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Article Summary


Valium is the name brand of a prescription benzodiazepine called diazepam. Benzodiazepines in general are commonly used to help treat anxiety, insomnia, and symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal. Since its introduction to the prescription drug market in 1963, Valium has been one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the world. Benzodiazepines such as Valium are used by millions of people every day, and account for about twenty percent of the total number of prescriptions written annually for controlled substances in the country. While it may be beneficial in certain clinical settings, prescription drugs such as Valium have very high rates of abuse which has prompted a very significant prescription drug epidemic.

Valium Effects

Valium is meant to produce a calming effect to help with anxiety disorders and the like. This is the typical outcome with an usual dose of the drug. Individuals who are legitimately prescribed the drug may become so accustomed to these effects that they simply cannot get through the day without Valium. Individuals who are taking Valium legitimately with a prescription can there become dependent to the drug, much like any other drug. Once the dependence and reliance on Valium has been established, it can be very difficult to return to life without the drug and individuals will typically not be able to do so without help.

Individuals who want to find a solution to their anxiety or sleep disorder and are prescribed Valium are often not made aware of the risks associated with dependence and abuse, and physicians may be neglectful in warning them about this. So it is up to the patient to have due diligence regarding the risks and sometimes it just doesn't work out that way. So the individual is left with a serious dilemma when they find they cannot get through a single day without Valium, which can be very discouraging and burdensome. This has left many individuals in a less than desirable position who may not have realized what they were getting themselves into when they were originally prescribed the drug.

One of the major problems with beginning a treatment routine with drugs such as Valium is there are serious risks involved if the individual suddenly stops taking the drug after long term use. Individuals who have been prescribed Valium and have taken it for a considerable amount of time can't just stop taking the drug, because there are withdrawal symptoms associated with Valium that can cause serious health problems. These symptoms can be so serious that they are sometimes life threatening, and because of this no one should ever stop taking Valium "cold turkey" unless they do so under the supervision of a detox professional or physician who will very likely taper them off of the drug.

Longterm Valium Side Effects

Another pitfall if someone decides to stop taking Valium after long term use is that the symptoms which Valium was meant to treat often return in full force, if not worse than before starting treatment with the drug. These are known as "rebound" symptoms, and individuals who do experience these effects will normally experience extreme anxiety, depression and even paranoia. This is very typical of any benzodiazepine drug, and one of the things that individuals should be made aware of before they begin using drugs such as Valium. In many cases, individuals can find an alternative solution to treat their anxiety instead of turning to drugs which can cause dependence and these other problems. There are many holistic options for example and drug free treatment programs which work to treat such conditions without the use of drugs which typically only leads to more problems such as the rebound effects mentioned above.

Individuals who are not prescribed Valium but abuse it anyhow are at risk of the same side effects and negative outcomes as though who are prescribed the drug, but these risks are often significantly more likely among recreational users. The reason being, individuals who abuse Valium illicitly don't typically take care to understand the risks involved and so may take too much Valium or may prompt a bad drug interaction by mixing Valium with other drugs or alcohol as is often the case. For example, individuals who abuse Valium will take a dose of the drug which would result in a high rather than just a calming effect. Mix this with alcohol, and this is the recipe for extremely bad outcomes as both substances are depressants and can suppress heart rate, breathing, etc. This is why Valium overdose is extremely likely is cases of abuse such as this, where individuals are not using it as prescribed, but irresponsibly in an attempt to get high. There are instances of individuals suffering a fatal overdose from mixing just one Valium with alcohol, so it is just not worth the risk.

Individuals who use Valium long-term, whether it has been legitimately prescribed or they are recreational users, will need help detoxing from the drug and learning how to adjust to normal function without it. As mentioned before, even if an individual wants to get off of Valium and has the best intentions to do so they must never attempt to do so on their own because of the risks involved with benzodiazepine withdrawal. There is no need to take the chance of putting one's life at risk when there are professional detox services available to help individuals through Valium withdrawal safely.

Valium Addiction Treatment

For individuals who need help readjusting to life without Valium, further treatment will be needed in a drug rehab program with treats benzodiazepine dependence and addiction. Drug free and holistic treatment are the treatment options which will prove most beneficial for individuals who want to live a drug free life, free from the trials and pitfalls of being dependent to prescription drugs such as Valium. In a drug rehab program which treats individuals who have become dependent to Valium, treatment counselors can help individuals discover new and more effective methods of coping with depression, anxiety and whatever other problems the Valium was meant to treat in the first place.

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