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Long-Term Effects of Valium Dependence

Valium (diazepam) belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are highly addictive central nervous system depressants that produce a calming effect when taken. They are considered psychoactive drugs and commonly treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, seizures, and alcohol withdrawal. Benzodiazepines work by enhancing the GABA neurotransmitters in the brain; this causes suppression of the activity of the nerves. 

What is Diazepam?

The National Institute of Health Diazepam StatPearls “Diazepam” states:

Diazepam is a Schedule IV controlled substance with the potential for abuse. Development of dependence and tolerance can occur in addiction-prone, long-term treatment or those patients taking high doses. Thus, these individuals should be under careful supervision. Once an individual develops dependence, the risk of developing withdrawal symptoms increases. Signs of benzodiazepine withdrawal include tremor, rebound anxiety, perceptual disturbances, dysphoria, psychosis, agitation, irritability, restlessness, sweating, headache, confusion, myalgias, abdominal pain, and vomiting. In long-term use and abrupt cessation, there is potential for hallucinations and epileptic seizures to occur. (NIH)

Valium is a long-acting benzodiazepine that has been around for several years. At one point in time, it was the most prescribed drug in the US. Valium is commonly used in veterinary medicine too. 

The Most Common Side-Effects of Valium Use

When Valium is taken as prescribed, it has several potential side effects. These side-effects, however, are temporary and should eventually go away. When Valium is abused, users will experience a euphoria followed by a lack of coordination and a feeling of being drunk. And, the physical dependence on the drug can happen rather quickly, especially if it is abused or misused. Some of the most common side-effects can include:

  • Nausea 
  • Dry mouth
  • Trouble urinating
  • Decreased breathing rate
  • Change in heart rate
  • Blurred vision

Long-Term Effects of Valium Dependence

Using Valium over a long period can have devastating effects on the brain and body. Some of these effects can even be permanent. One of the side-effects of long-term dependence is that the body develops a tolerance to the drug. The person that has become dependent needs more and more of the drug to have the same desired effect. Some of the other long-term effects of Valium dependence can include:

  • Hallucinations 
  • Memory loss
  • Slowed pulse
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coma
  • Heart attack

Also, chronic benzodiazepines like Valium can cause depression, cognitive deficits, aggressive behavior, and even psychotic experiences. Some of the other symptoms of chronic use or abuse of Valium can include:

  • Constant drowsiness 
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach issues
  • Blood in the urine or stool
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nightmares
  • Seizures
  • Impaired judgment 

Long-term dependence on Valium can be debilitating to get off of. The withdrawal symptoms are both dangerous and can be very unpleasant to a person. 

The Common Valium Withdrawal Symptoms

Abruptly discontinuing Valium after long-term dependence can be potentially dangerous. Some of the common withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Dizziness 
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Seizures 
  • Tachycardia 
  • Respiratory distress
  • Hallucinations 
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Personality changes
  • Numbness
  • Coma

Valium or withdrawal from any other benzodiazepine is best done under a physician’s care. Dangerous seizure activity can occur if the medication is abruptly discontinued. Withdrawals are best treated in a medically supervised detox facility under the care of medical staff.

Start Treatment Program for Valium Addiction at Evoke Wellness at Cohasset

Evoke Wellness at Cohasset has medically supervised detox treatment for anyone struggling with an addiction or dependence on Valium or other benzodiazepines. Our staff will keep you safe and comfortable through the detox process. Evoke Wellness at Cohasset offers evidence-based addiction treatment that caters to the individual needs of each patient. Our facility is staffed with experienced and compassionate medical professionals. We are very understanding and treat all patients with the utmost respect. If you are ready to fight your addiction and start the recovery process, we are ready to help you! So choose recovery over substance abuse and get your life back on the right track today.