Common colds, flu viruses and sprained muscles are easy to identify. When family members demonstrate symptoms of these common problems, their loved ones know just what to do in order to relieve the suffering. Unfortunately, an addiction to Valium rarely produces the same clear-cut set of symptoms.
Instead, the problem tends to develop differently in different people, and sometimes, the symptoms an addiction produces can be so subtle that they can be easy to miss.
Valium, or diazepam, is part of a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. These drugs are used to treat anxiety, alcohol withdrawal and seizures. Valium works in the brain to calm brain chemicals and nerves that might become agitated or unbalanced due to excessive stress or other conditions that lead to anxiousness.1 When used as part of a treatment plan, Valium can help those struggling with the symptoms of the conditions it’s designed to treat. Valium, like other benzodiazepines, is highly habit forming.
Using the drug for long periods of time or in ways other than prescribed by a physician can quickly lead to dependence and addiction.
Signs of Valium Addiction
People who have an addiction to Valium are, not surprisingly, under the influence of the drug most, if not all, of the time. The signs of drug intoxication might be subtle, particularly in people with long histories of drug abuse and a subsequent high tolerance for the drug.
Along with the common side effects of sedation and euphoria, people under the influence of Valium can often:
- Fall asleep in the middle of conversations
- Seem blissfully happy for no reason at all
- Express affection in odd moments
- Nod off while driving2
Long-term abuse of diazepam can also produce emotional blunting, meaning that people with advanced cases of addiction might struggle to connect with others on a deep, non-intellectual level. While their family members might rant and cry, an addicted person might seem so sedated and buffered that this kind of response is unlikely.
Other Health Issues
It’s not uncommon for people with a Valium addiction to land in the hospital. According to a CNN report, 30 percent of all prescription drug overdose deaths in 2013 were the result of Valium abuse.3
Valium is a sedative, meaning that it can slow breathing rates to a crawl. People who take very high doses of the drug might do so in order to bring about euphoria, but their habits might sedate their bodies to such a degree that they compromise their ability to stay alive. In the hospital, experts might run blood and urine tests, looking for evidence of drug use. If those tests flag Valium, that should prompt the family to hold a discussion about addiction.
People who inject Valium pills into their veins may also develop pockets of infected tissue, as the pills don’t tend to break down in the bloodstream. Strange and unusual blisters, frequent complaints of arm pain or even insistences of wearing long sleeves at all times could be indications that abuse is taking place.
If you’ve seen the signs of Valium addiction in someone you love, we’d like to help. Please call us at Black Bear Lodge, and we can explain how Valium addiction care works and how it might help you or your loved one. Our calls are confidential, so you won’t need to worry about betraying your loved one’s trust. Instead, you’ll be doing your part to make things better.
Please call us to find out more about Valium addiction treatment today at 706-914-2327. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and help you find treatment. Call us now.
1 “Valium Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing.” WebMD, WebMD, Apr. 10, 2018.
2 “Common and Rare Side Effects for Valium Oral.” WebMD, WebMD, Apr. 10, 2018.
3 Storrs, Carina. “Benzodiazepine Overdose Deaths Soared in Recent Years, Study Finds.” CNN, Cable News Network, 18 Feb. 2016.