Choosing the Top Private Valium Addiction Treatment Center
Am I Addicted to Valium?
When you’re taking a prescription drug, you might be slow to realize you’re addicted. Signs that may indicate a growing problem include:
- Taking more than prescribed without asking your doctor.
- Crushing and snorting the pills.
- Take Valium more often than intended.
- Neglecting personal responsibilities to take Valium.
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The drug diazepam (Valium) is one of many prescription medications in the drug class known as benzodiazepines (BZDs). Valium may be prescribed to manage a number of conditions, including anxiety and muscle spasms. Despite being a common sedative medication, the average person might not fully understand the drug and its potentially harmful effects.
Valium targets what are called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain.
When activated through their interaction with drugs like Valium, these receptors are responsible for a heightened sense of sedation and anxiety relief, as well as for mediating the anticonvulsant/anti-seizure and hypnotic (sleep promoting) effects.
Until the late 1990s, Valium was routinely used for short-term treatment of stress-related anxiety and insomnia, producing a tranquil state that earned it the nickname “Mother’s Little Helper.” Because they’re cross-tolerant with alcohol, benzodiazepine drugs are often used in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal, controlling potentially dangerous seizures that may arise in association with alcohol detox, or in individuals otherwise quitting alcohol after prolonged, excess use.
Historically, Valium addiction has been stereotyped as a problem limited to upper-middleclass women overwhelmed by their social calendar and responsibilities at home. However, this drug is heavily abused by people of all demographics.
Overprescribing may reinforce the extent of benzodiazepine abuse and prescription drug abuse in general. A recent Japanese study of multiple prescribing practices revealed that many individuals filled their benzodiazepine prescriptions from three or more providers in a single month, with some filling consecutive overlapping prescriptions. Findings such as these highlight the potential benefits of closer prescription oversight in a world of rampant prescription misuse.
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Compounding the issue of overprescribing, the abuse of drugs such as Valium may also stem from them being prescribed for periods of time much longer than medically indicated. An example would be in Europe, where protocols are in place to limit the use of Valium to the short-term, yet a recently published review indicates that “long-term” benzodiazepine treatment is common, and varies from one month to several years, with prevalence of use among the elderly. Also in Europe, a French study of 212 participants aged 19-64 years taking Valium or other BZDs found that more than half of them met criteria for substance dependence.
Valium abuse often occurs in people who have been prescribed the medication by their doctor. Tolerance to the drug’s effects builds with long-term use of Valium and might cause some patients to increase the dosage.
Most often, this occurs in people who have been using the medication for six months or longer. Valium is available for prescription as pills. Despite being intended for obvious oral use, those who abuse it may also crush it, inject it, or even snort it.
Side Effects of Valium Use
Serious side effects of using Valium may include:
- Confusion, hallucinations, or strange thoughts and behavior.
- Depression and thoughts of suicide.
- Aggression and hostility.
- Muscle tremors.
- Loss of bladder control.
- Slowed breathing.
While this is not an exhaustive list of the potential effects associated with Valium use, it indicates that just how powerful of a drug it is – with significant impacts on both thoughts and behaviors.
Risks of Valium Addiction
If someone is using Valium beyond what the initial prescription called for, it might be time to look for warning signs that Valium addiction has taken hold. Valium abuse and addiction have become common in our society. Often prescribed for short-term relief of anxiety or muscle tension, Valium can become something a person desires long-term or for purposes it isn’t indicated for.
In the United States, as stress and anxiety have become increasingly common problems over the years, it may be no coincidence that the number of prescriptions for Valium and other sedative drugs has also risen sharply (as has the potential for prescription drug addiction.
Valium and other BZDs are legitimately prescribed to manage anxiety, panic, muscle spasm and seizures. Despite this range of therapeutic benefits, Valium also has a legitimate risk for addiction. Medical guidance indicates that it be used only for short periods because tolerance develops in many people with longer-term use, compelling these individuals to up their daily dosage and speeding them towards substance dependency.
A potentially dangerous withdrawal syndrome may be seen in those decreasing or abruptly discontinuing treatment. Symptoms include uncomfortable mental and physical states as well as a return or “rebound” of anxiety and insomnia. In its most severe form, Valium withdrawal can produce grand mal seizures and psychosis.
