Valium is a type of benzodiazepine, a sedative drug often prescribed to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures as well as symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. The generic name of the drug is diazepam, but it is also known by other street names, such as Vs, Yellow Vs, Blue Vs, benzos or tranks. It is available in both tablet and liquid form.
Valium affects the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the brain, which in turn, reduces hyperactivity and causes calming effects, such as euphoria, relaxation, less anxiety and sleepiness. However, the risk of Valium addiction or Valium abuse is high, especially when people consume the drug more than prescribed or without a prescription. Taking Valium for a duration longer than four months, even under doctor’s advice, can increase the risk of Valium addiction.
Unlike other types of drugs, most people do not necessarily take Valium to get high. They often take the drug for its calming or euphoric effects or to get sleep. Usually, people consider the drug safe and hence, continue to take it without realizing the fact that they can develop tolerance and eventually an addiction to it. This, in turn, may make them consume an increased quantity of the drug with time, just to get the same desired effects as before.
If someone is abusing Valium, there are common symptoms to look for. Side effects of Valium abuse include:
- Dry mouth
- Changes in appetite and mood swings
- Blurred vision
- Memory and concentration problems
- Clumsiness, slowed reflexes and other motor difficulties
- Sleeping difficulties and lethargy
- Severe withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug
Symptoms of Valium addiction
If someone is abusing Valium, there are some common symptoms to look for, such as:
- Doctor shopping — obtaining multiple prescriptions from different doctors to obtain more Valium
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not taking Valium
- An increased reliance on Valium in order to get through everyday life
- Aggressive behavior
- Episodes of psychosis
- Abuse of other drugs, including alcohol
- Permanent mental impairments