Valium Abuse Symptoms, Signs and Addiction Treatment
What is Valium?
Valium is a benzodiazepine prescribed by medical doctors and psychiatrists to treat anxiety and panic attacks. It is also used as a muscle relaxant and sedative. It replaces chemicals normally produced in the brain to slow down abnormally fast electrical activity. Valium problems begin when you use it for an extended period of time. When you quit taking it, your brain is not capable of producing the chemicals fast enough to keep up with the demand; you are physically addicted.
The general feeling of relaxation induced by using Valium is what has made it one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs in the sedative or tranquilizer category. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2.6 million people used a drug in this category for nonmedical reasons every month during 2010.
Other names for Valium
Google Trends: Searches for ???Valium???
Google Trends: Searches for "diazepam"
Searches for Valium and its generic name, diazepam, are most common in midwestern and southern states such as Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.
Quotes from benzodiazepine addicts
???What started happening was that if I didn???t take it, my hands started to shake. I felt like I had a neurological disease or Parkinson???s???. I went in for 47 days, and it made Betty Ford look like a cakewalk. My hair turned gray and my skin molted. I could hardly walk???. I was terrified to leave, and I came away knowing that that would never happen to me again.??? ??? Stevie Nicks (source)
Valium Abuse question 1
Signs and Symptoms
Realizing you have a Valium addiction is not going to happen overnight. You like the way you feel when you take the drug and hate how you feel when you do not. You lose your appetite, feel anxious, sweat, have stomach cramps and shake when you haven't taken it for a while. You tell yourself this is normal for anyone that takes Valium; you can quit anytime you want. You might want to look over the following signs and symptoms of Valium abuse, and answer them honestly.
- Do you use the drug every day and often more than once a day?
- Do you always have some Valium on hand?
- Do you have the need to take Valium to get your day started?
- Will you do something illegal to get it?
- Are you taking it even though you have no medical reason to do so?
- Do you need to keep taking a larger dose to get the same results?
- A change in appearance due to a lack of caring
- Needle marks
- Slow movements and speech
- Dilated pupils
- Puffy, swollen face
- Change in eating habits
- Loss of coordination
- Always tired
While these are not the only symptoms and are not absolute proof there is an addiction, do not just ignore them either. Calling our drug abuse hotline will give you a better idea of what you need to do next.
How many people have used tranquilizers like Valium non-medically in their lifetime?
Abuse of tranquilizers, including Valium, is common in the US, and over 23 million people reported in 2013 that they had used these tranquilizers non-medically at least once.
How many people used tranquilizers like Valium non-medically in the last month?
In 2013, over 1.7 million people reported having abused tranquilizers such as Valium over the past month.
Valium Abuse question 2
Effects of Valium Abuse
The National Institute on Drug Abuse lists the effects of Valium use as the same for other sedatives.
- You will become clumsy and unable to perform the physical activities you enjoy.
- You will experience mood swings and bouts of depression.
- Over time, you may become aggressive or even violent.
- You will become physically and mentally dependent on the drug and have severe withdrawal symptoms any time you do not have enough in your system.
Once you get to the point where you do not remember things you just did or said, you become more likely to take an accidental overdose. This could put you into a coma or cause death. Before you do any permanent damage to yourself or someone you love due to your addiction, contact us at (800) 943-0566, and let us help you stop abusing Valium and yourself.
Valium Abuse question 3
Valium Abuse Treatment
As soon as you realize you have an addiction to Valium, start reading the Valium abuse facts and statistics available online at Valium-Addiction-Support.org. The info in the articles is there to help you understand the reality and consequences of your addiction. Talk with your loved ones about going into a rehab center or getting into a rehab program. You are going to need the help and support of your friends and family to overcome your addiction.
Yearly deaths linked to Valium and other benzodiazepine use
Deaths involving benzodiazepine overdose (CDC WONDER query, ICD-10 code T42.4)
Abuse of benzodiazepines such as Valium can be potentially fatal: in 2011, over 7,000 deaths were linked to benzodiazepine overdose.
Average cost of Valium
$9-14 for 30 tablets of 5mg diazepam (source)
- Frequent use of benzodiazepines such as Valium is associated with an increased risk of suicidal behavior
Prescriptions of Valium and other diazepam-containing drugs by year
Prescriptions of drugs containing diazepam exceeded 14 million in the US in 2009 and 2011.
Valium Abuse question 4
While the most used drug in America may be marijuana, doctors have written more than 60 million prescriptions for sedatives and tranquilizers, including Valium. The Drug Abuse Warning Network reported that 229,230 emergency room visits in 2009 were related to alcohol in combination with sedatives such as Valium. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports prescription painkillers, which would include Valium, are responsible for over 36,000 fatal overdoses annually. This number surpasses the number of deaths attributed to heroin and cocaine.
Valium Abuse question 5
Teen Valium Abuse
The National Institute on Drug Abuse report for 2011 shows teens are not using sedatives until they reach their senior year in high school. The statistic for 2010 indicates that 5 percent of high school seniors had used some type of tranquilizer for recreational purposes during that year. It should be noted that students in grades eight to 12 were more apt to use Vicodin or OxyContin than other sedatives for nonmedical reasons. The Department of Health and Family Services says teenagers who have used sedatives for nonmedical reasons get them from friends or family members who have a valid prescription; most are given to them at no cost.
Legislation and policymaking involving Valium
- Tennessee has recently passed legislation banning benzodiazepines, like Valium, from being dispensed in greater than a 30-day supply. (source)
- Ireland is planning stricter controls on benzodiazepines like Valium to reduce abuse and illicit trade.(source)
Videos on Valium
Valium Abuse question 6
Resources, Articles and More Information
Interesting facts about Valium include that it is sometimes used to help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms of other benzodiazepines. Valium leaves the system slower than other drugs, so it gives you the high feeling for a longer period of time with a smaller dose. The problem with this is you can then become dependent on the Valium, which requires a solid rehab program to quit completely. If you find yourself addicted to Valium after getting off another benzodiazepine, contact us at (800) 943-0566 to discuss the best alternatives on how to help a Valium addict.