Valium is among the BZDs with the highest liability for abuse and dependence, along with Xanax and Ativan. Their abuse potential co-occurs with the fast onset of pleasant mood, well-being, relief from feeling bad (dysphoria), a sense of increased popularity, the belief that thoughts flow more easily, and a general sense of contentment.
Addiction is a process that develops over a period of time. It includes such symptoms as failed attempts to quit or cut down use of the drug, despite known adverse health effects, and problems in relationships and work obligations. The onset of Valium tolerance varies across individual cases but, on average, appears to develop after a mere two to four weeks of treatment. A pattern of increased use of Valium due to tolerance, along with the perceived risks associated with withdrawal, might cause continued abuse, progressing to dependence.
For anyone struggling to cut down on or eliminate the use of Valium, help is as close as the phone. Call 1-888-744-0789 Who Answers? today. We can help callers choose a rehab center that will provide the treatment they need for full recovery.
Signs and Symptoms of Valium Addiction
It’s important to learn to spot the signs and symptoms of Valium addiction. Even at therapeutic doses, the side effects of Valium can affect motor functioning, memory, and cognitive function, as well as putting elderly users at risk of over-sedation and falls. In adolescents, Valium is often used along with alcohol, opioids, or heroin to magnify the euphoria, putting those who use these drugs at risk of overdose and death.
Identifying valium addiction early can help to reduce the risk of injury and death. Signs and symptoms of Valium abuse may include:
- Blurred vision.
- Slurred speech.
- Lack of coordination.
- Difficulty breathing.
A person abusing Valium is often the last to notice there’s an addiction problem. There are beginning stages that demonstrate that abuse of the drug is setting in. These are key moments to intervene before the problem progresses too much. Early warning signs of Valium abuse may include:
- Feelings of needing the drug regularly.
- Needing a constant supply of Valium, even if the prescription is not ready to be filled.
- Unusual behavior.
- Difficulty in functioning without the drug.
- Dangerous behavior such as operating motor vehicle or heavy machinery while on the drug.
Withdrawal symptoms of Valium are uncomfortable and can be frightening and life-threatening. They might include a return of the panic and anxiety that were held at bay when the Valium was effective. These symptoms make it difficult to function, with feelings that the person is “losing it” or fearing that they’re becoming “unhinged.” Signs and symptoms of Valium withdrawal can include:
- Return of the original anxiety (recurrence).
- Worsening of the original anxiety symptoms (rebound).
- Emergence of apprehension.
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
- Blurred vision.
- Obsessive rumination.
More serious symptoms of valium withdrawal might include:
- Elevated blood pressure.
- Increased heart beat (tachycardia).
- Muscle tension.
- Agitation and severe restlessness.
- Muscle and joint pain.
- Grand mal seizures.
Acute benzodiazepine withdrawal is just one of a number of health risks associated with Valium abuse. A missed dose can lead to additional withdrawal symptoms such as extreme sweating, body tremors, psychosis and hallucinations, stomach cramps, extreme irritability, digestive problems, feelings of numbness or tingling in the limbs, vision impairment, and depression.
These withdrawal symptoms make supervised detoxification and treatment for Valium addiction essential because people who try to detox on their own can put their lives at risk. People who struggle with Valium abuse are not alone. There is a way out, and we can point callers in the direction of the best possible treatment center to begin their journey of recovery. Call 1-888-744-0789 Who Answers? today.
Treatment Options for Valium Addiction
Treatment for Valium addiction typically involves the following stages and options:
Screening and Detoxification
The first thing people seeking treatment for Valium addiction need to know is that they’ll be safe and treated with care and respect. Before any treatment program gets underway, it’s important that individuals be medically examined before the detoxification process. This is a safe medical procedure to help control and eliminate withdrawal symptoms associated with Valium dependence, to reassure individuals and make them comfortable, and help to prevent cravings for the drug of abuse.
Because Valium is a physically addictive drug, detox is advised. During this part of the recovery program, individuals are medically monitored and administered medications as needed. The safety of the person is paramount, and detox ensures that withdrawal symptoms do not become life-threatening. Since uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms can also lead to relapse, supervised detox is recommended.
