Valium addiction symptoms will eventually emerge if a person is abusing this benzodiazepine drug. Some of the most common physical, psychological, and behavioral tipoffs of Valium addiction are:
Withdrawal from Valium, and other benzodiazepines, can be particularly dangerous. There is a general advisement that individuals who are abusing Valium should undergo a medically supervised detox process. Doing so will help to ensure that severe withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures, do not occur.
It belongs to the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Typically, Valium is used treat anxiety disorders or episodic anxiety (such as after a traumatic event), among other health conditions. Valium is shorting-acting, whereas some other benzodiazepines are long-acting. When a person takes Valium, its sedative effects usually set in within 30-60 minutes.
An individual may develop an addiction to Valium along different pathways. Two are especially of note. In one scenario, a person has a legitimate prescription for Valium, for a medically diagnosed reason. A person who takes Valium in accordance with a doctor’s orders faces little risk of developing of addiction. However, if the person takes too much Valium then addiction can set in. Valium has a strong addiction profile. In the other scenario, a person has no therapeutic need for Valium but begins to abuse this drug for any host of reasons, such as it being available (e.g., maybe a significant other has a legitimate prescription).
Valium may or may not occur as part of polydrug abuse. Valium abuse alone does not typically cause a fatal overdose. However, when Valium is used in combination with alcohol or other drugs, that combination can prove fatal.
In order to be diagnosed with a substance use disorder, a person must present at least two of 11 delineated symptoms. These symptoms must emerge within the same 12-month period. In other words, to even come into the realm of having a substance use disorder, a person must be experiencing more than episodic drug abuse.
Depending on the number of symptoms, the person will receive a grade of mild, moderate, or severe substance use disorder. The higher the number of symptoms, the more acute the grade. The term substance use disorder covers all disorders related to drugs within the DSM-5. However, the DSM-5 does have subcategories, including sedative use disorder. What we may call Valium addiction would fall under the sedative use disorder section.
As laid out in the DSM-5, the following are the 11 symptoms of a substance use disorder (paraphrased and applied to Valium in specific):
Researchers have discovered a host of side effects associated with Valium. Although research has occurred in the context of users with a lawful prescription, it can obviously apply with equal force to a person who abuses Valium. In fact, since a person who abuses Valium takes too much of this drug, the side effects can be more extreme.
The following is a partial list of the moderate side effects (symptoms, essentially) that can emerge after taking Valium:
The following is a partial list of the more severe side effects (or symptoms) associated with Valium:
Some of the more common withdrawal symptoms associated with Valium (diazepam) include but are not limited to:
The following is a partial list of the more severe withdrawal symptoms that can arise during Valium withdrawal:
Even though people may be aware that they are experiencing symptoms of addiction, they often do not want to respond because they want to keep using the drugs. This is one of the great complexities of drug use: In short, drugs lie to the brain and can make the person using the drug believe that everything is fine (as noted above, instill a delusion of wellbeing). But in many cases, drugs do not maintain a permanent grip on a person. Understanding the symptoms of Valium addiction can help a person with the crucial first step of identifying that there is a problem, which paves the way to getting help.
The behavioral signs of drug abuse can depend on many factors, such as the person’s age, the type of drugs of abuse, and the person’s living situation. The following is a partial list of some of the most common behavioral symptoms across different demographics:
According to anecdotal evidence online, Valium (like benzodiazepines in general) does not appear to be to injectable. Individuals who discuss this method of administration in drug forums advise one another that Valium is not water-soluble, it is too difficult to prep for injection, or the high is not worth the potential damage to the limb. For this reason, there will not typically be symptoms that include having paraphernalia to shoot up this drug (e.g., syringes, spoons, belts/ropes, lighters, etc.). However, according to WebMD, injectable Valium does exist, but it’s likely to only be found in emergency centers (e.g., if a person is having a seizure and cannot take Valium orally).