Signs and Symptoms of Valium Abuse
Valium is an anti-anxiety drug, one of several popular benzodiazepines. More than three million Americans use this drug medically and many more abuse it illicitly. The drug is also known by its generic name, diazepam. If you are looking for signs that someone is abusing Valium, here are the symptoms you would be looking for:
A Valium user may manifest:
- Amnesia or memory problems
- Muscle weakness
- Dilated eyes
- Double vision
- Blurred vision
- Loss of interest in sex
A heavy abuser of Valium and others who are particularly susceptible to its effects may show these signs:
- Loss of inhibitions
- Thoughts of suicide or self-injury
- Loss of bladder control
- Urine retention
Another sign of Valium or diazepam abuse is that a person may become a poor driver. He may weave in his lane and may have trouble focusing. His reaction time will probably be slower. Because of the sedating effect of the drug, the driver may not react appropriately to hazards on the road. Highway safety information indicates that Valium use may contribute to some traffic accidents. In fact, use of Valium at night may still impair one’s ability to drive the next day.
A Valium abuser or addict may also suffer a loss of judgment as one of the effects of the drug. He could then possibly decide to mix Valium with alcohol abuse or opiates, which could result in his death. Each of these drugs slows breathing and if it slows enough, the drug abuser will die.
Becoming “disinhibited” is a sign of Valium abuse - which means a person’s inhibitions are lowered. This can result in a person becoming aggressive and harming others or himself or engaging in risky activities like unprotected sex.
Addiction is a Sign of Valium Abuse
One of the characteristics of this drug and others in the benzodiazepine class is that it creates tolerance and addiction. Tolerance means that after a short time of taking Valium, a person needs more to create the same effect. If a person is taking this drug as a result of a doctor’s recommendation, the doctor will need to increase the patient’s dosage. If a person is abusing the drug they have obtained illicitly, he will need to take more pills.
As the dosage goes up, so will the severity of symptoms of use.
Reports vary on how long it takes for addiction to this drug to occur. It may just take several weeks or a few months. According to the National Institutes of Health, Valium should not be taken for more than four months.
Once addiction is present, withdrawal symptoms will occur if a person stops taking the drug. These withdrawal symptoms can be severe or even life-threatening. Seizures and convulsions are possible if a person has not been tapered off the drug after heavy use. Many people will need medical detox to help them break free from their addictions safely.
After Addiction, Many People Lose the Ability to Live Sober
Once a person gets off Valium, he or she may not automatically regain the ability to live sober. An addicted person may quickly learn to rely on a drug like Valium to escape from life’s stresses. He is very likely to need to relearn how to communicate clearly, make drug-free decisions, separate safe associates from dangerous ones, and rebuild his own personal integrity and self-respect. These changes are the focus of the Narconon drug rehabilitation program.
In some 45 locations around the world, Narconon centers are helping those addicted to heroin, prescription drugs, cocaine, marijuana, alcohol and other drugs learn to build new, sober lives. The Narconon program focuses directly on the types of damage that result from addiction and provides the life skills to enable a person to repair that damage.
A thorough detoxification addresses the residues of past drug use and helps greatly to freshen a person’s viewpoint. When the toxic remnants of alcohol, opiates, stimulants or other drugs are flushed out as a result of a sauna and nutritional supplement program, one recovers the ability to think more clearly. The fog of past drug use is greatly reduced. This improvement sets up a person to learn these life skills with a fresh, improved outlook.
This program usually takes eight to ten weeks to finish, but some people take longer. There is no set time limit because each person recovers from addiction at his or her own rate. This way, each person goes home to meet life’s challenges when they are ready, not when their time is up.
Contact a Narconon Rehab Counselor today for more information.
Valium™ is a registered trademark of Roche Products Inc.