Valium Addiction

Valium is a trade name drug for the generic medication diazepam. As a benzodiazepine substance, it is typically used in the treatment of episodic anxiety or anxiety disorders, among many other health conditions. However, it can also cause you to develop a substance use disorder. Read on to find out more:

What Is It?

As we mentioned earlier, Valium is classified as a benzodiazepine. Doctors and psychiatrists typically prescribe this medication for the treatment of panic and anxiety attacks. This is because it has strong sedative, anti-convulsant, and muscle relaxing properties.

Valium is also known as diazepam, its generic name. As a depressant drug, it will strengthen the effects of GABA - gamma-aminobutyric acid - inside the brain.

This neurotransmitter works to slow down activity in the brain. To this end, when you take Valium, it will result in reduced anxiety and less activity inside your brain due to the fact that it will increase the levels of GABA neurotransmitters in your brain.

Valium is also prescribed for many other conditions. These include but are not limited to:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Withdrawal from alcohol

Although Valium comes with some medical uses, you might soon start abusing it. When this happens, this drug could cause you to develop tolerance and dependence before you become addicted to it.

Even though you have a legitimate prescription for Valium, you might still find yourself abusing it. This is due to the general feelings and effects of relaxation that the drug induces.

The substance is also widely available. According to the DEA - the Drug Enforcement Administration - for instance, Valium was ranked as the 4th most commonly prescribed benzo drug within the United States. This is because more than 15 million prescriptions for it were written in 2011 alone.

What Are The Effects?

Depending on the dose that you took, Valium can cause you to experience pleasant euphoria and sedation. Although these sensations are welcome, they might be the reason why you start abusing the drug. The other effects - which are desirable - might also include:

  • A sense of physical relaxation
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased mental relaxation
  • Intensely happy feelings
  • Reduced stress

However, you should also keep in mind that Valium use is associated with many other side effects. Most of these effects will worsen if you start abusing this medication. They include but are not limited to:

  • A severe loss in the amount of water that is in your body
  • Aggressiveness
  • Blurred vision
  • Breaking out in hives
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Disrupted breathing pattern
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Falling down
  • Feeling faint
  • Feeling like you are whirling
  • Headache
  • Hypotension (or low blood pressure)
  • Incontinence
  • Irritated stomach
  • Itching
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Not being able to empty one's bladder
  • Pounding heart
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rash
  • Salivating excessively
  • Seizures
  • Skin yellowing
  • Slurred speech
  • Spinning feeling
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

Apart from the above physical side effects, you may also experience some psychological effects that would have a role to play in the state of your mental health. These effects include:

  • Abnormal dreams
  • Agitation
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Delirium
  • Delusions of wellbeing
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Inability to continue maintaining focus
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Nervousness
  • Nightmares
  • Paranoia
  • Sleeping problems
  • Suicidal thoughts

Signs to Look For If Someone Is Abusing Valium

But how can you tell if someone has been abusing valium? Essentially, there are some signs that you should look out for. These signs of valium abuse include but are not always limited to:

  • A change in their appearance
  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Amnesia
  • Blurred vision
  • Bouts of depression
  • Change in their regular eating habits
  • Changes in their hygiene
  • Clumsiness
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Dilated pupils
  • Dizziness
  • Double vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Frequent somnolence
  • Hallucinations
  • Hostility
  • Hyperactivity
  • Inability to continue performing the activities they used to enjoy
  • Issues with concentration
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of inhibitions
  • Loss of their bladder control
  • Loss of their previous interest in sex
  • Memory problems
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea
  • Problems with memory
  • Psychological and physical dependence on valium
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Sedation
  • Seizures
  • Shaking
  • Sleepiness
  • Slow movements
  • Slow speech
  • Slowed respiration
  • Tendencies towards violence
  • Thoughts of self-injury
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Tremors
  • Urine retention
  • Vomiting

Short and Long Term Symptoms of Valium Addiction

There is a major difference between Valium abuse and addiction. When you are just abusing the drug, you may be taking it for any reason that is not medical. This means that you may be using this drug without a valid prescription for your doctor. If you have a prescription but you take Valium in any way other than your doctor advised, you could be said to be abusing it.

