Valium, classified as a benzodiazepine is a drug purposed to counter anxiety and panic attacks and prescribed by doctors and psychiatrists.
The drug is traced from history where it was used to treat muscle stiffness, convulsions, seizures and well known for its sedative properties.
Most people commonly relate to it through its brand name, diazepam.
Medical experts explain that Valium works by stimulating the brain to release a neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid, (GABA).
Under normal states, GABA manages the electrical and chemical activity in the central nervous system.
People suffering from anxiety attacks, for instance, will often face some level of disturbance in the nervous system in which their bodies will not react by producing enough GABA levels to contain their emotions and reactions.
Here’s where Valium comes in; it jumpstarts the brain to continue secreting sufficient quantities of GABA, that will contain the panic and anxiety attacks and react moderately to stressful situations.
Over the years, Valium has stood the test in joining the class of often abused prescription drugs that eventually causes the patient to fall into addiction if misused following the prescription.
The drug’s relaxation and numbing feeling, has made this medicine a potential for abuse even for those following the prescription correctly.
Moreover, Valium is readily available with statistics by the Drug Enforcement Administration, revealing that in 2011, it ranked fourth under the most prescribed benzodiazepine in the United States, with a staggering 15 million prescriptions noted down for medical use.
Signs and Symptoms
Most patients will not notice the Valium drug abuse instantly but knowing that use of Valium may place you in a position of turning to addiction will go a long way into controlling its effect on you.
Understanding the signs of abuse will help both the patient and those caring for him look out for any red flags.
- Slurred speech and decreased mobility.
- Change in behavioral habits such as eating.
- The patient may seem uncoordinated.
- Change in looks and hygiene.
- Uncontrolled sleepiness.
The Adverse Effects of Valium Abuse
- Frequent agitation and mood swings.
- Irregular heartbeat and blood pressure.
- Confusion often attached to reduced concentration and memory loss.
- Increased weakness in performing regular physical duties.
- Increased tendencies to sleep often.
- Uncontrolled dependence of Valium such that a patient can’t handle duties without drug use.
- Reduced sense of motivation.
Excess use of Valium might trigger an unplanned overdose eventually leaving the patient to succumb to death or extended periods in a coma especially if the overdose was induced in the company of other drugs such as alcohol that tend to have the same impact as Valium.
Confirming Valium abuse mostly comes as a shock to most individuals.
Depending on how deep one must have been indulged in its use, the treatment procedure may turn hectic with benzodiazepine having intense withdrawal symptoms on the road to recovery. These unwanted symptoms may include:
- Anxiety and panic attacks.
- Inflammation and discomfort.
- Stomach upsets.
In severe cases, withdrawal may cause seizures or death.
Since the treatment period may turn severe and is highly sensitive, the individual in question should be within close watch by specialists to ensure safety measures of the patient.
Treatment entails of a few steps with the first step commencing with detoxification procedure where the Valium inducement is gradually reduced in amounts to minimize the effects of the withdrawal symptoms.
There are many inpatient and outpatient facilities that can handle this first step.
After that, individuals may decide to either be admitted to inpatient residential rehabs or outpatient treatments.
- Depending on the level of dependency of the drug, inpatient treatment options such as rehab facilities admit patients for extended periods ranging from a month to a year. Patients are given enough time to recover from Valium while undergoing interventions to improve mental and physical health. In these settings, experts are more interested in identifying the root cause of Valium abuse as well as helping patients learn how to counter the abuse or relapse to abuse after treatment is complete.
- For those intending to go the outpatient way, the patient will be required to stay at home under the care of Family while undergoing treatment. The individual is then scheduled to go for mental health check-ups and counseling. Both group and personal treatments may be coupled to optimize the effects of treatment.
Valium-abuse treatment should be treated like any other medical condition treatment and requires extensive support from loved ones.
Analysis of Valium Abuse Among Teens
The National Institute on Drug Abuse released reports unveiling that in 2014, 4.7% of high school students had induced some form of tranquilizer for leisure activities while 7.4% had utilized Valium effects in their lifetime.
Moreover, The Department of Health and Family Services quotes that teens who abuse Valium retrieve the drugs from close family and friends with prescriptions for true causes.
Its availability and affordability make Valium a primary target of abuse.