Diazepam (Valium) Addiction—Abuse And Treatment Options

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D on November 20, 2020

Diazepam, sold under the brand name Valium, is a prescription medication used for the treatment of anxiety disorders, sleeping issues, and panic attacks in individuals. This drug also comes with the dangerous side effect of addiction if it is taken other than prescribed.

Diazepam (Valium) Abuse And Addiction Treatment Options

Diazepam (brand name Valium) is a very popular prescription medication. Doctors and psychiatrists prescribe this drug for the treatment of anxiety disorders, sleeping issues, and panic attacks.

For all the good this medication does when a patient uses it properly, it has one particularly nasty side effect: it’s highly addictive.

People usually fall victim to an addiction to Valium in one of two ways. For the patients who have a legitimate prescription, they break away from taking the drug the way their doctor prescribed.

They begin taking it more often or in larger doses than their doctor recommended. This is the definition of Valium abuse. Abuse leads to dependence, which eventually leads to addiction. The other way people form addictions to Valium is through recreational abuse.

Regardless of how an addiction to Valium forms, there’s only one way out. The addicted individual has to seek proper help, preferably from a reputable drug and alcohol rehab center.

Signs Of A Diazepam (Valium) Addiction

When someone finds themselves dealing with a Valium addiction, there will usually be corresponding signs of addiction that friends and loved ones might be able to identify.

The signs of any addiction will usually include both physical and behavioral signs.

Here are a few signs that could indicate a person is struggling with Valium addiction:

  • inability to handle personal responsibilities
  • increasing difficulty in personal and work relationships
  • excessive amount of time or money spent pursuing Valium
  • doctor shopping to secure multiple prescriptions
  • unkempt personal hygiene
  • difficulty with motor function
  • loss of appetite

Anyone who exhibits a combination of these signs of addiction is in need of treatment sooner rather than later.

The Importance Of Valium Addiction Treatment

When someone is finally ready to fight back against their Valium addiction, they have already taken the first step towards recovery. The next step is presenting themselves to a reputable addiction treatment center.

The internet is filled with self-help remedies for drug addiction. The problem with these self-help solutions is they don’t work. The individual might stop taking their drug of choice for a short period of time, but they will usually relapse. Why?

Self-help solutions fail to do one very important thing—they fail to deal with the driving force behind the individual’s Valium abuse.

A professional rehab center employs clinicians and counselors who understand what’s needed to help individuals find recovery.

The people who are reluctant to get help right away are destined to watch history repeat itself in the form of chronic relapses. Time spent in a reputable rehab center diminishes the possibility of a relapse.

The Diazepam (Valium) Addiction Treatment Process

The treatment process always starts with an intake procedure. The information a clinician gathers during intake will help them decide on the proper course of treatment for the recovering individual.

Diazepam (Valium) Withdrawal And Detox

In most cases, the person is going to need time to detox past potential withdrawal symptoms and their cravings for Valium. Note, some Valium withdrawal symptoms can be quite dangerous.

That’s why doctors recommend people go through a medically supervised detox program instead of trying to go it on their own.

The following are some of the harrowing symptoms of Valium withdrawal:

  • gastrointestinal issues (stomach cramps)
  • onset of anxiety or panic attacks
  • inability to control the use of extremities
  • respiration and circulatory issues
  • difficulty sleeping
  • tremors and convulsion

The goal of a Valium detox program is very simple: keep the patient safe and comfortable while they detox. Sometimes, relief medications are needed to keep the patient safe.

After going through the detox process, the patient should be able to focus and commit to an intensive treatment program, such as inpatient or residential treatment. At the core of these programs is counseling, therapy, and medication-assisted treatment.

Therapy is crucial for several reasons. First, the patient needs to understand the nature of their addiction and the danger surrounding their behavior. If they can get a grasp on those two things, they should be ready to address recovery.

What most addicted individuals have in common is they have lost the ability to navigate life without abusing some substance. In therapy, they get the opportunity to start developing a better set of coping skills.

Armed with the proper coping skills, the recovering individual finally has the tools they will need to prevent future relapses.

Read more about how to detox from Valium

Maintaining Recovery From Valium Addiction

After completing Valium addiction treatment, the recovering individual has every right to be proud of their accomplishments. With that said, it’s important to remember that addictions are not curable.

Addictions can be arrested and put in a dormant state but all the while, addiction will always be lurking in the background, looking for an opportunity to attack.

Upon leaving a rehab center, recovering individuals usually get a relapse prevention plan. This will usually include aftercare resources to help ensure they stay on the path of recovery.

Some of the more effective aftercare resources are additional outpatient counseling, participation in an alumni program, spending time in a sober living environment, and participation in 12-Step programs like AA or NA.

Of these options, sober living offers a great opportunity for newly recovering individuals to continue working on their recovery without being thrust right back into the real world.

A sober living home is like a halfway house. Residents spend time in the facility, figuring out how to readjust to life without turning to drugs or alcohol.

As they make progress, the sober living manager will add additional responsibilities until the resident feels able to go it on their own.

Valium And Polysubstance Abuse

Mixing Valium with other drugs or substances is called polysubstance abuse. The practice of polydrug abuse is extremely dangerous and can lead to a variety of negative side effects.

Common side effects of mixing Valium with other drugs include:

  • slowed or shallow breathing
  • decreased heart rate
  • coma
  • overdose
  • death

Valium and other common drug combinations include:

Finding Treatment For Valium Abuse And Addiction

While living with an addiction to Valium, you’re never quite as alone as you think you might be. Addiction can make you isolate yourself from others, but there are people around you who still care.

A stay in an alcohol and drug rehab center offers you a great opportunity to re-establish yourself. Recovery is not an easy thing to accomplish. However, it’s worth the effort you give.

No one expects you to deal with your Valium addiction on your own. If you reach out, you will discover help is available. Contact us today to start recovery with a professional addiction treatment rehab center.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D on November 20, 2020
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