Valium Addiction and Recovery
What is Valium?
Diazepam or Valium belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines and is commonly used to treat anxiety, alcohol withdrawal and seizures. It is also used to relieve muscle spasms and to provide sedation before medical procedures.
This medication is essentially a depressant drug that strengthens the effects of a neurotransmitter in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA slows down brain activity, so increasing GABA neurotransmission will result in less activity and reduced anxiety.
Street Names for Valium
Valium is known by a wide variety of names on the streets and these often refer to the colour or strength of the tablets.
- Yellow V’s
- Blue V’s
- Old joes
What are the Effects of Addiction to Valium?
Valium is a highly addictive drug which means that it (and others in the benzodiazepine class) create the phenomenon of tolerance which essentially means that over time, more of the drug is required to create the same effect.
According to National Institutes of Health this drug should not be taken for more than 4 months but reports vary on how long it takes for addiction to develop.
Every addict’s path into addiction varies. This is a complex disease with many underlying layers which coupled together with trauma, abuse, depression and anxiety make it difficult to diagnose and treat without effective residential care.
- Changes in the brain chemistry – short term
- Changes in the structure and function of the brain – long term
- Neglecting personal hygiene
- Disturbed sleep
- Unhealthy eating habits/malnutrition
- Pronounced problems with memory and concentration
- Lying to yourself/denial
- Apathy /Exhaustion
- Memory loss
- Mood Swings
- Potential increase in risky behaviour
- Financial problems
- Sexual problems
- Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Lack of interest in work/school
- Lack of interest and ability in maintain relationships/friendships
- Damaged relationships with family members
- Lying to others
- Damaged self-esteem and self-worth
- Damaged relationship with self
- Lack of interest in life
- Needing to take the drug before carrying out the daily activities of life
- Continuing to take the substance despite negative consequences
The signs and symptoms of Valium addiction get progressively worse over time and there will be no resolution until effective addiction treatment and aftercare are sought.
This is a particularly nasty drug to withdraw from and it is not advisable to do this without medical supervision because life threatening seizures can occur.
Some of the side effects of withdrawal from Valium include but are not limited to:
- Loss of bladder control / urine retention
The Two Stages of Withdrawal – Acute and Post-Acute
There are potentially two stages of the withdrawal from Valium addiction. The first stage has immediate acute symptoms and these are usually both physical and physiological. During stage two, former users experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms or PAWS.
These refer to a number of psychological symptoms which can last for weeks or months after the user has stopped taking the drug. This is one of many reasons why residential treatment is the most effective way to treat Valium addiction.
Post-acute withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Lack of motivation
- Inability to feel pleasure
- Anger or emotional outbursts
Valium Withdrawal at Hader Clinic
Valium withdrawal is very specific and symptoms may vary in severity and duration depending on the client. Usually these are both psychologically uncomfortable and potentially life threatening.
Accurate assessment by our capable medical team determines if our clients require a medicated period of detoxification. This will depend on the individual’s circumstances and symptoms are always closely monitored by our skilled clinical and medical staff and treated accordingly.
Our team are highly experienced in providing safe and effective Valium detox programs. They aim to keep clients as comfortable and supported as possible so they can participate in the program.
Evidence Based Valium Addiction Treatment at Hader Clinic
The Hader Clinic program is internationally acclaimed and our staff are experienced in treating people addicted to Valium. We recommend that clients, especially those with a long withdrawal period stay in residential treatment for the full 90 days. However, we also run the program for 28 days and 60 days.
At every stage of the process, clients are monitored, evaluated and their successes acknowledged. This really helps our staff to respond to what is going on for the clients and helps to instil an ever growing sense of self-esteem and a new found confidence.
The Primary Program is fully supervised 24 hours a day by a team of professional staff who want nothing more than to assist clients in their treatment goals. All of our case managers are in recovery creating a nurturing environment where real transformation is not only possible but tangible. They are great examples to clients entering our program who have given up hope that things can ever change.