Valium, otherwise known as diazepam, is a benzodiazepine that belongs to the same drug family as other popular anxiety relief drugs like Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan, per MedicineNet. All of these drugs are used for their sedative, tranquilizing effects on the central nervous system.
Valium has only grown in popularity since its introduction in 1963 and exploded even more so when generic versions were able to capitalize on the population after Valium’s patent ran out in the mid-1980s. In 2010, the use of anxiety-treating prescription drugs like Valium had risen 30 percent in comparison to 10 years prior, according to the USA Today. That same year, more than 60 million prescriptions were handed out for Valium and similar medications, per Drug Abuse Recognition Training.
When is Valium Prescribed?
According to WebMD, Valium is commonly prescribed in the treatment of:
- Panic disorder
- Acute repetitive seizures
Abuse of and Addiction to Valium
For many, addiction to prescription drugs like Valium begins with regular use under the supervision of a doctor which eventually progresses to misuse before the user becomes dependent on the drug. Addiction is classified as an inability to cut back on or quit drug use that includes cravings for the substance, difficulty keeping one’s behavior in check, a lack of awareness for one’s actions and the effects of such on one’s relationships with others, and perhaps even mood lability issues, per the American Society of Addiction Medicine. The popular drug is a top killer in many nations, such as Scotland, where it claimed 32 percent of drug-related fatalities in the year 2011, according to Vice Media.
Of particular concern is the number of people using Valium in conjunction with other harmful drugs, like opioid painkillers. One study reported by Medical Daily
delivered alarming results touting a fourfold increased likelihood that those who received opioid pain reliever prescriptions were also leaving their physician’s office with a script for a sedative like Valium, too. Between 2000 and 2010, admissions to drug treatment facilities for the abuse of both narcotic pain relievers and benzodiazepines combined rose almost 570 percent, per Everyday Health
, and of them, 46 percent admitted to everyday use of benzos like Valium. About 30 percent of all nationwide drug-related overdose fatalities were attributed to anti-anxiety medications like Valium in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
In many cases, Valium is prescribed for persons suffering from certain mental health disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder. Sometimes other disorders are masked by the presence of a dominant disorder, making diagnosis difficult and setting the stage for substance abuse as a form of self-medication. The National Alliance on Mental Illness
notes that individuals with present anxiety disorders are more probable of engaging in drug and/or alcohol use and abuse. Drugs like Valium, combined with opioid painkillers, are responsible for the one in 10 young teens who received treatment at emergency departments over a year’s time spanning 2012 to 2013, per Aljazeera America
Treatment for Valium Addiction
An addiction to Valium requires a specific treatment process geared toward prescription drug abuse. Upon admission to a treatment center, you will be interviewed by medical staff who will assess the severity of your dependency on Valium and often screen you for the presence of other mental health disorders. It is vital to your success in any rehabilitation program that you are upfront about your drug abuse habits and emotional state.
Around half of all people who use Valium for at least six months show some signs of dependency, according to LovetoKnow. Initially, detoxification from the drug is necessary in order to complete withdrawal and set the user up for effective treatment. Though some will not continue with any form of professional support post-detox, those who do stand to have a better chance at permanent abstinence from drug abuse. Detox in and of itself is not considered comprehensive drug addiction treatment.
Depending on your individual circumstances, therapy modules such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may be used to remediate some of the addictive behaviors you’ve become accustomed to. During therapy, you will also learn how vital it is to change your lifestyle post-treatment. If you regularly spent your time with other addicts, it is crucial to make new friends and avoid the same people and places that triggered you to use before seeking treatment. Otherwise, you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. Sober living centers are great options for individuals wishing to live in a sober, supportive environment post-treatment.
At Rehab International, we can assist you in finding the perfect treatment center that will help to bring you closer to a drug-free life. Call us today for help in finding the right treatment center for your particular situation. We are here 24 hours a day to take your call.