What is Valium – How it Works, Abuse and Treatment
Table of Contents
Valium is a sedative that is commonly prescribed to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures, and alcohol withdrawal. However, Valium is a habit-forming drug that can lead to dependence when used for longer than a few months. Valium dependence and addiction can be safely treated at drug rehab, but knowing more about how this drug works can help you and your loved ones avoid addiction and other negative health effects associated with long-term Valium use and prescription drug abuse.
What is Valium, and How Does it Work?
Valium is the brand name for a benzodiazepine medication called diazepam. This drug is usually prescribed on a short-term basis for no more than 4 months to reduce anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures. Benzodiazepines like Valium work by slowing brain activity to help people feel more relaxed and sleepy. In some instances, Valium may even produce feelings of euphoria. People who begin taking Valium usually experience drowsiness and loss of coordination for the first few days until their bodies adjust to these side effects.
Statistics on Valium Use and Abuse
Valium was first used in the U.S. in 1963 and became the most widely used prescribed drug between 1969 and 1982. Today, benzodiazepines like Valium are used by an estimated 5.2% of people in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 80.
Some important statistics on Valium misuse include:
- Valium and other benzos were used for non-medical reasons in 2013 by roughly 2% of the U.S. population aged 12 or older.
- The number of drug overdose deaths caused by Valium and other benzos increased by over 19% between 2015 and 2016.
- Valium on its own contributed to 1,729 drug overdose deaths in 2014.
- Between 2002 and 2016, the number of benzo overdose deaths involving opioids increased 6-fold more than the number of benzo deaths not involving opioids.
- Non-medical use of Valium caused 24,118 visits to hospital emergency rooms in 2011.
- The number of emergency department visits for non-medical use of Valium increased by nearly 43% from 2004 to 2011.
Signs of Valium Dependence
Those who become dependent on Valium usually start increasing their doses in an effort to keep feeling the drug’s effects. However, using higher amounts of Valium increases the risk for overdose and death. Plus, it is unknown whether Valium is safe or effective when used for longer than 4 months. Valium dependence is often marked by a set of withdrawal symptoms when this drug is stopped abruptly.
Valium withdrawal symptoms include:
- Abdominal cramps.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Muscle cramps and pain.
- Numbness and tingling in hands and feet.
- Hypersensitivity to light, noise, and touch.
Valium dependence can be safely treated at drug and alcohol detox centers where patients can withdraw from Valium and other benzos with a reduced risk for complications.
What Happens at Valium Drug Rehab?
Valium use disorder can be treated as a whole physically and mentally at most drug and alcohol rehab centers. Valium drug detox is usually conducted on a tapering schedule, which allows you to gradually withdraw from Valium so you can experience reduced or no withdrawal symptoms.
After drug detox, you can transition to drug rehab and receive therapy that helps you modify harmful thoughts and behaviors driving your addiction. You may also receive substance abuse education, relapse prevention training, and individual and group counseling that teach you how to identify and cope with common everyday triggers that contribute to substance abuse.
California Rehab Campus offers medical detox and therapy to help patients experience a safe, long-term recovery from Valium addiction. Contact us today to learn more about our many drug rehab programs and to achieve long-term abstinence from drugs and alcohol.