Valium is a prescribed anti-anxiety medication. Also known as diazepam, it is classed as benzodiazepine. Misuse of the drug can lead to a Valium addiction. Here, we highlight the signs of a Valium addiction as well as what you can do if you’re worried about your own Valium use or a loved ones.

What is Valium?

Typically prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders, muscle spasms, seizures and insomnia, Valium is a well-known prescription drug. In some instances, it is also used to treat alcohol withdrawal. As it’s used by doctors, there’s a common belief that Valium is safe. However, it’s a highly addictive drug – especially when it’s abused or used over a long period.

It works by providing individuals with a sedative-like effect for up to an hour but other side effects include weakness, confusion, blurred vision and dizziness. Combining Valium with other drugs, including opiates and alcohol, can be very dangerous.

What Effects Can Valium Addiction Have on the Brain?

When Valium is taken, it increases the GABA neurotransmitters in the brain which slows down the nervous system – hence why individuals feel calm and relaxed. A reduction in GABA can make some feel agitated and lead to seizures and muscle spasms. Because of this, it’s both physically and psychologically addictive and is not recommended for long-term use.

Valium is also considered a psychoactive drug as it alters the functions of the nervous system, changing a person’s mood and behaviour. In this instance, Valium is a depressant.

Withdrawal Symptoms of Valium

Some of the most common Valium addiction symptoms include:

  • Taking higher doses or using it more frequently
  • Going to extreme lengths to get Valium
  • Prioritising Valium over commitments and responsibilities
  • Continuing to take Valium despite the negative consequences it’s having
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms without Valium

When someone has a Valium addiction, they will suffer with cravings and side effects when they attempt to stop taking Valium or even just reduce their dosage. This includes mild symptoms like confusion, anxiousness, sweating, shaking, muscle pain, and cramps as well as more severe symptoms like hallucinations and seizures.

These symptoms can be very difficult to deal with, without medical intervention. They can even become dangerous which is why it’s advised that individuals are slowly weaned off Valium instead of stopping it abruptly. If you choose to withdraw in an addiction recovery centre, you’ll likely be given an alternative benzodiazepine to aid withdrawal.

Rehab Options for Valium Addiction

As Valium is such an addictive drug and withdrawing from it can be so dangerous, often the best chance for getting better is to attend a rehab clinic. In the UK, there are lots of different rehab options to choose from – including inpatient and outpatient.

Outpatient treatment is where treatment is provided at a clinic in the day and individuals then return home. Inpatient treatment, like the one at Ocean Recovery, is where individuals stay on site while they complete their treatment. Here, programmes usually last about 28 days. While it’s important to choose a treatment programme that will suit your needs, many experts believe that inpatient treatment offers the highest chance of long-term success.

This is because individuals are away from any familiar temptations and distractions and can instead use their time at rehab as respite. At Ocean Recovery, our private drug and alcohol rehab centre is set on Blackpool’s shores and offers a safe and supportive space for you to get better. Not only will you have access to 24/7 support and care but our leading facilities and state-of-the-art treatment provide you with everything you need to combat physical addictions and any behavioural symptoms. You’ll also be guided through the full detox process which is essential for your treatment to begin and the safest way to withdraw from Valium.

When you’re not taking part in group and individual therapy, we also encourage you to take advantage of our grounds as well as the range of wellbeing and holistic activities on offer. The aim is that, with the help of our team of doctors, nurses, mental health counsellors and wellbeing advisors, you can carve out a new and healthy lifestyle. We also encourage friends and family to get involved in your therapy where possible.

Before you leave our treatment centre, you’ll work with trained experts on aftercare and relapse prevention. We’ll also ensure you have details for local support groups and aftercare appointments with our team will ensure you stay on track. Our phone line is also always open – either for yourself or your family to get in touch with.

Get help with Ocean Recovery

If you’re struggling with Valium addiction, or are concerned about a friend or family member, the team at Ocean Recovery is here. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about, and we can help you to get to grips with your concerns – answering questions and outlining what treatment is available. You don’t even need to make a decision today. Our non-judgemental and completely safe process is ready when you are.

For friends and family members, we even offer a referral and intervention service which has provided so many people with exactly the right lifeline when they need it the most. So, why not take the first step today and regain control of your life? Valium addiction might be taking over your life right now but it doesn’t always need to be that way and we’re here to show you a way out.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: December 16, 2022

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.