Valium is the trade name for diazepam, a drug in the benzodiazepine class. Physicians typically use it as an anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and sedative. Valium has been commercially available since 1963 and is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world. It also has a significant potential for addiction like other benzodiazepines. Valium addicts typically require detoxification in a supervised setting such as Blue Water Detox.
Valium is typically used to treat anxiety and panic attacks. Physicians often administer it before surgical procedures such as an endoscopy, where the patient needs to be relaxed for the procedure to be successful. It is also a common treatment for short-term insomnia. Valium is helpful for relieving the withdrawal symptoms of drugs, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines and opiates.
Physicians may also prescribe Valium as a muscle relaxant to relieve muscle spasms caused by conditions such as spinal cord injuries, strokes or multiple sclerosis. Valium is also used to treat the hallucinations caused by an overdose of drugs such as cocaine, LSD and methamphetamines. Additional uses of Valium include the preventative treatment for the symptoms of excess oxygen, which often occurs during hyperbaric therapy.
The side effects of Valium are generally similar to other benzodiazepines. Therapeutic doses of Valium can cause the following effects:
- Impaired coordination and balance
- Loss of REM sleep
Valium can also cause paradoxical side effects in rare cases, meaning these side effects are opposite the primary effects of Valium. These effects include the following:
The biggest risk of taking Valium in therapeutic doses is driving a vehicle while under its influence. This is especially dangerous when combining Valium with alcohol.
An overdose of a benzodiazepine such as Valium typically produces the following symptoms within four hours:
- Impaired motor function
- Low blood pressure
Most fatal overdoses of Valium involve the use of additional drugs such as alcohol.
Users who are dependent on Valium may experience withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop taking this drug. Withdrawal symptoms of Valium typically begin within one to two days after discontinuing the drug. One-third of Valium users become dependent after taking it for four weeks continuously. The following withdrawal symptoms are generally common to all benzodiazipines:
Valium has a long half-life among benzodiazepines, so its withdrawal symptoms are relatively minor. The severity of the withdrawal symptoms depends on the period of use and the dosage, as well as the personality traits of the user. Half of all long-term Valium users may experience little or no withdrawal symptoms, while virtually all users with severe personality disorders will experience significant withdrawal symptoms from Valium.
The Valium detox process at Blue Water Detox generally involves a gradual reduction in the dosage of Valium to minimize the withdrawal symptoms. The goal of detox is to eliminate the patient’s physical dependence on Valium. This is the first phase of treatment and it must be completed before the rehabilitation phase of treatment can begin.
Valium detox should take place in an inpatient setting where the patient can be as comfortable as possible. Blue Water Detox provides medical staff members who monitor the patient’s vital signs around the clock. This ensures that the withdrawal symptoms do not become life threatening.
The detox phase may last several weeks, depending on the severity of the addiction. Patients with a long history of valium abuse will require a longer detox period, especially those who also abuse alcohol. Blue Water Detox can also customize a Valium detox program with additional therapies. These therapies may include nutritional training, physical therapy and treatment for co-existing medical problems.
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If you or someone you care for is currently caught up in the destructive grip of addiction, please seek help with Blue Water Detox. We are an addiction treatment provider that understands the struggle. We know the suffering of the addict and the heartache of the families involved.
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