Valium (generically named diazepam) is a drug used for its calming properties; medically, it’s typically prescribed to help treat anxiety, muscle spasms and seizures. If not taken directly as prescribed, however, a person can become dependent on this drug, later developing an addiction. Just last year, WebMD reported that drugs like Valium and Xanax, along with other benzodiazepines, are being misused by around 1 in every 5 people who take the prescription drug. Drugs like valium are becoming used twice as much by adults than what was previously reported; by getting a clearer grasp on what Valium is, how it can affect a person and what a person needs to do to seek help, we can hopefully provide more support for our loved ones who are struggling with addiction.
The Effects of Valium
As a benzodiazepine, Valium is one of the most commonly prescribed psychotropic medications – and as The Conversation, a website that publishes information on a variety of topics such as business, education, environment, health and medicine explained, the drug works by binding to certain receptors in the brain. Upon binding to these receptors, the brain releases an amino acid called GABA, which depresses the central nervous system. People who take this drug tend to feel pretty relaxed, as their anxiety lessens and their muscles reduce in tension. The drug causes sleepiness as the entire body slows down in functioning – and for people who are stressed out or who have difficulty relaxing, Valium can easily become a drug they’re dependent on.
Mary Braud, MD, explained to Vogue several years ago of the distrubing reality that many people find after being prescribed drugs like Valium. She stated, “I’ve seen a lot of people who are shocked and surprised that a medicine that they were given that they thought was OK is now creating a big problem for them.”
If not watched closely, prescription Valium can quickly become dependency, especially if a person is beginning to take larger doses of the drug in order to reach that same “high”. A 2015 study published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine explained that self-medication also tends to occur with drugs like Valium, because those who are using it may also be struggling with psychological symptoms – like rumination, depression, anxious thoughts, etc. – and they wish to numb these uncomfortable experiences with the use of drugs.
Drug overdose from Valium can yield some very dangerous consequences. Since Valium has sedative properties, a person could go into a coma-like state if an extremely high dose is taken. Other signs of a Valium overdose include blue lips or nails, blurry vision, confusion, depression, dizziness, incoordination, excitability, weakness and more.
Recovery from Valium
A person can recover from Valium addiction, but the quicker treatment is sought, the greater of ease in recovery. Kate Fay, a woman who took Valium for over 10 years, was shocked to find the incredible symptoms of withdrawal when she stopped taking the drug. Detoxification at home is incredibly risky, and Kate quickly learned that treatment was the safest option. After meeting with a doctor, she slowly tapered down in a treatment program. Withdrawal can be very uncomfortable, and the severity of withdrawal symptoms typically relies on the severity of one’s addiction. A person may go through the following in the first stages of recovery:
- Intense cravings
- Mild headaches
- Mild fevers
- Potential chills
- Bouts of anxiety
- And more
The reality is that addiction can cause a lot of harm to a person’s mind, body and spirit – and naturally, it’s going to take some time for a person to begin restoring what they lost throughout the time of active addiction. After this period of uncomfortability, however, a new opportunity for growth, healing and transformation begins. Proper healing in treatment tends to consist of therapy, nutrition management, holistic practices such as yoga and art therapy, and so much more. Recovery is an incredibly challenging yet beautiful process – and if you can surround yourself with hope, positivity, resources and support, life becomes filled with so much more beauty. Kate stated on Benzo.org, a UK-based website, “Over the following months the fear subsided and my feelings slowly emerged. Music could be unbearably beautiful and colors extraordinarily intense. And with the subtle emotions of pleasure, gratitude and disappointment, each time I would have to stop and identify what it was. Because after 15 years of feeling nothing, I did not know.”
So much more comes back when recovery is sought. Love, laughter and precious moments become much more cherished. Opportunities become reachable again, and relationships are able to blossom much more than they ever could have before. If you’re ready to begin this beautiful journey towards healing and restoration, speak with a professional from Avalon Malibu today.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.