How to Help a Valium Addict
- Table of ContentsPrint
- Help for Valium Addicts
- Approaching a Loved One About Treatment
- Addiction Treatment
- Is Valium Addictive?
- Am I Addicted?
Help for Valium Addicts
If you are addicted to Valium, a sedative-hypnotic drug, you don't have to fight your addiction alone. Treatment programs give people with addictions all the support they need to recover from their addiction.
Regardless of how long you've been using prescription drugs, it's possible for you to quit taking them and regain control of your life.
Approaching a Loved One About Treatment
If you are close to a person addicted to Valium, you may be in a position to help your loved one seek treatment and get sober. If your loved one is older in age, an addiction to a benzodiazepine like Valium may pose an even greater risk, given that the drug can negatively impact mobility and increase the likelihood of falls (Longo and Johnson, 2000).
When approaching someone who is facing Valium addiction, remain supportive and compassionate. As difficult as it may be, try to practice empathy — or placing yourself in the shoes of your loved one to understand what they may be facing.
If your loved one has asked you for guidance or support in seeking treatment, you can encourage them to see a physician or behavioral health professional for an evaluation. If your loved one is ambivalent or refuses to get help, you may consider trying the Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) approach.
CRAFT is based on positive reinforcement, as opposed to more traditional intervention approaches. CRAFT is a skills-based program designed specifically for family and friends to learn positive ways to communicate with loved ones. Participating in CRAFT can help you learn how to:
- Understand your loved one’s motivation to use drugs.
- Offer positive reinforcement.
- Talk to a loved one about accepting help.
Overall, CRAFT has shown success not only in talking to loved ones before treatment, but also during and after treatment. No one wants to see their loved one suffer, and CRAFT may help families and individuals find long-term healing.
Valium addiction treatment can be completed on either an inpatient or an outpatient basis. Both types of programs have benefits, and both help people recover from addictions. It's important that you review your options and choose the type of program that's right for you.
Valium is a powerful benzodiazepine and, depending on your level of addiction, you might want to consider a medically assisted detox program in order to treat serious side effects from withdrawal. Post-detox treatment can take place in an outpatient or inpatient facility.
Outpatient programs offer more flexibility. You have time to work a full-time job and spend time with your family. There are two types of outpatient treatment programs:
- Daily check-in programs are the most flexible. They only require you to have a short appointment with your personal drug abuse counselor/therapist every day, or sometimes less frequently (e.g., once/week), depending on the program.
- Day treatment programs offer you more structure. The programs generally provide 10-20 hours of structured programming per week for adults, and 5-20 hours for adolescents, consisting of counseling and education on addiction and mental health problems.
Inpatient treatment programs provide the most structure. They also give you a temptation-free place to recover. A typical day at an inpatient facility may include:
- Individual therapy sessions.
- Group therapy sessions.
- Consultation with a medical professional.
- Educational lectures on drug addiction and recovery.
- Spiritual support (depending on the program’s theoretic orientation).
- Recreational activities.
Each component of treatment is designed to teach you the skills to live a life that is free from substance abuse. The goal of treatment is to learn healthy ways to cope with triggers that could potentially initiate relapse.
Treatment facility admissions for Valium
United States, admissions for treatment, age 12+
Is Valium Addictive?
Valium is prescribed by doctors to treat anxiety disorders, seizures and muscle spasms and to control agitation caused by alcohol withdrawal. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Valium is addictive if you:
- Take it in large doses.
- Use it consistently for an extended period of time.
Even people who take it exactly as prescribed can develop an addiction if the medication is taken for a long period of time. To learn more about the dangerous effects attributed to Valium abuse, call our helpline.
Yearly deaths linked to Valium and other benzodiazepine use
Deaths involving benzodiazepine overdose (CDC WONDER query, ICD-10 code T42.4)
Am I Addicted?
The easiest way to tell if you have an addiction to Valium is to see how you react to not having it. If you take Valium for a long period of time, your body develops a chemical dependency to the drug.
According to MedLine Plus, a website designed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, if your body has formed a dependency to Valium, it won't function properly without the drug. This often causes you to have withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it. Some people also crave the drug and have an uncontrollable desire to use Valium when they come down from their high.
There are many other indicators that may signal that you have an addiction to Valium. You may be addicted if you find yourself:
- Neglecting family and work responsibilities, because using the drug takes over your life.
- Frequently working or skipping family activities.
- Purchasing large quantities of the drug on the street.
- Struggling financially due to spending exorbitant amounts of money on obtaining Valium.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking the pills.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. National Institutes of Health. Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide. Third Edition. (December 2012). https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/principles-effective-treatment
- Meyers, R. J., Smith, J. E., & Lash, D. N. (2005). A program for engaging treatment-refusing substance abusers into treatment: CRAFT. International Journal of Behavioral and Consultation Therapy, 1(2). 90-100.
- Longo, L. P., & Johnson, B. R. I. A. N. (2000). Addiction: Part I. Benzodiazepines-side effects, abuse risk and alternatives. American family physician, 61(7), 2121-2128.