Valium is often used in treating anxiety disorders. It has many other uses including the treatment of alcoholics during withdrawal, muscle spasms, and seizures.
Valium does have its side effects and dangers though, just like any other drug. If you are taking Valium, make sure to speak to your doctor about its effects and addictiveness.
What is Valium?
Diazepam (brand name Valium) is a part of the benzodiazepine group. These medications are sedatives which cause a person to become calmer or even drowsy. They are a helpful medication for people suffering from anxiety or even panic attacks. Valium is also used in treating irritable bowel syndrome.
Valium "comes as a tablet, extended-release (long-acting) capsule, and concentrate liquid to take by mouth" (NLM). While the use of Valium is often successful, it still has its pitfalls.
Is Valium Addictive?
Yes. Valium can become habit-forming and dangerous. If you are prescribed Valium by your doctor, it is very important not to exceed the prescribed dosage. According to CESAR, "tolerance to certain benzodiazepines occurs most often in those who have used for 6 months or more." If you are on Valium, or planning to go on Valium, you should speak with your doctor about these effects.
If a person becomes addicted to Valium, he or she will develop a heavy dependence on the drug. It will seem like nothing can be done without the aid of Valium. The addiction will only get stronger the longer a person allows it to continue.
How Can I Prevent Valium Addiction?
Here are some ways you can help prevent the possibility of Valium addiction:
- Follow your doctor's instructions when you are prescribed Valium. Do not exceed the dosage given or take Valium for longer than you are prescribed to take it.
- In the same way, do not skip doses or stop taking the drug altogether. There is a possibility that, if you are addicted, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. Some people even take the withdrawals as a sign that they do need Valium (because they feel bad without it) and continue to abuse the drug afterward.
- If you have any concerns about the effectiveness of the drug, speak with your doctor. Do not exceed the dosage because you feel it might not be working properly.
- If you feel that you should be taken off Valium, tell your doctor and your doses will most likely be slowly tapered off.
- Know that the longer you are taking Valium, the better your chances are of becoming addicted. If your doctor decides keep you on Valium for 4-6 months or longer, he or she will probably "counteract the effects of tolerance by increasing dosage in small increments or by adding another benzodiazepine to the prescription" (CESAR). Naturally, this should be done by a doctor, not at your own discretion.
Valium does have a possibility of becoming habit-forming, but with careful monitoring of your actions and a doctor's input, you can make sure that it does not become addictive for you.