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What Exactly is Valium and is it Addictive?

In recent years, America has seen a stark rise in the use and misuse of Valium. Like many other commonly abused pharmaceuticals, Valium falls into the classification of benzodiazepines. Also known by its generic name Diazepam, Valium is primarily prescribed as an anxiolytic or as a sedative. Originally gaining popularity in the medical and pharmaceutical industries as a better alternative to barbiturates, benzodiazepines such as Valium have become a staple in the ever-expanding medical and pharmaceutical industries. As such, brand name benzos such as Valium have seen a tremendous increase in abuse and misuse. This leads people to wonder, is Valium addictive?

What is Valium?

Valium acts as an anxiolytic. This means that its primary medical functions are as an anti-anxiety medication as well as a sedative and minor tranquilizer. In medicinal circumstances, Valium is often prescribed to treat insomnia, alcohol withdrawal syndrome, anxiety, restless legs syndrome, muscle spasms, and seizures. 

Originally named Diazepam, Valium was invented in 1959 by Hoffmann La Roche. Shortly after its invention, Valium quickly gained notoriety and in a few years it received a patent. Since its public launch in 1963, Valium has become one of the most frequently prescribed and widely used drugs on the planet. 

Overtaking barbiturates almost entirely, Valium was noted as having significantly less sedative effects than the leading barbiturates of the time. Because of this, many pharmaceutical companies and hospitals began prescribing benzos such as Valium to patients who had previously relied on barbiturates. This early success skyrocketed Valium’s popularity and helped it gain the pharmaceutical reputation that it holds today.

Is Valium Addictive?

After learning about Valium’s origins, your next question may be: is Valium addictive? In short, Valium has some remarkably addictive properties. Even using Valium once to a handful of times recreationally can result in full-blown addiction. Many users prescribed valium for a short period of time develop a dependency after a very short cycle of use. Those already struggling or having overcome other addictions to drugs or alcohol are especially at risk of developing Valium dependency. Due to this potency, it is safe to say that misusing Valium can quickly lead to a very serious addiction. 

Dangers of Abusing Valium 

Abusing Valium brings a plethora of health risks to the user. As a benzodiazepine, long term Valium use has been associated with the impairment of short term memory, as well as the learning of new information. While the elderly are more prone to the adverse effects of Valium, abusing Valium at any age can negatively impact the mind and body. These adverse effects include but are not limited to:

  • Amnesia
  • Ataxia
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Vertigo
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired motor function
  • Constipation
  • Restlessness
  • Double vision
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea
  • Depression

On top of these adverse effects, abusing Valium can result in benzodiazepine dependence and benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. Those suffering from benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome will experience symptoms similar to those seen during alcohol and barbiturate withdrawal. These withdrawal symptoms can range from anxiety and insomnia to seizures and even psychosis. Abusing Valium in higher or more frequent doses will result in longer and more intense withdrawal symptoms. 

Treatment Options for Valium Addiction

As devastating as Valium can be to one’s life, there is hope. Seeking treatment for Valium addiction can help heal the wounds that dependency may have caused. If you or a loved one are struggling with Valium dependency, there are treatment options available. Finding the right treatment option for those struggling with Valium addiction can be a life-saving event. 

As Valium addiction and withdrawal can be lethal if done improperly, it is important to have the right support system in place in order to maximize effectiveness and mitigate risk. Having experienced medical professionals on-site is crucial as complications could arise during the recovery process. Finding the proper drug addiction treatment program can mean the difference between a new lease on life and tragedy.

Valium Addiction Treatment in Knoxville, TN

At Tennessee Valley Recovery, we are waiting with open arms to welcome you into the first steps in taking back your freedom from drug and alcohol dependency. Located in Knoxville, TN, we believe in empowering addiction treatment resulting in lifelong change. Here, we adhere to the idea that recovery is not “one size fits all.” By generating multiple pathways to improve quality of life, we pride ourselves on providing therapeutic options to best help individuals regain their freedom. Through the vast resources at Tennessee Valley Recovery, we can help find the right treatment for your individual situation, and give you the tools necessary to take back your life. There has never been a better time to seek assistance with your dependency. To learn more, give us a call or use our contact form today.