Diazepam Abuse and Addiction Treatment Options
Anyone who has taken diazepam for more than a few weeks can attest that it’s an incredibly effective medication. For many, it’s vital to managing anxiety and other mental health conditions. However, many people don’t realize that diazepam is also a highly addictive tranquilizer. Abrupt discontinuation of the medication can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms, including insomnia, anxiety, and even seizures.
Here’s what you need to know about diazepam drug addiction, including the signs and symptoms and treatment options.
Remember that it’s essential for anyone who wants to stop taking diazepam to do so under the care of a qualified medical professional. Withdrawal from diazepam can be difficult, but it is possible with the appropriate support. If you need help for diazepam addiction, call Zinnia Health at (855) 430-9439.
What is Diazepam?
Diazepam is the generic name for the brand-name drug Valium.
Valium hit the market in the early 1960s. It was originally intended to treat anxiety and seizures, but it was quickly seized upon by the public as a way to deal with the stresses of daily life. The 1960s were a time of great social change, and many people found themselves struggling to keep up with the fast pace of life.
Valium provided a welcome respite from the pressures of work and family life, and it soon became one of the most popular drugs in America. Indeed, Valium became so popular that it was known as “mother’s little helper,” as it was often used by stay-at-home moms to help them deal with the demands of child-rearing.
Diazepam, the generic form of the drug, is just one type of benzodiazepine, among others, such as alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), and chlordiazepoxide (Librium). Benzodiazepines act on the brain and nerves to produce a calming effect.
Diazepam is typically used for the short-term relief of anxiety, tension, and muscle spasms. It’s also used to relieve symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, such as tremors, agitation, and hallucinations. Medical professionals may also use it before surgery to relieve anxiety and produce drowsiness.
Diazepam may also be prescribed for short-term relief of trauma-related anxiety, which could include military combat, violence, or abuse. Diazepam can also be helpful for people facing an unusually stressful life situation. However, diazepam use should be limited and only taken under a medical professional’s guidance due to the risk of addiction.
Diazepam and Other Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment
Like Xanax, and Atvian, diazepram is a benzodiazepine. Though these drugs can effectively treat anxiety, they can also be highly addictive Benzodiazepine addiction treatment is necessary for many people to stop taking the drug.
Treatment plans for benzodiazepine addiction typically begin with detoxification, which helps the person stop taking the drug safely.
After detoxification, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, counseling and therapy can help the person to understand their addiction and develop coping mechanisms for dealing with anxiety without resorting to drugs.
The proper treatment makes it possible to recover from benzodiazepine addiction and lead a healthy, drug-free life.
Diazepam Side Effects
Though diazepam is a highly effective medication, it is not without side effects. The most common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired coordination.
These side effects typically occur when the medication is first taken and generally dissipate after a few days of use. In some cases, however, they may persist for a longer period.
Additionally, diazepam may cause gastrointestinal problems, such as upset stomach, constipation, or diarrhea. Some people may also experience blurred vision or changes in appetite. Though these side effects are generally mild, they can bother some people.
As with most other drugs, taking too much diazepam or mixing it with other substances carries a risk of overdose, which can be life-threatening.
In rare cases, diazepam may cause more serious side effects, such as seizures or allergic reactions, which require immediate medical attention.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Using Diazepam?
Long-term use of diazepam can lead to physical dependence and tolerance, meaning that higher doses are needed to achieve the same effect. Withdrawal symptoms and cravings can occur if the drug is stopped suddenly. These symptoms may include increased anxiety, insomnia, and headaches.
For these reasons, it’s crucial to take diazepam only as directed and talk to a healthcare provider about any concerns. Even when taken as directed, Diazepam is physically addictive. Your healthcare professional can help you minimize withdrawal symptoms by tapering the dosage.
Diazepam users are at risk of developing tolerance and physical dependence.
Tolerance occurs when the body becomes used to the drug and needs higher doses to achieve the desired effect. Physical dependence occurs when the body adapts to the presence of the drug and experiences withdrawal symptoms when it’s suddenly discontinued.
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior and use despite negative consequences. People who abuse diazepam may have trouble quitting even when they want to, and they may continue using the drug despite financial, relationship, or health problems.
Diazepam Withdrawal Process
When people with a diazepam addiction stop taking the drug, they may experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, and irritability. In severe cases, withdrawal can also cause seizures. Because of the potential for serious side effects, it’s important to detox under medical supervision if you’re addicted to diazepam.
Withdrawal symptoms typically peak within a few days and then gradually subside over a week or two. However, some people may continue to experience milder symptoms for months afterward.
If you’re struggling with diazepam addiction, there is help available. Treatment typically begins with detoxification, followed by counseling and therapy. With treatment, it’s possible to recover from addiction and lead a healthy and fulfilling life.
Diazepam Withdrawal Symptoms
Diazepam withdrawal symptoms can be serious and even life-threatening. The most common symptom is anxiety, which can be accompanied by a feeling of extreme tension, irritability, and restlessness.
Others may experience the following withdrawal symptoms from diazepam:
- Increased heart rate
- Delirium tremens
The diazepam withdrawal process is typically more severe in people who have been taking high doses of the drug for long periods of time.
What Are the Risks Associated With Quitting Diazepam Cold Turkey?
Quitting any addictive medication cold turkey can be risky, and diazepam is no exception. Diazepam is a safe and effective way to treat anxiety and other conditions when taken as prescribed.
However, it is possible to develop a dependence on the drug, and sudden withdrawal can cause serious side effects. In severe cases, withdrawal can lead potentially life-threatening conditions characterized by hallucinations and extreme agitation.
For these reasons, talking to a doctor before quitting diazepam or any other medication is essential. Withdrawal should always be done under medical supervision to minimize the risk of complications.
How Do You Know if You Are Addicted to Diazepam?
How can you tell if you’re addicted to diazepam? There are a few key signs to look out for.
If you find that you need to take higher and higher doses of diazepam to get the same effect, that’s a sign that your body is becoming tolerant to the drug. Tolerance can lead to dependence, and dependence can lead to addiction.
People who abuse diazepam may take it in higher doses than prescribed or more frequently than prescribed. They may also crush and snort the pills or inject them intravenously. These methods of abuse increase the risk of developing an addiction.
Other signs of addiction include changes in behavior, such as neglecting responsibilities at work or home in favor of drug use. You may also start engaging in risky behaviors, such as driving while under the influence of diazepam. If you’re addicted to diazepam, chances are good that you’ve tried to quit before and failed.
Addiction is a powerful disease, but there is help available. If you think you might be addicted to diazepam, please reach out for help before it’s too late.
Get Help for Diazepam Addiction Today
You’re struggling with diazepam addiction and don’t know where to turn. You’ve tried quitting on your own, but you can’t seem to make it through the withdrawal symptoms.
With Zinnia Health, you can finally get the substance abuse treatment you need to overcome your addiction. We offer a variety of outpatient and inpatient rehab programs tailored to your specific needs so that you can find the right fit for you. And our team of experts will be with you every step of the way, providing support and guidance when you need it most.
Don’t try to beat diazepam addiction on your own. Get help from Zinnia Health, and we’ll provide the treatment program you need to overcome your addiction and start living a healthier, happier life.
Contact Zinnia Health today.