Valium addiction, on the other hand, is a different matter altogether. It simply means that you became tolerant to the side effects of the drug after you started abusing it. As a result, you increasingly found yourself taking it in higher doses or more frequently than you used to so that you could experience its pleasurable effects.

Your tolerance eventually gave rise to the development of both physical and psychological dependence. When you reached this point, you could be said to have developed a substance use disorder, or a Valium addiction.

There are many signs and symptoms of Valium addiction. These signs include:

a) Physical Symptoms

  • Bruises and other injuries resulting from frequent accidents and falls
  • Confusion
  • Difficult urination
  • Disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Double vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Drug overdose
  • Dry mouth
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Painful urination
  • Pale skin
  • Poor judgment
  • Poor motor coordination
  • Respiratory depression
  • Seizure activities in the brain
  • Seizures
  • Shallow breathing
  • Slurred speech
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

b) Behavioral/Psychological Symptoms

  • Avoiding your obligations
  • Borrowing or stealing money to fund the drug habit
  • Depression
  • Deteriorating personal grooming habits
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Finding that you are no longer able to function without this drug
  • Financial problems
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased anxiety
  • Increasing concerns about acquiring and using Valium
  • Insomnia
  • Irrational thinking
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Losing interest in your favorite hobbies
  • Lying about your drug use
  • Memory problems
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, and home in favor of Valium abuse and addiction
  • Paranoia
  • Poor hygiene
  • Restlessness
  • Showing up late to your appointments
  • Social isolation
  • Stealing money to continue funding your growing drug habit
  • Taking the drug in higher doses
  • Uninterested in social interaction

Valium Overdose Risks

Although taking Valium in excess might not always prove to be fatal, it can still be potentially dangerous. This is particularly true if you mix it with any other intoxicating substance like alcohol. In such a situation, you may end up suffering a potentially fatal overdose.

On its own, a Valium overdose will be marked by the following symptoms:

  • Ataxia, meaning that you are no longer able to control your body (severe)
  • Coma (severe but rare)
  • Confusion (mild response)
  • Confusion (mild)
  • Death (rare)
  • Drowsiness (mild)
  • Fatigue (mild)
  • Hypotension (severe)
  • Hypotonia, where your body adopts a floppy quality (severe)
  • Reduced reflex power (severe)
  • Respiratory depression (severe)

Best Options for Recovery

The best way to overcome your Valium abuse and addiction is by checking into a drug rehabilitation and treatment program. By so doing, you will be provided with a wide variety of treatment services to help you heal from your ongoing use of this drug.

When you first get started on treatment, you will typically be provided with medically managed detox services. The goal of detox is to help you overcome your physical dependence on this drug. As you do this, you may display some of the following withdrawal symptoms - that would also be managed through your detox program:

  • Confusion
  • Depersonalization
  • Derealization
  • Epileptic seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Headaches
  • Heightened anxiety
  • Increased sensitivity to touch, light, or sound
  • Irritability
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle pain
  • Numbness in your limbs
  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Tension
  • Tingling sensation
  • Tremors

After these withdrawal symptoms have been managed, the Valium treatment program will provide you with other rehabilitation services to help you overcome your psychological, behavioral, and emotional dependence on this medication.

In the long term, it is recommended that you spend anywhere between 28 and 90 days, or even longer, either in an inpatient or an outpatient addiction treatment program. This time will allow you to overcome your Valium dependence and addiction.

Get started on treatment today so that you have an easier time achieving full sobriety and recovery from your Valium abuse and addiction.












Questions? Need help?

If you or a loved one needs help for substance abuse or addiction, fill out the form below and a counselor will respond shortly.

Send Help Request 100% Free and Confidential

Drug Rehab Centers by State

Call our Drug Rehab Help Line

Drug and Alcohol Help-Line


100% Free and Confidential

Organizations We Support