Valium is a type of benzodiazepine, a sedative drug that is often prescribed by doctors to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures. It is also used to treat the symptoms from alcohol withdrawal. Valium’s generic name is diazepam and comes in tablet or liquid form. Street names for Valium include Vs, Yellow Vs, Blue Vs, benzos or tranks.
Valium affects the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the brain, reducing hyperactivity and causing calming effects which include euphoria, relaxation, less anxiety and sleepiness. However, the risk of Valium addiction or Valium abuse is high, especially when people take more than prescribed or without a prescription. Taking Valium for longer than four months, even under doctor’s orders, also raises the risk of Valium addiction.
Unlike other types of drugs, most people don’t necessarily take valium to get high. They often take it for its calming or euphoric effects or to help them sleep. They may also take it without realizing they can become addicted to Valium, believing it to be safe because it is a legal drug. They may develop tolerance to the drug, and end up taking more just to feel the same effects as before. They can take too much and overdose.
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
Valium addiction also has certain signs. These include:
- 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
Valium abuse and Valium addiction are serious problems; a person may be unable to function without the drug and it can affect every aspect of their life. They will need to seek valium addiction treatment.