Valium is the brand name for Diazepam, an anxiolytic benzodiazepine. This is a class of medication used to inhibit anxiety by sedation and depression of the central nervous system. The 1960s were a time of psychopharmacological revolution in America, and scientists were in a race to find the best medication to ease people’s symptoms with the least potential for risk of abuse or addiction.
The first of these “benzos” was created in a lab by Leo Sternbach, a research chemist, in 1956, named Librium. The Food and Drug Administration approved this in 1960, and three years later, the second BZD, named Valium was approved for use of disorders of the Central Nervous System. After only six years of its approval, Valium was the most prescribed drug in the country.
Benzodiazepines work by latching on to a receptor and then activates GABA, which is a neurotransmitter that makes people calm and sleepy when it is released. Valium can trigger this rush of GABA within minutes, which creates this sense of claim and relieves anxiety almost immediately. Before benzos, the go-to drugs for CNS disorders were opiates and then barbiturates, which were known to be highly addictive. Valium seemed like the perfect medication as it is fast-acting, long-lasting with a shelf life of 24 hours, and was believed to be non-habit forming.
The drug is fast-acting, long-lasting, and is commonly used in the treatment of a variety of conditions. Conditions that require the use of Valium include anxiety disorder, seizures, muscle spasm, as well as alcohol detoxification. The drug can also be used for a variety of other neurological disorders. According to the New York Times in 1974, Valium was the No. 1 prescribed drug in the United States. After being the highest selling medication between 1968 and 1982, the popularity of the drug has dipped, but it is still prescribed by the millions each year.
Danger Signs of Valium Abuse
Although originally thought to be the safe alternative, by the end of the 70s, the medical world was seeing the potential for dependence. Benzodiazepine treatment is meant to be for temporary relief of symptoms and is not meant for long-term management. Long term use of Valium weakens the response of the brain’s receptors, which means that the user needs to increase their dosage to obtain the same calming effect. Some users take an excessive amount of the drug to trigger a feeling of euphoria. Because long term users have built up a tolerance to the drug, it can require more and more valium to achieve the same euphoric feelings.
Valium is “non-specific”, which means that it also activates several subunits of GABA. These subunits are in charge of anxiety, restfulness, motor control, and cognition. A person prescribed valium to alleviate symptoms of anxiety is also altering their brain chemistry which impacts how they sleep, think, and move. This is what causes a person to come off of Valium to experience brand new symptoms, such as panic attacks and seizures. The person may have started for temporary relief of anxiety, but their brain’s receptors are now weakened and they are not able to self-regulate other central nervous system functions, such as panic attacks and seizures. Withdrawal from Valium and benzodiazepines can lead to seizures and death. Many long term users of Valium become dependent on the drug and cannot function.
There are many physical and psychological signs of Valium addiction and dependence, including hallucinations, slurred speech, respiratory depression, memory loss, unconsciousness, hallucinations, hostility, mania, rage, panic attacks, psychosis, and an increased risk of suicide. A person who has become chemically dependent can go to extraordinary means to obtain the drug to avoid the severe withdrawal symptoms. This can lead to undesired consequences in the users’ personal life including stealing, lying, and loss of employment, loss of family and friends, and isolation.
Valium Addiction Treatment at Allure Detox
It is imperative that long term users of Valium detox in a safe and medically supervised environment. Withdrawal from Valium can be dangerous when not done under medical supervision. A person withdrawing from the drug can experience dry retching, hallucinations. Seizures, and possibly suicidal. Allure Detox is a medical facility in West Palm Beach, Florida, that specializes in detox from addictive drugs. Our professional, knowledgeable, and caring staff will be able to monitor the person suffering from addiction to Valium as they detox from the drug.
While ensuring that you or your loved one remove the drug safely from your system, Allure Detox staff will also assist in making the next right choices for a sober future. We are available 24 / 7 to answer any questions and look forward to helping create a new life out of addiction.