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Valium, a versatile sedative in the benzodiazepine family, is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant prescribed largely for anxiety disorders. However, the drug, which is also used for treating muscle spasms and seizures, is also an addictive recreational drug.

Known for its sedative properties, Valium strengthens the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), thereby, lowering anxiety levels and relaxing the muscles. A potent drug of abuse, Valium use can lead to problems like psychological dependence, tolerance and addiction. A leading substance abuse treatment center, Sovereign Health provides top-notch treatment for Valium addiction at all its state-of-the-art treatment locations nationwide.

Valium abuse

People with a prescription may continue to fill their medicine boxes long after their medical need for the medicine gets over because of developing a dependence on the drug. Others may share their pills now and then with friends who feel stressed. Soon those friends might start seeking out whole bottles in the black market to maintain their own stash. This is how dependence on the drug becomes a vicious cycle and grows into an addiction.

Following are some of the reasons behind people getting dependent on this drug:

  • Valium has muscle relaxant properties
  • Its sedative effects help manage sleep disturbances
  • The drug causes a sense of euphoria correlated to the dosage and frequency

Valium abuse: signs and symptoms

The risk of abusing the drug increases when one takes it without prescription, consumes more quantity than prescribed or takes the drug too frequently. While Valium abuse in itself can have a number of negative effects on one’s physical and mental health, its combination with other addictive substances like alcohol or opioids can be fatal.

Following are some of the signs and symptoms of Valium abuse:

  • Blurred vision
  • Muscle weakness
  • Changes in appetite and mood swings
  • Clumsiness, slowed reflexes, and other motor difficulties
  • Dry mouth
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Sleeping difficulties and lethargy
  • Severe withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not consumed

As many users often hide their drug use, it is often hard to recognize the symptoms of abuse. Sometimes, parents with a Valium prescription might be unaware that their teen is diverting some of the prescription allotment to use recreationally. However, as one continues with the abuse of the drug, the effects get visible and demand timely treatment for quick recovery.

Valium addiction: side effects

The initial use of Valium may cause one to experience euphoria and sedative effects, but its abuse can lead to a number of side effects. Additionally, when it is consumed in combination with other drugs like alcohol, the results can be fatal.

Following are some of the side effects of Valium abuse:

  • Abuse of other drugs, including alcohol
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Depression
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Withdrawal symptoms during reduced or no use
  • Long-term mental impairment
  • Drug dependency

Effects on the body

Valium affects levels of neurotransmitter GABA, thereby, decreasing the activity of the nerves. In addition to evidence-based correlations between lower levels of GABA and anxiety disorders, some researchers have pointed to a link between weak GABA levels, epilepsy and other neurological conditions.

Valium latches on and slows down GABA receptors in the brain. This chemical “linebacker” is what makes Valium helpful for treating seizures and anxiety disorders. It also helps users addicted to alcohol through detox.

Eventually, the GABA neurotransmitters become accustomed to the extra baggage and build up tolerance, requiring more Valium to achieve the same “high.”

Valium abuse: withdrawal effects

Prolonged use of Valium leads to accumulation of the drug in the body. As the quantity of Valium builds up in the body, it stops the production of the natural anti-anxiety chemicals. The drug abuse soon leads to drug dependence and addiction. When a user suddenly stops abusing Valium, he/she experiences uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and often resorts to increasing the drug dosage to counter the symptoms. This is what results in a relapse or an overdose, the consequences of which can be many.

Following are some of the withdrawal symptoms of Valium abuse:

  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Memory problems
  • Muscle aches
  • Severe anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Panic attacks or rebound anxiety
  • Seizures

Treatment for valium addiction

Depending on the intensity and frequency of the drug abuse, a holistic treatment for Valium addiction combines medications, Valium detox treatment, and counseling sessions. Considered the first step in substance abuse treatment, supervised detoxification treatment at certified Valium detox centers helps the body get rid of all the toxins and assists in minimizing the withdrawal symptoms.

Following a successful detox program, patients undergo individual or group counseling sessions to address any underlying psychological or physical health issues that might be triggering the substance addiction. Psychotherapies or counseling sessions help patients get armed with necessary life skills to lead a drug-free life after the treatment.

Why choose Sovereign Health

Sadly, Valium drug abuse can bring devastation even before the treatment begins. That is why it is important to act quickly on recognizing the signs. If you feel that your teen might be exhibiting similar signs and symptoms, do not hesitate to call Sovereign Health for help. We provide treatment for those addicted to Valium and a host of other substances.

Our treatment is nonjudgmental, with emergency medical, inpatient residential and outpatient levels of care. In addition to clinically proven treatments, we use evidenced-based treatment, including brain wellness and brain restoration techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).

Additionally, Sovereign Health also incorporates the following experiential therapies:

  • Art therapy
  • Equine therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Yoga and meditation

All our nationwide facilities are licensed to treat mental health, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. We also specialize in treating patients of dual diagnosis in order to provide each patient the best chance at a complete recovery.

To learn more about how we individualize recovery that helps our patients lead “A Better Way to a Better Life” or to locate our state-of-the-art treatment centers near you, call our 24/7 helpline. You can even chat online with our trained representatives for further assistance.

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