Detox for Valium addiction will also set the stage for non-Valium treatment of any underlying anxiety disorder while assessing for any other medical complications associated with drug use. If individuals have used other drugs, including alcohol, for the sake of a safe withdrawal period and to help inform the treatment protocol, it will be important for them to tell the doctor or nurse. Using Valium with other drugs is nothing to be ashamed of. Medical professionals will supervise the detox and monitor each person’s progress.
Following detox, ongoing substance abuse treatment can be effective for long-term recovery. Those who have been abusing Valium to cope with stress have the opportunity to discuss their issues with therapists and others who are addicted to Valium. They can work through their issues and learn new coping techniques. The goal of addiction treatment programs is to help people who have addictions attain long-term sobriety as they learn how to survive without turning to drugs.
Traditional Addiction Treatment
The choice of traditional inpatient or outpatient Valium addiction treatment is largely dependent on how sick the person has been with the addiction. If there are medical issues that require continued care and monitoring or if the individual continues to experience a lot of emotional or mental distress because of the withdrawal, they might benefit from hospitalization followed by inpatient (or residential) treatment. These programs generally consist of 30 to 60 days of treatment that includes counseling, group therapy to help people addicted to Valium realize they’re not alone, and educational programming to help them understand the nature of addiction, how to take care of cravings, and how to recognize cues to drug use.
Contingency management, motivational enhanced therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy have been shown to demonstrate effectiveness in the treatment of Valium addiction. Contingency management provides rewards for staying clean in the form of vouchers for healthy products, which gives individuals the incentive to stay the course.
Motivational enhanced therapy works towards continued abstinence from drug use by having the recovering individual contrast the benefits of achieving and maintaining recovery with the benefits of continued Valium use. And in cognitive behavioral therapy, people learn how to gain skills to help them deal with addiction-related situations as they arise.
People in treatment for Valium addiction will be encouraged to attend 12-step meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA), which can provide a sense of hope, purpose, and meaning in life. Most treatment centers include family therapy or family days to help build bridges to healing and reconciliation due to a person’s addiction history.
Outpatient treatment is an option for people who have no serious medical issues, are motivated enough to work the program and follow directions, and have a good support system at home or wherever they reside. Outpatient treatment follows a similar agenda as inpatient treatment, with attendance for several hours a week during the day or in the evening.
Luxury Addiction Treatment
Luxury and executive rehabilitation differs from the more traditional rehab programs in that they typically provide extra privacy, extra services, extra room, and complementary therapies such as yoga, massage, Reiki, equine therapy, art therapy, music therapy, biofeedback, and many other options. For the executive in recovery from Valium addiction who must continue to work, executive rehabs are geared toward privacy and one-on-one therapy, while facilitating the executive’s need to do business and even travel.
Many treatment programs emphasize solid aftercare programs to continue the progress made during the initial treatment period. Individuals who were taking Valium as prescribed initially due to an anxiety condition may especially benefit from ongoing stress management techniques and other behavioral therapeutic interventions offered through aftercare.
The types and intensity of aftercare approaches vary. Some people continue to attend one-on-one counseling with an addiction treatment therapist, others attend 12-step or other support group meetings, while still others may enroll in a more formal outpatient program to continue receiving much-needed, structured support without the need to re-enter a residential center.
More Facts About Valium Addiction
Valium addiction can occur even in those prescribed the medication due to the inescapable physical tolerance that forms shortly after use begins.
Understanding some of the reasons why people abuse Valium can help people to better understand this addiction. Valium has been available on the pharmaceutical market since 1963.
The drug is often used as a method of escape. It is a sedative medication often prescribed to those with anxiety, but also used recreationally by people who want to experience the sense of euphoria and relaxation that it brings. Individuals who are facing stress in their lives may self-medicate with this drug to cope. Valium is highly physically addictive, meaning individuals can become addicted unintentionally and may not even recognize their problem.
Valium obtained by prescription is often shared by those who have experienced successful anxiety control with those who they feel could use it. Even if one had a successful experience with the drug in the past, Valium should never be given to someone who does not have a current prescription for it.
Although the reasons people may abuse Valium can vary, the risks of addiction and related health problems are the same regardless of the motivations for use.
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