Valium Addiction

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Valium addiction

What is valium?

Valium is the brand name of a drug generically known as diazepam. It belongs to the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, which act on the central nervous system by making certain nerve cells in the brain less sensitive to stimulation, thus producing a calming effect. Benzodiazepines are used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, as well as muscle spasms or seizures. They are also used during alcohol withdrawal. Valium is generally prescribed for these same conditions. 

Given its potency, Valium should always be taken exactly as prescribed, and never for too long. When a dose is missed, one should take the next one as soon as possible, with the following doses to occur at regular intervals from that point forward (i.e thus avoiding having two doses occurring too close together). Taking doses too frequently or combining it with similar drugs (or alcohol) can lead to severe drowsiness or even death. Likewise, it is imperative when discussing Valium with your physician that you be candid about your medical history, as certain medical conditions do not favor its use.

Why Does Valium Addiction Happen?

Even when following a prescription faithfully, a patient on a Benzodiazepine like Valium or Xanax can begin to feel as though their brain does not function normally without it. After a period of 4 to 6 weeks (typically), a user may feel as if he or she needs a larger and larger dose in order to experience the drug’s effect. That individual may even begin to go to great lengths to acquire more. If a user notices effects such as these, or begins to take a larger or more frequent dose, they should contact their doctor immediately. Changing the dosage can result in a rapid progression of the addiction.

Dangers of Valium Withdrawal

Some of the consequences of ending valium dependency can be quite severe. Because it works on the GABA receptors in the brain, when the drug is no longer present to dampen the stimulation of these receptors, a kind of overcompensating effect can occur. This can manifest as muscle spasms or seizures, irritability or delirium, vomiting or diarrhea, arrhythmia, an increase in heart rate or blood pressure, or even a heart attack. 

The Right Way of How to End Valium Dependency or Valium Addiction

Valium Detox

Residential Treatment

Outpatient Treatment

Sober Living

If a patient has begun to experience some of the symptoms of addiction or has been using Valium for longer than a few weeks, they may need some help quitting to avoid some of the more dangerous withdrawal symptoms. A physician with experience treating Valium withdrawal can provide critical guidance and support during this time, as he or she can identify the factors associated with the addiction which merit special consideration. The duration of the user’s consumption and the dosage are two critical variables, as is the level of dependence. A gifted treatment counselor will also be able to identify any other mitigating circumstances relevant to treatment. Work schedule, level of activity, and support network are relevant examples of such factors. 


For those seeking help, a physician may provide any number of things to treat addiction. In many cases, inpatient treatment, or detox, is recommended at first followed by intensive outpatient treatment. By staying in a closed environment, those providing care will have a much higher level of control over circumstances which might result in relapse or harm to the patient. A physician may also opt for tapering the dosage (gradually reducing it to nothing), thus enabling one’s body to properly recalibrate itself.

In some cases, intervention might require the use of additional prescriptions. A different benzodiazepine with less severe side effects can be used as a substitute, thus enabling the patient to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Other classes of drugs can also provide some help: Baclofen is a muscle relaxant that can reduce cravings for Valium, and anticonvulsants aid in preventing seizures. Still other drugs are available that can help the withdrawal process by reducing stress, aiding sleep, or treating other symptoms.

The Most Dangerous Phase of Withdrawal

The most acute symptoms of Valium withdrawal happen within the first 1-4 days after taking the last dose. During this time, patients can experience severe anxiety or panic attacks, depression, mood swings, headaches, nausea, vomiting, tremors, cardiovascular symptoms (such as high blood pressure or tachycardia), confusion, and seizures. Seizures can be especially dangerous during this critical period, and require immediate medical attention.

After the acute phase, there is another general phase lasting up to two weeks, or longer. Symptoms during this period are similar to those in the acute phase, though less severe. After another week or two of recovery, the physical portion of the withdrawal ends.  

Post-Acute Valium Withdrawals Symptoms

Many people who have used valium later complain that certain residual psychological effects from the addiction persist for several months after detoxing, and in some cases are even permanent. Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (aka PAWS) often results in anxiety, depression, psychosis and/or insomnia. In many cases, PAWS requires ongoing treatment in the form of medication, counseling or group therapy, or other interventions. In most cases, it can be treated or managed.

Man upset from valium withdrawal symptoms

How to Avoid a Valium Relapse

In the acute and general withdrawal phases, the cravings to return to Valium are most intense. The user feels anxiety, irritability, and simply wants to return to the quiet state of calm that the drug provides. During this time, managed care such as detox is the most effective way to avoid relapse. If this is not available, regular contact with a physician that provides addiction treatment is ideal. As mentioned above, there are surrogate medications that a physician can prescribe that will reduce or eliminate cravings during the withdrawal period.

Once the patient has passed through the recovery period, he or she may still experience psychological symptoms. Although the cravings will likely be reduced, the individual may still experience some temptation to return to the drug. Again, ongoing dialogue with an experienced addiction treatment specialist is ideal during these circumstances.

Valium Addiction Treatment in Orange County, CA

Dr. B is a certified expert in the area of addiction treatment and counseling. Over his 20 years of practice, he has enabled hundreds of clients to overcome the specter of chemical addiction while enjoying a sterling reputation in the ??? area as a preeminent leader in the field. If you or someone you love is suffering from Valium addiction and are not happy with your options, give us a call. We will get to work immediately on creating a treatment plan that works for you. 

No case is too difficult; anyone can change. We understand that to you, your addiction may seem scary. Just remember, we see addiction all the time, and we treat it all the time. Call us! We’re waiting to help you.

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