Valium (diazepam) is a prescription benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety. It slows down the central nervous system so a person can relax. Some people enjoy this calming sensation and abuse Valium, whether they need it for anxiety or not.
When someone becomes addicted to Valium, they lose control over their drug use. In most cases, drug addiction consumes a person and determines how they spend their time and money. It also can have devastating effects on their physical and mental health.
Looking out for these seven signs your loved one is addicted to Valium may help you save their life.
1. They Take Valium Outside Of Prescription Guidelines
Many people who become addicted to Valium start taking it as prescribed by their doctor. Over time, their body develops a tolerance to it, requiring higher doses to achieve the same relaxing effect.
Some people adjust their dosage without a doctor’s recommendation. They take more Valium at a time, take it more often, or continue to take it after their doctor stops prescribing it.
If your loved one is abusing Valium, they will have to obtain the excess pills from somewhere. They could be “doctor-shopping,” visiting several doctors for prescriptions.
They might also be getting Valium from someone they know or buying it online. Some websites do not require a prescription. If they obtain the drug illicitly, they may store it in unmarked containers, plastic wrap, or baggies.
Diazepam comes as a white, yellow, orange, or blue tablet that is meant to be swallowed.
Crushing the pills to snort them could also be a sign that your loved one is struggling with addiction. You may find powder residue and paraphernalia such as straws or rolled paper among their belongings.
2. They Have Financial Problems From Buying Valium
The more Valium your loved one takes, the higher their tolerance, so they will continue to need greater amounts of the drug. This gets expensive, especially as they buy it through sources that are not covered by insurance.
Some people end up selling prized possessions or stealing money from loved ones to pay for their addiction. They may ask you for money to pay for rent or gas, only to use it on Valium.
3. They Lose Interest In Things They Love
Valium may be your loved one’s first priority if they are addicted to it. They are likely to spend a lot of their time seeking it, taking it, and experiencing its effects, which leaves little room for anything else.
If you notice that your loved one is no longer doing things they used to enjoy, such as hobbies or spending time with friends, this can be a red flag. Strained or broken relationships may also be a sign of addiction.
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4. They Perform Poorly At Work Or School
Realigned priorities may also mean that your loved one does not put as much effort into their job or schoolwork as they previously did. It may be difficult to show up and work if they are drowsy and distant from abusing Valium.
Job loss is common among individuals who suffer from addiction and worsens the money problems your loved one may have because of their drug use.
5. They’re Heavily Sedated From Taking Too Much Valium
As a sedative, Valium (diazepam) slows a person’s brain activity, breathing, and heart rate. The goal is to help them deal positively with everyday stress.
If they take too much, they may become over-sedated and have symptoms like:
- blurred vision
- slurred speech
- muscle weakness
Valium stays in the body much longer than other benzodiazepines. If your loved one is addicted to it and taking it too often, the drug can build up in their system and make these symptoms worse. This also increases the risk of Valium overdose.
6. They’re Very Anxious Despite Taking Valium
Individuals who abuse anti-anxiety drugs like Valium (diazepam) may experience more anxiety than before. These drugs are only effective to a certain point and can weaken a person’s natural ability to deal with stress.
Valium abuse can also cause adverse psychological reactions, such as:
- memory problems
7. They Experience Valium Withdrawal Symptoms
Like most benzodiazepines, Valium (diazepam) can cause a person to develop a physical dependence. When the body relies on a drug to function properly, it goes into withdrawal when the drug is not present.
Your loved one may have Valium withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop taking the drug. A doctor will generally implement a tapering program to slowly reduce Valium dosage and avoid or lessen withdrawal symptoms.
Valium withdrawal symptoms include:
- tingling in extremities
- muscle pain and tension
- sensitivity to light, noise, and touch
If your loved one is addicted to Valium, they may have withdrawal symptoms between doses as some of it leaves their system. Withdrawals are likely to be more severe as well.
Find Treatment For Valium (Diazepam) Addiction
Treatment for Valium (diazepam) addiction usually begins with medically supervised detox. This helps your loved one manage life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in a safe environment.
After detox, our inpatient rehab programs at Vertava Health provide the constant support that most people need to recover. We create unique treatment plans for each person based on their experience with addiction.
Behavioral therapy, nutrition, and exercise are essential aspects of our multidisciplinary care that prepare people for healthier lives after treatment. We also encourage family involvement so you can support your loved one as they seek freedom from addiction.