Written by: Dale Conlon
Medically Reviewed by: Dr Mateen Durrani – MBBS, DPM, MSc, BCPsych
Last Updated: January 3rd, 2023
Valium is a very common medication which is typically prescribed for the treatment of anxiety, muscle spasms, insomnia, restless leg syndrome and seizures. However, even though it can be an effective medicine, Valium is also commonly abused. It is frequently obtained from the dark web or from street dealers with both prescription and recreational use having the potential to result in Valium addiction.
If you or someone you know is addicted to Valium, the situation may seem hopeless but it doesn’t have to be. Primrose Lodge has helped many people overcome their addictions to Valium and we are waiting to help you get started on your road to recovery.
What is Valium and how is it abused?
Valium is a brand name for the benzodiazepine medication diazepam. It is usually taken as a tablet but can also be injected intravenously (into your vein) or intramuscularly (into your muscle), or taken by suppository. Valium is one of the world’s best-known medications which can help people with a range of conditions allowing them to live more comfortable lives.
However, despite the good that Valium can do, it is also commonly used recreationally for its pleasurable euphoric and sensitive qualities. This often leads to problems because Valium is highly addictive and, as with all benzodiazepines, withdrawal from Valium can be deadly.
Street names for Valium include Vs; downers; Vallies; benzos; tranks; and many others. As a result of it being obtained illicitly, Valium abuse is significantly more widespread than official figures are able to assert but it is agreed that Valium represents a significant proportion of the UK’s growing benzodiazepine problem.
How does addiction to Valium develop?
There are various ways that you can become addicted to Valium. You may have originally been prescribed Valium for a legitimate condition but became tolerant and ultimately physically dependent on the drug. This can happen very quickly with Valium and once you need to take the medicine just to get through a normal day, Valium addiction is a major risk.
Alternatively, your first introduction to Valium may have been from friends with whom you abused the drug recreationally. This is another common path to Valium addiction as curiosity or peer pressure can cause you to start taking Valium with a prescription on a regular basis. This can also cause you to become addicted to Valium as you need to take more and more Valium to have a good time or even just to function in your everyday life.
Whatever the route of your addiction to Valium, there will be underlying causes that made you more susceptible to addiction than other people. These may include childhood trauma, pre-existing mental health conditions, anxiety, depression or many others.
How does Valium addiction affect your health?
There are a number of negative health effects, both physical and mental, that are caused by Valium addiction:
Physical health effects…
- Motor skill impairment
- Increased risk of fatal accidents on the road and at work
- Impairment of motor skills
- Verbal incoherence
Mental and psychological effects…
- Cognitive deterioration
- Frequent bouts of confusion and disorientation
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Early onset and/or acceleration of dementia-related conditions
- Major depressive disorder
Valium overdose risks…
Valium should never be combined with alcohol as the mixture can be fatal. Long-term Valium users are at risk of serious health consequences and even death if they consume even a relatively small amount of alcohol.
Long-term use is also associated with an enhanced risk of overdose, which can also be fatal. Immediate medical attention should be sought for any Valium user displaying impaired breathing, loss of muscle control, hypotension, or loss of consciousness.
How Valium addiction affects other parts of your life
Addiction to Valium may strike anyone, regardless of demographic, and can have catastrophic consequences for your life.
Financially, the costs of procuring Valium from unofficial channels including the dark web can be very high as well as the obvious financial implications on your professional life. Unfortunately, Valium is a factor in many cases of chronic debt and even homelessness.
Valium addiction can also have terrible ramifications for your relationships with partners, family members, friends and colleagues. This may be because you are preoccupied with your addiction and neglect loved ones, lie to them about your Valium abuse or steal to get money for Valium. All of this can contribute to extreme social isolation and the consequent development of mental health issues like loneliness or depression.
Furthermore, it can also mean that you lose interest in ambitions and objectives which have hitherto been of great importance. This can again cause significant damage to your mental and emotional health and further isolate you from loved ones and society in general.
Do I need treatment for Valium addiction?
It can be difficult to recognise Valium addiction, particularly if the drugs were legally prescribed. Once Valium addiction arises, it will try and convince you that you need to keep taking the medication other than prescribed or when your prescription has expired. It is worth noting, however, that it is also possible to become addicted to Valium even if you only take it as directed by your doctor.
No matter the case, if you think you may have a Valium addiction, here are some things to consider:
- Do I use Valium other than for the reasons it was prescribed to me?
- Have I visited multiple doctors for different prescriptions or obtained Valium illegally?
- Do I use Valium so much that I am constantly fatigued, spaced out or lethargic?
- Does my Valium use affect my speech or motor functions?
- Have I ever drunk alcohol or mixed other substances with Valium to increase the effects?
- Have I experienced Valium withdrawal symptoms when I stopped taking the medication?
If you answered yes to these questions then you may well have an addiction to Valium. Contact Primrose Lodge today and we can help you get the treatment you need.
Effective treatment for Valium addiction
The most effective way to treat Valium addiction is through a multi-stage recovery programme incorporating detox, rehab and aftercare. The best place to do this is at a residential Valium rehab clinic where you will receive around-the-clock care and support from medical and addiction professionals. You also have the option of outpatient Valium treatment but is usually not so effective as you will still be able to obtain Valium and will have limited time with therapists and counsellors.
During your treatment in a Valium rehab clinic, you will address every facet of your addiction to Valium. To do this, you will go through three important stages: Valium detox, Valium rehab and aftercare. Each of these stages is crucial in effective recovery treatment with Primrose Lodge providing all three as part of our comprehensive Valium treatment programmes.
Valium detox is the vital first stage during which you cease taking the drug and allow your body to dispel all traces of it from your system. This allows your body and brain to repair and end the physical dependence you have developed.
Detoxing on your own at home can be dangerous as Valium withdrawal can have very severe withdrawal symptoms so it is always advisable to detox in a professional detox clinic.
The severity and length of your Valium withdrawal will depend on factors such as your overall health and the extent of your Valium use, but here is a general timeline:
Valium rehab treatment
The second stage of Valium addiction treatment is undergoing rehab. This will enable you to focus on the mental, psychological and emotional facets of your Valium addiction. This is best done at an inpatient rehab clinic where you won’t be able to get Valium and there will be none of the usual triggers or distractions that exist at home. You will also benefit from being surrounded by other people on the same journey with who you can share the experience in a mutually supportive environment.
Primrose Lodge is one of the UK’s highest-rated addiction treatment centres with benefits including:
- En-suite bedrooms
- On-site gym and other facilities
- A range of therapies including one-to-one therapy, group therapy, yoga therapy, family support therapy and meditation techniques
- Experienced therapists who have been through recovery themselves and who understand what you are going through
- Healthy diet and fitness plans to get you in the best shape for recovery.
Valium addiction aftercare
The final stage of effective Valium addiction treatment is aftercare which will help to prevent a relapse after you leave rehab. Primrose Lodge provides one-year free aftercare which will help to support you through difficult moments and keep you on the right track to lifelong recovery.
For more information about Primrose Lodge and our Valium addiction treatment programme, contact us today. We will explain more about what we offer and help you with the application process.
Frequently asked questions
- Attending aftercare therapy sessions
- Exercising regularly
- Eating well-balanced meals
- Getting adequate sleep
- Avoiding stress triggers and high-risk situations
- Talking to your support network whenever Valium cravings or difficult moments arise