Diazepam belongs to a category of drugs called benzodiazepines. It is prescribed to treat a variety of medical conditions including anxiety, seizures, muscle spasms, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, restless leg syndrome, and Meniere’s disease. This prescription medication is known to cause physical and psychological dependence, and a person who misuses this drug may need diazepam addiction treatment to stop using it. We can help you find a diazepam rehab center that will help you overcome your drug addiction.
Dangers of Developing an Addiction
“Long-term use of diazepam can lead to decreased cognitive function…” Valium is a central nervous system depressant. Like similar depressants, the drug increases the activity of the GABA neurotransmitter in the brain, which has a calming effect. The drug can induce feelings of euphoria, reduce anxiety and tension, and cause sedation. Diazepam is commonly abused by people who misuse multiple drugs, particularly alcoholics and heroin addicts. A poly-drug user who participates in diazepam addiction treatment typically needs to be treated for co-occurring addictions to other substances. Abuse of diazepam can lead to drug tolerance. As the body gets used to the drug, the person must increase the dosage amount to achieve the same affect. This can lead to the development of physical dependence where the person is unable to stop using the drug without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Psychological addiction may also occur and the person may feel he or she is unable to function properly without taking the drug. Long-term use of diazepam can lead to decreased cognitive function that persists long after use of the drug has ceased. The medication may also cause anterograde amnesia where the person is unable to remember events that occurred after taking the drug. Diazepam and other benzodiazepine drugs inhibit the brain’s ability to store new memories. Because of this effect, these drugs are frequently used to commit sex crimes. Diazepam reduces inhibitions, and a user may engage in acts he or she would not do when sober. The person may engage in irresponsible sexual activity that could lead to an unwanted pregnancy or the contraction of a sexually transmitted disease.
Diazepam can be injected intravenously, and the person may share a needle with someone who is infected with HIV or AIDS. People with a diazepam addiction may also drive while intoxicated and cause an accident. Drug tolerance to diazepam increases the risk of an overdose because the person has to take more of the drug to induce the same high. An overdose of diazepam is potentially fatal, especially if it is taken with other drugs such as alcohol. Signs of diazepam overdose include drowsiness, mental confusion, impaired motor function, dizziness, low blood pressure, and coma. A person who overdoses on diazepam requires immediate medical attention and should be taken to an emergency medical facility. After he or she has recovered from the overdose, the person is typically advised to obtain diazepam addiction treatment.
Warning Signs of Abuse
Diazepam is a highly addictive substance. Many people who are prescribed diazepam use the medication responsibly but become addicted by accident because physical dependence can occur after two to three days of use. However, other people have underlying issues that lead them to abuse drugs. If you or someone you know uses diazepam, it is important to know the signs of abuse and addiction so diazepam addiction treatment can be obtained as soon as possible.
Signs of diazepam abuse include:
- Taking more than the prescribed amount of the drug.
- Using the prescription at a faster than normal rate.
- Uncontrolled consumption of the drug.
- Paradoxical reactions to the drug, like excitement or rage.
- Memory loss.
- Abnormal behavior.
- Isolation or avoiding loved ones.
- Reduced performance.
- A strange odor on the person’s clothes, breath, or body.
A person may be addicted to diazepam if they exhibit signs such as:
- Being unable to stop using the drug without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
- Obsessing about the next time the drug will be consumed.
- Visiting multiple doctors to secure a prescription for the drug.
- Forging or stealing prescriptions.
- Feeling a compulsion to consume the drug.
- The person’s life revolves around obtaining and consuming the drug.
- Poor personal hygiene.
- Onset of psychological disorders, such as hallucinations and paranoia.
The Detoxification Process
“The best diazepam detox option is to gradually reduce the amount of diazepam…” Abruptly stopping your use of diazepam is not recommended because the symptoms of withdrawal can be severe and life threatening. Symptoms of diazepam withdrawal include muscle pain or cramps, anxiety, headache, confusion, tension, tremor, nausea, vomiting, sweating, increased sensitivity to sound or light, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, and seizures. The best diazepam detox option is to gradually reduce the amount of diazepam taken until complete abstinence has been achieved. The safest place to go through the detoxification process is at a diazepam rehab center, especially in the early stages of diazepam addiction treatment. The addiction specialist can monitor your progress and make sure you remain safe while your body purges the drug from its system.In addition to tapering the dosage of diazepam, other therapies may be prescribed that support the detoxification process.
