What Are the Short and Long-Term Side Effects of Valium?

Medically Reviewed

Valium is a drug that treats various types of disorders related to an overactive nervous system, but it is used mostly in calming the nerves of those struggling with anxiety. Anxiety is a crippling disorder that causes a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. It is also characterized as a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, usually with compulsive behavior or panic attacks. Occasional anxiety is an expected part of our lives.

The first day of a new job, taking a certification exam or university finals, or even one’s diet or negative thing can all cause anxiety. Anxiety disorders, however, are much more severe and involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person who struggles with this disorder, it will not go away and can get much worse over time. Symptoms can begin to interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, or relationships.

People who have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive anxiety or worry most days for at least six months about matters ranging from personal health to social interactions. The fear and anxiety may cause significant problems in all areas of their lives.

Some of these symptoms include:

  • Being easily fatigued
  • Feeling restless, wound up, or on edge
  • Being irritable
  • Muscle tension
  • Inability to concentrate; mind goes blank
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep
  • Unsatisfying sleep

Researchers have found that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the risk of developing an anxiety disorder.

While These Risk Factors Can Vary Based On The Type Of Disorder, General Risk Factors For All Anxiety Disorders Include:

  • History of anxiety or other mental illnesses in biological relatives
  • Exposure to stressful and negative life environmental events as a child
  • Temperamental traits of shyness or behavioral inhibition in childhood
  • Physical health conditions

Anxiety disorders affect 18.1 percent of adults in the United States, which translates to roughly 40 million adults between the ages of 18 and 54. Other studies assert that this number is much higher, as many people don’t seek help or are misdiagnosed.

Anxiety disorders cost the nation roughly $42 billion a year, almost one-third of the $148 billion total mental health bill set aside for the U.S. Those with anxiety disorders are three to five times more likely to go to the doctors, and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than non-sufferers.

A staggering 41 percent of employees from a range of industries reported high levels of anxiety in the workplace. These high numbers and debilitating facts about the disorders highlight needs to treatment. Many of those who seek treatment for their disorder will be prescribed drugs such as Valium, or other benzodiazepines to contain the worst symptoms and cope with life.

Unfortunately, these drugs can be addictive and are not supposed to be prescribed for more than three weeks at a time. Let’s take a more in-depth look at Valium’s side effects.

What Is Valium?

Valium is a benzodiazepine drug that was popularized by The Rolling Stones song “Mother’s Little Helper” in 1966. The song deals with the sudden popularity of prescribed calming drugs among homemakers and the potential hazards of overdose or addiction.

The medication also goes by the name of diazepam, and it is used to treat anxiety and nervousness. In some cases, it is also used to treat alcohol withdrawal, relax muscles, and manage specific types of seizures. It falls in line with the group of medications known as central nervous system (CNS) depressants, which are medicines that slow down the nervous system. Valium should only be taken as prescribed by a doctor, and it should never be taken more often or longer than recommended.

Valium is a benzodiazepine drug that was popularized by The Rolling Stones song “Mother’s Little Helper” in 1966. The song deals with the sudden popularity of prescribed calming drugs among homemakers and the potential hazards of overdose or addiction. The medication also goes by the name of diazepam, and it is used to treat anxiety and nervousness. In some cases, it is also used to treat alcohol withdrawal, relax muscles, and manage specific types of seizures. It falls in line with the group of medications known as central nervous system (CNS) depressants, which are medicines that slow down the nervous system. Valium should only be taken as prescribed by a doctor, and it should never be taken more often or longer than recommended.

Short-Term Side Effects

Valium decreases activity in the central nervous system, including the way brain signaling or communication takes place between brain centers.

When Someone Uses Valium, They May Experience Symptoms Such As:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Euphoria
  • Feelings that replicate being drunk

Once the Valium high peaks, there can be a period of withdrawal. The feelings emerge as the brain rebounds and speed up from its intoxicated state and produce undesirable side effects that include:

  • Irritation
  • Fever
  • Rebound anxiety (Anxiety that returns worse than what was being treated)
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach cramps
  • Seizures

The danger of Diazepam is that tolerance can build up quickly, which makes it much more challenging to achieve the euphoric state that came with the initial dose they started with. The user will then resort to taking higher doses of Valium, which can then increase the risks of addiction and overdose. The compulsion to take more copious amounts of the drug is one of the signs of addiction.

Long-Term Side Effects

Prolonged use of Valium can cause adverse effects on the brain and body. These effects can become permanent, and in some cases, life-threatening. It’s important to take the drug exactly as prescribed by your physician, and if you feel that you may become dependent on Valium, you must contact your doctor immediately to discuss options.

Some Of The Long-Term Effects Of Valium Include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Memory loss
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Slowed pulse
  • Coma
  • Heart attack

Valium Addiction Is Also A Strong Possibility, Which Can Lead To:

  • Social isolation
  • Loss of career
  • Financial difficulties
  • Prison time
  • Car accidents
  • Physical damage as a result of injury

Valium Can Also Cause Lasting Health Effects That Include:

  • Aggressive behavior
  • Cognitive deficits
  • Depression
  • Psychotic experiences
  • Further drug abuse
  • Personality changes
  • Seizures (from withdrawal)

If you or someone you know has become dependent on Diazepam and don’t know where else to turn, it may be time to seek treatment. Medical detoxification is necessary when stopping benzodiazepine drugs because of the potential for death. Those who enter into treatment have a much higher chance of remaining sober long-term as opposed to those attempting to stop the drug on their own. Valium addiction can be serious, but it is often overlooked because a doctor prescribed it for an anxiety disorder.

To properly treat your anxiety disorder and addiction, you must speak with healthcare professionals who are willing to help you regain control of your life. Addiction is a deadly disease, but it is manageable with the innovations of modern addiction treatment. Do you need help? Arete is ready to give you that help.

Reach Out to Arete for Valium Addiction Today

If you or someone you know is misusing Valium, which has ultimately led to an addiction, it is imperative that help is sought out immediately before any lasting damage occurs.

Call Arete Recovery today or contact us online, and let us provide you with the treatment that gets your life back on track. Our medical experts are on standby to provide the around-the-clock support you need to ensure you can live a life free of substance abuse and avoid damaging your life.

Arete Recovery’s unique “client first” treatment approach puts the client’s happiness, comfort, and safety first. By choosing to recover with Arete, the hard part is already done; all you have to do is reach out to us so that we can help you.

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