Diazepam, otherwise known as Valium, is a benzodiazepine (often called a benzo) – a sedative, tranquilizer, and a depressant. It’s available by prescription and can help with a variety of health issues such as: muscle spasms, seizures, panic attacks and more. As with any prescription medication, however, Valium can be easily abused if a person comes to crave the euphoric effects of taking higher doses. Whether you’re currently in recovery from addiction or you have a loved one who has struggled with Valium addiction, it can be helpful to gain some insight on how the drug itself can be so habit-forming.
A few years ago, a young woman shared her story with Vice about becoming addicted to Valium. She explained that it all started when she started feeling tired often as she was navigating school life. When she took the drug, it would ease her panic attacks, her anxiety, her headaches and more. She felt as though Valium was the answer to all of her problems – but she realized that once she was addicted, normalcy was hard to achieve. She stated, “…With increased tolerance to benzos comes decreased normality when you’re not taking them. I reached a point where, if I didn’t take Valium, I’d feel more panicky than when I started using them as a crutch.”
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains that Valium weakens a group of neurons in the brain – the brain’s ventral tegmental area (VTA) – which is typically responsible for preventing excessive dopamine production (“feel-good” chemicals in the brain). This means that when Valium is taken, the more dopamine is produced in the brain – and the neurons that typically regulate it are now rendered feeble. The flooding of dopamine in the brain is what eventually causes the brain to experience cravings. Cells in the brain respond to the increased about of dopamine produced and eventually need more and more as they become used to the initial doses of the drug that were taken.
If you’re struggling with Valium addiction, seek the help you need today. Recovery is possible – you’re not alone.
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.