can stay in the body for 20-70 hours, longer than Ativan or Halcion. Many do not take Valium in order to get high but to feel normal by relieving their stress and anxiety. It can also help with going to sleep as you can start to feel calm and euphoric.
Despite Valium causing feelings of calmness, overdoses can lead to double vision, drowsiness, bluish lips, weakness, lack of coordination, and breathing. Valium can lead to convulsions and coma when used heavily.
As the brain relies on Valium to be calm, it can cause an imbalance which causes feelings of nonexistent anxiety and depression. Abusing Valium can also lead to long-term brain damage that affects memory and cognition.
Quitting Valium cold turkey is dangerous as symptoms can occur like psychosis, hallucinations, and even status epilepticus where the brain is in a constant state of seizure activity. You can go to inpatient treatments where you will stay at the rehab for one month to a year to improve mental and physical health.
In an outpatient setting, there are 12 Step programs as well as drug and alcohol counselling every week to ensure a successful recovery.
Castle Craig is one of the most established and respected addiction rehab centres in the UK. Castle Craig provides a 24/7 medically monitored Valium detox program and a residential rehab program that provides daily specialist group therapy, complementary therapies, 12 Step support groups, lectured and shared activities, and regular meals and exercise.
For information, call our 24-hour free confidential phone line: 0808 256 3732. From outside the UK please call +44 1721 788 006 (normal charges apply).
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | July 27, 2021