Since the FDA approved it for treating muscle spasms and anxiety in 1963, patients and doctors have underestimated the addictive power of Valium. It quickly became one of the most commonly abused prescription medications of the 20th century. For people dependent on Valium, withdrawing can present serious health dangers, and you should not try to do it alone.
The Valium detox center at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Florida offers a safe, medically supervised environment for those ready to begin their recovery process. Call 866.294.5306 to learn more about Valium dependency and treatment.
Risks and Symptoms of Valium Dependence
Valium is a brand name for the drug known as diazepam. Valium is part of the classification of drugs called benzodiazepines or benzos. As a sedative, it is hazardous when someone mixes them with alcohol or opioid painkillers. The combination can slow breathing and cause the heart to stop beating.
Signs of Valium abuse include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Slowed breathing
- Skin rashes
- Blurred vision
- Muscle weakness
- Memory loss
Long-term use also puts users at risk for developing mental disorders and brain damage.
Dependence vs. Addiction
Dependence and addiction represent different aspects of the same disease, substance use disorder. Dependence frequently leads to addiction. However, there is a distinction between the two.
Addiction typically refers to substance-related behaviors such as using drugs to exclude other activities or rejecting people in preference to getting high.
Dependence refers to the body’s physical adaptation to a drug’s effects. A patient may legitimately need the therapeutic effects of Valium when their doctor prescribed it. However, with chronic use, they need larger doses for the same therapeutic effects. With dependence, users aren’t necessarily getting high. Their brain has become immune to the effects of their prescribed dosage, and their body can no longer regulate itself without the help of the drug.
Am I Dependent on Valium?
If you or someone you care about uses Valium, you need to consider the possibility of addiction seriously. Consulting with an addiction specialist is the best way to evaluate your level of dependency. However, you can learn a lot by asking yourself the following questions:
- Am I using benzos in any way that my doctor did not direct?
- Am I experiencing intense cravings for the drug?
- Do I experience withdrawal symptoms such as increased heartbeat, body aches, or restlessness if I go a day without using Valium?
- Do I need larger doses to feel the effects of Valium?
- Am I going without necessities such as buying food or paying rent to finance my Valium use?
- Has drug use caused me to isolate myself from family or activities I once enjoyed?
- Has taking benzos affected my performance at work or school?
- Do I hide or lie about my Valium use from family members or doctors?
If you answer yes to several of these questions, you may have become dependent or addicted and need to undergo a supervised valium detox program.
What Happens During Valium Detox?
Several factors affect the severity of benzo detox. Dosage, duration of use, and general health condition all play a part, but the withdrawal symptoms of benzodiazepines can be severe, even causing life-threatening health problems.
Detox symptoms can include:
- Blurred vision
- Heart palpitations
- Muscle pain
- Delirium tremens (DTs)
- Grand mal seizure
During a medically supervised detox, a doctor will slowly reduce the dosage until it is safe to stop the drug completely. At that point, pharmacotherapeutics can help ease the discomfort of physical and mental benzo detox symptoms. The severity and potential dangers of withdrawal make it necessary to enter a Valium detox center for your comfort and safety.
Begin Your Recovery at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Florida
The duration of symptoms of valium withdrawal is different for every person. Don’t risk your health by detoxing alone or going “cold turkey.” Call Serenity House Detox & Recovery Florida a 866.294.5306 today if you or someone you love needs help ending their dependence on Valium or other substances.