Valium (diazepam) is a medication commonly prescribed for anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures. (1) Valium is a benzodiazepine, which together as a drug class make up some of the most comm only prescribed drugs in America.
2013 alone saw 13.5 million prescriptions for benzodiazepines, including Valium. (2) Despite this, Valium and other benzodiazepines have a high potential for abuse and addiction.
Here we take a look at Valium addiction as a whole, signs of Valium addiction, and Valium withdrawal.
Is Valium Addictive?
Valium has the potential to cause both a physical and physiological dependence on the drug. This means that if the user suddenly stops taking the medication, they will experience physical and mental withdrawal symptoms.
A study investigating the addictive potentials of the various benzodiazepine medications found that Valium was among the top two most addictive of the bunch (along with Xanax/alprazolam). (3)
Valium Addiction Signs
As with other benzodiazepines, Valium addiction requires the user to take ever increasing doses to achieve the same effect. Many Valium users also hide their drug use, making it difficult for loved ones to detect. Valium carries visible and behavioral effects similar to alcohol intoxication.
Some common Valium addiction signs include:
- Slurred speech
- Poor coordination
- Fluctuations in appetite
- Shaking (an early sign of Valium withdrawal)
Valium Withdrawal Signs & Symptoms
When an individual dependent on Valium suddenly stops taking the medication, they will experience a pronounced withdrawal syndrome. The withdrawal syndrome produced by benzodiazepines can be life threatening and should be considered a medical emergency. (4)
The withdrawal syndrome from Valium can be incredibly unpleasant and difficult to go through, and includes the following symptoms:
- Potentially life-threatening seizures
- Sleep disturbances and insomnia
- Muscle stiffness and pain
- Cognitive issues, such as confusion, dizziness, and memory difficulty
- Appetite loss
Valium Withdrawal Timeline
The symptoms associated with Valium withdrawal typically start within one day of the last use and remain severe until approximately the fourth day of being clean. (5) It is important to note, however, that this is varies between different individuals.
As mentioned, the withdrawal syndrome produced by Valium can be a life threatening condition and should be monitored by medical professionals.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-878 or visit us online.