Valium (the brand name for the drug diazepam) is a potent prescription sedative, used to treat anxiety disorders as well as seizures. Valium is often frequently used to treat severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal in a medical detoxification setting. This specific medication has a high potential for abuse and is one of the most frequently abused prescription medications throughout the United States. It is important to take Valium exactly as it is prescribed by a medical professional because it is extremely habit-forming and can result in serious side effects when not taken properly. This specific drug is generally only prescribed for short periods; taking Valium long-term leads to tolerance, symptoms of withdrawal upon ceased use, and other serious health-related concerns. It is possible to overdose on this medication.
Diazepam-related overdoses can be fatal and are responsible for thousands of fatalities nationwide on an annual basis. If you or someone you love has been abusing Valium, professional medical help must be sought immediately. Garden State Treatment Center offers comprehensive addiction treatment services to those who have been abusing prescription drugs of any kind. For more information on our program of recovery, please feel free to reach out at any point in time. Our dedicated team of diverse, compassionate professionals is standing by to answer any questions you may have, and to get you started on the road to recovery as soon as possible.
What Does Valium Feel Like?
Those who abuse Valium (take more than the recommended dose, or take the prescription medication other than as prescribed) generally report similar experiences. Some of the short-term symptoms of Valium abuse include:
- Slurred speech and an inability to form complete sentences.
- A lack of coordination.
- Dilated pupils.
- Changes in appetite, usually a loss of appetite.
- Mood swings, typically marked by agitation, irritability, and sadness.
The immediate effects of Valium abuse are similar to the effects of alcohol consumption – an individual who is high on Valium might appear to be intoxicated. Drowsiness, weakness, confusion, and extreme dizziness are also side effects of Valium abuse. Because the medication is generally used to treat anxiety, the “high” produced by the drug will somewhat resemble the “high” produced by heroin, but significantly less intense. The user will feel relaxed, calm, and maybe even euphoric. Unfortunately, attempting to get high off of prescription diazepam also results in serious side effects like respiratory depression, irregular heartbeat, and seizures.
Those who use Valium regularly over an extended period are also at risk of developing permanent mental health disorders. This medication, which is most commonly used to treat anxiety, changes brain chemistry so that the brain cannot adequately regulate stress without it. Prolonged abuse can lead to the development of anxiety-related disorders, or the worsening of symptoms if an anxiety disorder is already present. Brain damage can also include long-term and lasting issues with memory and cognition. Those struggling with Valium abuse or addiction must seek help sooner rather than later, to prevent serious and permanent damage to the brain and the body.
Valium Abuse and Addiction Recovery
Fortunately, if you or your loved one is struggling with Valium abuse or addiction, Garden State Treatment Center is available to help. Many people believe that medications prescribed by a medical professional do not pose the same risks as illicit substances, like heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine. The truth is that prescription medications are just as dangerous when abused and that the abuse of prescription drugs like Valium is far more common than the abuse of many illicit substances. It can be difficult to determine whether or not someone is abusing Valium because many prescription drug users hide their symptoms well.
However, there are several telltale signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for, including all of the signs listed above as well as a general lack of motivation, disinterest in activities and hobbies that were previously enjoyed, increased desire for privacy and doctor shopping (attempting to obtain Valium from more than one source). For more information on our program of recovery, give us a call today.