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Diazepam Dependence – Signs of Diazepam Use Vs. Abuse, Tolerance

Diazepam, otherwise known by its brand name Valium, has some significant medical benefits. Diazepam belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. These drugs enhance the effects of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that help nerve cells send signals to other nerve cells. Diazepam acts on GABA, a neurotransmitter that slows down the brain activity that can lead to anxiety. Doctors prescribe diazepam to treat seizures, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and anxiety. Unfortunately, many individuals use this drug recreationally, often alongside alcohol, cocaine, or heroin. Signs of diazepam abuse include taking high doses of the drug, particularly if smaller doses were prescribed, and taking the drug along with other drugs or alcohol. If you or someone you know shows signs of diazepam abuse, support is available. Consider filling out the brief contact form or calling 1-888-803-9961 to find out more about available inpatient and outpatient services.

Is Diazepam Addictive?

Diazepam, like other benzodiazepines, is addictive, but exactly how addictive is diazepam? Diazepam’s potential to lead to addiction depends on the individual. In individuals who have no history of addiction, diazepam is no more addictive than other benzodiazepines. In individuals who do have a history of addiction, however, diazepam addiction can easily occur. Once swallowed or injected, diazepam acts very quickly on the body, producing an almost instant feeling of euphoria. Because of the rapid onset of the drug’s effects, diazepam has a high rate of abuse.

Understanding Diazepam Dependency and Tolerance

Over time, individuals can develop a tolerance for diazepam. These individuals will require larger doses to achieve the same effects. This tolerance can occur even if you are using diazepam as directed by your doctor. With these larger doses, diazepam dependence can occur. This dependence is both psychological and physical, and it can develop in as little as two weeks. Because diazepam produces feelings of euphoria and relieves anxiety, individuals can crave diazepam because they long for these psychological results. Diazepam use also produces physical dependence, and withdrawal symptoms are common once diazepam is no longer used. If you or someone you know is experiencing diazepam dependence, contact us by telephone or by our contact form to explore the available treatment options.

Effects/Side Effects

In small doses, the short-term effects of diazepam include drowsiness, confusion, weakness, and dizziness. When used recreationally in larger doses, however, diazepam has the exact opposite effect. In larger doses, diazepam produces a euphoric feeling, similar to that of barbiturates or alcohol. You might feel excitement and a loss of inhibition. You will likely act as if you are drunk, slurring your words and stumbling as you walk. When coming down from diazepam, you will likely experience a headache and sleepiness. The major long-term effects of diazepam use are tolerance and dependency. Diazepam tolerance and dependency can create problems at work and at home. If diazepam use is causing problems for you or someone you know, please know that you are not alone. Help is available.

Withdrawal and Detoxification

When individuals who take diazepam stop using the drug, they often experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include irritability, sleeplessness, anxiety, headaches, fatigue, and nausea. In some cases, seizures can occur. If you have used high doses of diazepam for a long time, do not attempt to stop cold turkey. Suddenly stopping diazepam can produce serious side effects. Doctors generally recommend gradually decreasing the dose of diazepam to alleviate severe withdrawal symptoms. Help is available for those experiencing withdrawal from diazepam. If you or someone you know needs help with diazepam withdrawal, an inpatient or outpatient program can help with the detoxification process. Please call 1-888-803-9961 or fill out our short contact form if you would like more information.

Treatment for Diazepam Addiction

Diazepam abuse treatment is available. Doctors can adjust diazepam dosage to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, doctors may prescribe other medications to relieve the symptoms. Because diazepam addiction often goes hand-in-hand with addictions to other substances, a comprehensive treatment plan is often warranted. Both inpatient and outpatient treatment options are available to help with the detoxification process. Counselling sessions, both individual and group, can help with the psychological issues of addiction. If you are concerned about your own addiction to diazepam, support is right at your fingertips.