Diazepam has many names. One of the most famous of these belongs to Valium, a popular brand-name version of the drug. When individuals use Valium recreationally, it may go by other names.
These “street” names can include the following:
- Blue Vs
- Valley girls
Street names can make a drug seem cooler or less harmful. They make drugs appear sillier or more fun. They undermine the seriousness of any prescription drug abuse. People often underestimate the strength and potential side effects of Valium. Because doctors often prescribe this drug and it does have legitimate medical uses, you may be tempted to think of it as safe. However issues arise even with careful, medically monitored use. Recreational use has even more associated consequences.
The Issues Associated with Valium (Diazepam)
When Valium first entered the market, its makers advertised it as a safer alternative to other tranquilizer drugs such as Seconal and Nembutal. It quickly became widely prescribed and used. This early popularity led to issues and concerns.
The Consultant Pharmacistreports, “Medical professionals greeted benzodiazepines enthusiastically at first, skyrocketing their popularity and patient demand. In the mid-to-late 1970s, benzodiazepines topped all ‘most frequently prescribed’ lists…By the 1980s, clinicians’ earlier enthusiasm and propensity to prescribe created a new concern: the specter of abuse and dependence.”1
Dependence and addiction concerns, valid for the millions of people with Valium prescriptions, are even more pressing for those using the drug recreationally.
Valium (Diazepam) Abuse and Dependence
Any non-prescribed use of a drug is substance abuse. You can abuse Valium even if you have a prescription for it. Taking the drug more often or in larger amounts than your doctor recommends is considered abuse. It may not be illegal, but it is still harmful.
While you may feel you need more of the drug to manage anxiety or other symptoms, talk with a medical or mental health professional before making any changes to how or what you use. Tolerance is a common and often unavoidable side effect of Valium use.
Supplementary medications or therapy methods can help control symptoms to ensure you don’t just find yourself taking more and more of the drug. If you find you depend on Valium to feel good or can’t imagine going a day without the drug, consider reaching out for integrated treatment. This form of substance abuse treatment also addresses mental and physical health issues to ensure you find health and healing on multiple levels.
You may use Valium without any prescription at all. You may use it to feel good or in conjunction with other drugs. You may use it to self-medicate health concerns rather than seek a euphoric high. No matter the reason you use Valium without medical approval, you put yourself at increased risk for tolerance, dependence, and addiction.
You also put yourself at increased risk of side effects and issues such as the following:
- Loss of motor coordination
- Slow reflexes
- Abnormal muscle movements
- Cognitive impairment
- Difficulty focusing
- Memory loss
Recreational Valium use also takes a toll on your physical and mental health. You can experience greater depression or anxiety issues, the same concerns you may be hoping to self-medicate with the drug.
Ending Valium Use
Ending Valium use involves more than throwing away your pills and resolving to quit. When withdrawal symptoms occur, cravings hit, or mental health symptoms resurface, you will find yourself returning to the drug. Relapse is not a sign of failure, but it is a sign that you need more support for recovery.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that relapse doesn’t mean recovery is over or is impossible. Instead, they say, “For a person recovering from addiction, lapsing back to drug use indicates that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted or that another treatment should be tried.”2
Find professional treatment to achieve real, long-term recovery. Reach out to Black Bear Lodge at 706-914-2327. We offer personalized, integrated care. Call us to gain personal support and valuable life skills. Learn how to manage cravings and mental health symptoms. Learn how to rediscover overall well-being and joy in life.
1 Wick, Jeannette. “The History of Benzodiazepines.” U.S. National Library of Medicine. September 2013. Accessed 16 Jun. 2017.
2 National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction.” 1 July 2014. Accessed 16 Jun. 2017.