Although it is no longer in the media spotlight the way it once was, the word “Valium” still conjures up images of affluent, semi-sedate, men and women that live in a glacial, almost trance-like world where nothing bothers them because they are too loaded up on Valium to care. For nearly two decades, during the 70s and 80s of the 20th century, Valium was the generic solution that many doctors prescribed—especially to affluent women. It was promoted as the cure-all, anti-anxiety drug that would help them cope with everything from the minor stress of an upcoming wedding to long-standing psychological anxiety issues. Everyone that took Valium relaxed, which didn’t seem like a bad thing.

Unfortunately, most people that took Valium also developed a serious addiction to it, and in many cases, it silently wreaked havoc with many otherwise upstanding lives, as financially well-to-do men and women alike were simply prescribed increasingly larger amounts of Valium for years, courtesy of their own doctors.

Today, there is a much clearer understanding of the dangers of Valium and Valium addiction treatment has made a lot of progress.

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What Is Valium?

Valium, otherwise known by its generic, medical name Diazepam, falls under a class of drugs known as Benzodiazepines. This class of drugs is generally prescribed as an anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant, and in some cases, has even been prescribed to aid in withdrawal from alcohol addiction. Of the “Benzos” generally available to the public through prescription, Valium is popular for its effectiveness and longer lasting effects compared to other Benzos such as Xanax or Klonopin.

Valium is classified as a “Schedule IV” drug by the United States, meaning that is considered a relatively low risk for addiction, but is also approved for various medical uses and can be legally prescribed by doctors. It was widely prescribed for many years for a host of different problems at different degrees of severity. Today, however, it’s understood that Valium addiction, despite the low schedule rating, is a very real problem, and Valium addiction treatment should be taken seriously.

How Valium Addiction Occurs

Unlike some painkillers such as morphine or other opioids, Valium addiction is not necessarily a quick, “overnight” process. It replaces some neurochemicals in the brain when it takes effect, and can slow down electrical activity in the brain, which reduces stress. Because of this powerful anti-anxiety property, it creates a general feeling of relaxation, though not necessarily the intense euphoria that opioids can cause. Because it relaxes both mind and body, Valium is a popular drug with people experiencing a great deal of stress, since it so quickly and effectively nullifies those feelings.

The real danger of Valium addiction comes from prolonged usage. Because Valium is an anti-anxiety drug, and life generally does not suddenly stop creating stress, many people will be prescribed Valium and then take it regularly for extended periods of time. Psychological addiction to Valium can occur in as little time as a week since it is so effective at reducing stress.

But Valium is a physically addictive drug as well, meaning that the body will actually develop a genuine craving and dependency on it once it replaces the chemicals the brain normally produces for itself. The physical addiction can take place after about four months of use, or less depending on the amounts ingested, which is why today it is generally recommended that people do not take Valium for more than a few months or else they will likely require Valium addiction treatment.

Detoxing From Valium

Valium rehab, like some other drug addictions, requires a careful detoxification process. Because of the intense physical addiction that long-term users of Valium develop, a “cold turkey” approach of simply stopping consumption of the drug can result in very violent and painful withdrawal symptoms, such as vomiting, hallucinations, seizures, abdominal cramps, and more. This is why it is recommended that detoxing from Valium take place in an experienced, professional Valium addiction treatment center for safe, controlled monitoring and support of the situation.

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