Side effects of Valium
Valium generally begins to take effect in about 30 minutes, and these can last for 12 to 24 hours. Following are some short-term effects of Valium:
- Muscle spasms and weakness
- Vision problems (e.g., blurred vision)
- Decreased alertness
- Reduced blood pressure
- Poor concentration
- Coordination problems, such as loss of balance (ataxia)
- Problems with memory and movement
Paradoxical effects such as aggression or disinhibition can also occur with benzodiazepines but these side effects are usually rare. Valium can be particularly dangerous when combined with other drugs such as alcohol and opioids, as this combination can dangerously slow heart rate and breathing, which can be fatal.
Benzodiazepines such as Valium also have a high potential for abuse, physical dependence and addiction. When taken for long periods of time or in larger doses than prescribed, the risk of negative side effects increases as does the risk of dependence and addiction on the drug.
Valium abuse: Long-term effects
Valium abuse often begins with a valid prescription from a medical professional that leads to drug tolerance with the drug’s long-term usage that may even cause some patients to increase their dosage, virtually leading to a drug addiction.
Taking Valium longer than three months can cause cognitive problems and can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal; physical dependence can develop after a few days or weeks of Valium use. Additionally, long-term Valium use can also slow a person’s breathing and heart rate and increase the risk of infectious disease when the drug is injected via shared needles.
Valium addiction: Dependence and withdrawal
Valium addiction can lead to compulsive drug use, drug cravings and continued use of the drug despite negative consequences that result from its use. Valium addiction is associated with withdrawal symptoms when a person tries to stop taking the drug. While Valium abuse rarely leads to death, it can still lead to physical and psychological dependence and its withdrawal symptoms that can be life-threatening.
People who take diazepam for long time periods or who take the drug in higher doses or longer than prescribed may also experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to suddenly stop taking the medication.
Following are some of the withdrawal symptoms of Valium abuse:
- Abdominal and muscle cramps
People who wish to stop taking Valium after taking the medication for a long period of time may need to be tapered off the drug by their prescribing physician.
Valium addiction treatment
Realizing that one has an addiction to drugs can be scary but timely and professional treatment can help one overcome his/her drug addiction and lead a clean and sober life. Depending on the intensity and frequency of the drug usage, a comprehensive treatment for Valium addiction is a holistic combination of medications, detox program and counseling sessions.
Due to the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms experienced by it’s users, detoxification treatment at certified Valium detox centers involves a tapering schedule to wean the patient off the drug in a way that minimizes the drug’s withdrawal symptoms. The doctor will slowly reduce the patient’s dosage to minimize withdrawal effects of the drug. A supervised Valium detox treatment is followed by individual or group counseling sessions to address any underlying psychological issues that an individual may have and also involves imparting life-skills to patients to help them cope without drugs post their treatment.