What is Valium?
Valium is a benzodiazepine often prescribed by doctors to treat anxiety. It has also been used for treatments of alcohol withdrawal, muscle spasms and seizures. Unlike Xanax, it is quicker and lasts for longer and has even been approved for use in children. Valium, similar to Xanax, is highly addictive and the brain can form a chemical dependence on the drug within a few short months of taking it, even if it is prescribed by a doctor and under doctor supervision.
Benzos, like Valium, and alcohol are the most potentially lethal drugs to withdraw from. This includes harer substances such as oxycodone, fentanyl and carfentanil. This is because amongst all of the side effects of withdrawal (discussed below), it has the potential for severe system shock and even grand mal seizures. Due to the lethal nature of Valium addiction and withdrawal, it is always recommended that you do not quit cold turkey, but rather seek the professional help of a medical detox facility near you.
As with illicit street drugs, over time the brain becomes chemically dependent on Valium and cannot function normally without it. This can happen even with regular use as directed. Many individuals who use the medication do not even realize that they’ve become dependent on it until they try to stop taking it and then experience the cravings or discomforts of withdrawal. Because it has a long life in the body, it is dangerous to take outside of your prescription or you risk it building up. Interestingly, grapefruit juice slows it’s rate of breaking down, causing it to build up even more over time and increase the risk of overdosing.
Just like with any addiction, it is important to identify Valium dependence or abuse early, so that you can get the help you or your loved one needs. But what does Valium addiction look like?
Symptoms, Side Effects and Signs
Everyone reacts to their addiction differently. Truly powerful addictions will lead to drug seeking behaviors, avoiding loved ones and usually problems at work or school. Relationships tend to be damaged, finances will dwindle and health will falter. All of these are true for Valium or any other benzo addiction.
What you may not have known, is that benzo abuse can sometimes lead to heightened symptoms of the very illness you were trying to cure initially. This means that a person addicted to drugs such as Valium may feel more anxious than before they started taking their medication.
Valium abuse can cause severe psychological issues, such as:
- Vivid Nightmares
- Memory Loss
- Extreme Sadness
If you begin to see any of these side effects from taking Valium, or know a loved one who is on the drug, there may be an addiction in need of treatment. Detoxing from benzos can cause deadly complications and should only happen under medical supervision.
Detoxing from Valium
Benzos, especially Valium, take a very long time to leave the body. While the physical symptoms of withdrawal will end after around 8 days, there is still a risk of grand mal seizures even up to a month after taking the last dose. Quitting or trying to detox on your own is never a safe option, even if you are able to make it through the negative effects, only professional medical staff can help protect you from a seizure. The withdrawal symptoms early on are also so uncomfortable that the risk of relapse is very high.
This underscores the need for residential rehabilitation detoxification or IOP detox in order to avoid having a potentially fatal grand mal seizure on day twenty-one of Valium detoxification. Valium detoxification is not DIY!
Detoxification is started when the signs and symptoms of Valium withdrawal begin to peak, usually within hours of the last Valium.
Although grand mal seizure is the most dangerous potential symptom of Valium withdrawal, the most usual and customary Valium withdrawal symptoms are the same as nicotine withdrawal, opioid withdrawal, alcohol withdrawal, and anxiety disorders:
- Excessive worry
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Panic, Rage, or Hate Attacks
- Irrational Fear
Detox methods have changed over time. Though it was done in the past, Valium detoxification using another benzo is now very rare. This is because there are concerns about using a different benzo for Valium withdrawal, such as:
- All benzos are addictive drugs with potential for grand mal seizures and death, just like alcohol.
- Using another benzo during Valium withdrawal sends the addiction-replacement-message that it’s okay to substitute one benzo with another
- Non-addictive detox medicines that also prevent seizures, should be used in place of addictive ones whenever possible (i.e. pregabalin in place of a non-Valium benzo).
Pregabalin and its relatives are a better option because they are not addictive. They can be used throughout the detox and withdrawal process safer, and still have help with many of the discomforts. Some benefits of pregabalin:
- Protects against grand mal seizure
- Decreases anxiety
- Calms and reduces mood swings
- Decrease restlessness
- Returns energy and motivation
- Improves concentration
- Decreases muscle tension
- Reduces insomnia
- Stops panic, anger, or hate attacks
- Decrease irrational fear
Similar medications are used to assist recovery during aftercare for conditions such as:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Panic Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
Medication-assisted detox and rehabilitation, without recovery-sensitive supportive therapy, is far from the ideal road to recovery. Medication assistance without a Valium dependence recovery program is a grave disservice. Safe medical detoxification with a Valium dependence recovery program is the most effective way to take back your life. With professional help, you can remove dependence from Valium or other benzos.
If you or a loved one has a dependency or addiction to Valium, or any substance use disorder, please reach out to us about your detox and treatment options. Royal Life Centers admissions staff is available 24/7 to answer your questions and address your concerns. We can be reached at (877)-RECOVERY or 877-732-6837. Because We Care.