These therapies include nutritional therapy, physical therapy, and the use of alternative medicines like herbs and acupuncture. Co-occurring medical problems will also be treated during and after the detoxification process, which may require the use of medication. For example, a person may become depressed, and an antidepressant may be prescribed to treat the condition.It can take several weeks to complete the detoxification phase of diazepam addiction treatment. It is important to be in constant communication with an addiction specialist to ensure your needs are being met.
Options Available for Treatment
After diazepam detox, the person will enter the next phase of his or her treatment for diazepam addiction. Typically, this phase will focus on addressing the person’s psychological addiction to the drug and the underlying issues that originally caused the addiction to develop. Counseling, psychotherapy, or a combination of both is usually prescribed to assist the person with this task.The purpose of drug counseling and psychotherapy is to help the person understand why he or she felt compelled to abuse drugs. The person will also be taught coping strategies for dealing with those issues and any other problems that may arise. Lastly, the person will typically learn cognitive-behavioral techniques that will assist him or her with changing thought patterns that may have contributed to the addiction and preventing relapse.
Counseling and psychotherapy services may be provided at a diazepam addiction treatment center or the person may be referred to a counselor, therapist, or psychologist who specializes in helping people with addictions. After the person completes the treatment program, it may be beneficial for him or her to continue seeing the therapist to work out other issues that may contribute to a relapse.
Diazepam addiction can be treated on an inpatient or outpatient basis. A person who elects for inpatient treatment will need to check into a diazepam rehab facility and remain there for the duration of his or her treatment. A person being treated on an outpatient basis will go to the treatment facility on a daily basis (usually excluding weekends and holidays) to meet with an addiction specialist and obtain medications. Inpatient treatment is best for people who need to remove themselves from their environments to overcome their addictions. The temptation to continue using drugs may be too strong for users to remain in their current environments.
Drug availability is restricted at inpatient treatment centers. Additionally, contact with the outside world is usually limited, especially at the beginning of diazepam addiction treatment. This allows the person to focus on recovering from the addiction and improves his or her chances of success.However, the person will have to leave his or her life for the duration of the treatment, which could mean a loss of employment.
Outpatient treatment allows the person remain in his or her environment while being treated for the addiction. People in this situation are able to maintain employment and benefit from the support of their social networks. Outpatient treatment is usually cheaper than inpatient treatment. Unfortunately, if the person is in an environment where diazepam and other drugs are readily available, he or she may give into temptation and relapse.To determine which treatment option is best for you, discuss your choices with someone you trust who can provide valuable feedback. Our representatives can also answer questions about diazepam addiction treatment.
Questions to Ask Before Entering a Rehab Center
There are many different types of diazepam rehab centers. Some only offer basic services, while others can be classified as luxury treatment centers. The type of rehab facility you choose to enter should be based on your needs and personal preferences. Although you want to obtain diazepam addiction treatment as soon as possible, it is important to spend some time thinking about what your ideal treatment center will offer. To clarify what your needs are, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Do you have special dietary needs?
- Do you have any preexisting or co-occurring medical conditions that need to be treated?
- Do you want to stay close to home or go to another area?
- Do you prefer alternative and/or naturopathic treatments?
- Do you want friends or family members to have the ability to visit?
- Do you prefer privacy or community?
- Do you have physical disabilities that must be accommodated?
- Do you prefer a specific location, such as the beach?
Obtain as much information about the facility as you possibly can. However, don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis. This is when a person constantly analyzes his or her options but does not make any real decisions. It can be a form of procrastination or avoidance of diazepam addiction treatment. If you need to, enlist the help of people who love and care about you to assist in the decision-making process.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.
- Drug Enforcement Administration. (n.d.). Benzodiazepines.
- Brett, J. & Murnion, B. (2015). Management of Benzodiazepine Misuse and Dependence. Australian Prescriber, 38(5), 152–155.