Diazepam, the drug known by the trade name Valium, is used for a number of medical purposes, primarily in helping sedate patients, and also in the treatment of seizures, anxiety and alcohol withdrawal. As useful a drug as diazepam is, serious side-effects are possible. These include agitation, memory problems, confusion, balance issues, tremors and muscle weakness. What are the side effects of Valium that you should be concerned about, though? The truth is that the most serious side-effect of Valium is the potential for addiction that it comes with. If you know someone struggling with Valium addiction, you can get information to help them by calling Detroit Drug Treatment Centers at 313.483.3069.
As a Schedule IV drug, Valium is considered a low risk of addiction. Nevertheless, it is recommended for prescription no more than two weeks at a time. When prolonged use is called for in rare cases, doctors allow no more than four weeks together on the drug. Such use can be high risk because chances of physical dependence tend to rise. Full-blown addiction is likely when use is continued beyond four weeks.
Addiction to Valium begins in the form of tolerance. Tolerance is readily perceptible to anyone with a prescription for the medication. One is likely to notice diminished effect with use extending beyond a week. They are likely to feel the need to take a larger quantity to continue to receive the effect that they saw starting out.
Tolerance is the brain's defense mechanism. When the chemicals in such drugs interfere with brain function, the brain readjusts internal chemical levels to help maintain normal function. When such readjustment occurs, there is little of the desired effect felt with regular quantities of the drug taken, however. Usually, the user's response to tolerance is to increase the dosage. The brain continues to readjust to produce tolerance until it no longer can.
When the threshold is crossed, the brain is no longer able to cope and becomes dependent on the presence of the drug to even function. This is physical dependence.
Constant use also produces psychological dependence, a condition in which exposure causes a chemically-induced emotional attachment to the drug. Psychological dependence is the most fearsome part of any addiction. It can stay with the user for life and can require extensive therapy and rehab to overcome.
Valium belongs to the benzodiazepam class of drugs. These drugs can be difficult to withdraw from; quitting can be difficult once physical dependence sets in. It takes rehab with specially trained experts to treat withdrawal from this drug.
Since not many rehabs have expertise in withdrawal from Valium, it's important to know how to assess a center for competence. It's a good idea to gather enough knowledge before approaching a center. The Ashton Manual is one of the best sources of information available. It is also a good idea to sign up to an online forum for benzodiazepine detox. In most cases, there is no specific treatment available for the withdrawal symptoms seen in Valium withdrawal. Rehab, however, can help patients stick to a plan to quit, and offer symptomatic relief in some cases.
Rehab can also help recovering addicts once detoxification from the drug completes. Extensive rehab therapy can help patients go into their reasons for sliding into such addictive behavior and make corrections. Psychiatric treatment may be called for, as well. Such treatment may be essential for long-term sobriety. When you feel that you need help or advice for a Valium addiction, call Detroit Drug Treatment Centers at 313.483.3069 to speak to someone about your options.