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Valium is the brand name for diazepam, a prescription drug used to treat seizures, alcohol withdrawals, and muscle spasms. Valium is most often prescribed as a treatment for panic attacks and general anxiety disorders.

A study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that over 24,000 trips to the emergency room involved diazepam in 2011. In 2004, that number was at a still very high 16,000.

Symptoms and Side Effects of Valium Use

Diazepam is in a class of tranquilizer drugs called benzodiazepines. When taken, Valium depresses normal functions in the brain and central nervous system to instill immense emotional calm and physical relaxation. Someone who has taken Valium will seem more laidback and slowed down. Other common side effects of Valium use include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness

  • Dehydration
  • Weakness
  • Dizzy feelings

Complications of  Valium Abuse

Prolonged Valium abuse can lead to numerous complications to your overall health, including:

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations

  • Intense depression
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Jaundice and liver problems
  • Fever

Dangers of Valium Use

Although Valium is highly effective as an anti-anxiety medication, abusing the drug can easily lead to dependence and addiction. Addiction takes a heavy toll on all aspects of your life, including your personal relationships. Addiction causes reckless behavior, which can manifest as isolating yourself or lashing out at loved ones.

Valium addiction is also associated with numerous health complications, including:

  • Certain organ failure
  • Heart attack
  • Memory loss
  • Coma

Symptoms of Valium Addiction

Addiction to Valium and other drugs is based on chemical dependency. Taking Valium affects levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that inhibits certain brain activities, resulting in the characteristic calm feelings. GABA also affects the amount of dopamine in the system, which triggers reward pathways. Users may then consistently abuse Valium to feel that sense of reward.

Common symptoms of Valium addiction include:

  • Taking larger doses of Valium than your doctor prescribes
  • Using Valium as your primary means of coping with stress
  • Neglecting responsibilities to use the drug
  • Intense cravings when not using Valium


  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Insomnia
  • Convulsions
  • Psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Heightened anxiety
  • Oversensitive to lights, sounds, and touch

Medical Intervention for Valium Addiction

Medical intervention can be highly beneficial to your recovery. Along with correcting chemical imbalances, medication can curb intense cravings and help to soothe withdrawal symptoms.

Common medications that your doctor may prescribes for Valium abuse include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Promethazine
  • Propranolol
  • Chlormethiazole

Valium Detox Process

Detox aims to rid yourself of the harmful chemicals that have accumulated in your body. This is accomplished through a combination of therapy, medication, and tapering off of drug use.

Inpatient care remains the best option for detox treatment. It provides you with a safe setting for you to focus on your detox without worrying about negative influences. Most importantly, inpatient facilities give you full access to a medical team. That means that if you need medication or counseling, you have a professional team on hand to provide immediate assistance.

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