Valium is a prescription drug referred to generically as diazepam. It is a widely prescribed anti-anxiety drug and it is also widely abused. Valium is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Other popular benzodiazepines include alprazolam (Xanax), triazolam (Halcion), clonazepam (Klonopin) and lorazepam (Ativan). These drugs are likely to develop tolerance in the user, meaning that more of the drug is needed to get the same effect on a person, and they are also addictive.
The prescribing information for this drug describes its effects as anti-anxiety, muscle relaxant, anticonvulsant and amnesia-causing.
This drug depresses the central nervous system and so will slow the heart rate and the breathing. If Valium is combined with other drugs that have a similar effect, like opiates or alcohol, a person could easily suffer an accidental overdose. Alcohol and Valium together is what killed Thomas Kinkade, the popular artist of cozy country houses and landscapes.
Side Effects of Valium Range from Uncomfortable to Dangerous
While Valium is designed to calm a person down, in some people it may have the opposite effect. Use or abuse of this drug can result in restlessness, anxiety, hallucinations, rage, aggressiveness and even delusions or psychoses. And though Valium may be given to help some people sleep, some people will experience insomnia, sleep disturbances and nightmares instead.
The usual side effects of Valium include:
- Double vision
- Low blood pressure
Pregnancy and Valium
A woman who is or might become pregnant who is either taking or abusing Valium risks her child suffering from many possible ill effects. Cleft palate and other birth defects, addiction to the drug, difficulty feeding and other disorders are possible. A baby born to a Valium-using woman may suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Valium can also depress a baby’s heart rate during childbirth, which can be dangerous to the newborn.
Coming off Valium
Like the other benzodiazepines, it is dangerous to just quit using the drug. Many people must be tapered down off their dosage in a medical detox. In a medical detox, a person can be monitored and supported around the clock.
As they come fully off the drug, withdrawal symptoms will kick in for most people.
Withdrawal symptoms from Valium can consist of:
- Muscle and stomach cramps
- Muscle pain
When a person has been abusing Valium heavily, the withdrawal symptoms can be even more unpleasant and dangerous. A person could feel like life is unreal or that he has lost his identity, that his thoughts are not his own. He may have numbness in his extremities. If a person tries to get off Valium alone, without medical help, he could experience dangerous levels of disconnection resulting in inaccurate decisions and judgments.
What’s more, when a person is fully off Valium that he was taking for anxiety, his anxiety may be even worse when he gets clean than it was before. This is referred to as a “rebound” effect.
Valium comes in a 2 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg dose and is manufactured by Roche Pharmaceuticals.
Valium is one of the drugs that can cause abuse and addiction when a person has been taking it per doctor’s instructions if they lack adequate education on the problems that can result. If a person has a tendency toward drug or alcohol abuse, using Valium medically is even more dangerous.
As one’s tolerance goes up and the dosage climbs up as well, the side effects are likely to be more pronounced and the problems getting off the drug will also increase.
A person can take the drugs properly and then find that he can’t quit when he wants to, or he could start out abusing them after seeing his friends taking them. Either way, it takes a thorough drug rehab program to help a person steer a clean and sober path after addiction. The Narconon drug recovery program has been helping people find lasting sobriety after addiction to drugs like Valium, alcohol, heroin and others for forty-nine years.
The Narconon program not only addresses the debilitating effects of drug abuse on the mind and body, but also resolves why a person turned to drugs in the first place. As a result, a person can graduate from the program into a new life free from drug use.
Valium® is a registered trademark of Roche Products Inc.