ClickCease Valium Abuse: Side Effects - Granite Recovery Centers

Valium Abuse: Side Effects

Authored by Granite Recovery Centers    Reviewed by James Gamache    Last Updated: January 18th, 2022


James Gamache Medical Reviewer
Jim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and Licensed Masters Level Addictions Counselor (MLADC). He has been working in the field of mental health/addiction treatment since 1995. Jim earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Springfield College in 2000, and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Boston University in 2002. In 2002 Jim was hired by the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester holding the position of Clinical Case Manager. From 2004-2019, Jim was employed at WestBridge Inc. During his time at WestBridge, Jim held the following positions; Clinician, Team Leader, Director, & Chief Operations Officer. In 2019 Jim transitioned employment to GateHouse Treatment Center as the Clinical Director for 10 months. In October of 2020 Jim transitioned to Granite Recovery Centers and is currently serving as the Senior VP of Clinical Services and Quality Assurance.

Why Is Valium Helpful?

Valium, a benzodiazepine, is prescribed for issues like anxiety. This issue could be so debilitating that a person could have a hard time functioning in life. This is especially true for those with severe anxiety. People try to address anxiety with tools like the following before using medication:

  • Managing anxiety with meditation
  • Grounding exercises like yoga and tai chi
  • Relaxing music
  • Taking a break or vacation

Many want to deal with anxiety naturally, but sometimes, something like Valium is prescribed. Valium is a part of the benzodiazepine drug family. The medication can help alter your brain and nerves. The goal is to carefully calm you down. If used as directed, you shouldn’t develop any type of dependency. This doesn’t mean the medication is safe, though.

You should know that if you stop using it before the doctor tells you to, you might experience withdrawal symptoms. This usually only happens after taking the medication for some time. Tracking medications and finding out everything about them before you start taking them is vital. Yes, the doctor should keep an eye on their patient, but that doesn’t mean the patient shouldn’t take certain precautions as well.

 

Side Effects Linked to Valium

Valium, even if it’s not abused, can be dangerous in different ways. For example, some common side effects are drowsiness and dizziness. You don’t want to experience this if you aren’t at home. The last thing you want to do is operate a car when you aren’t feeling like your normal self. If this happens, make sure you don’t do anything dangerous that’ll put you and others in danger.

Some folks have more serious reactions to Valium. These could include the following:

  • A person suffering more severe side effects could have memory problems.
  • Agitation, usually unprovoked, is another sign of a bad reaction that could be a scary experience for you or your loved ones.
  • Some people experience hallucinations that could lead to dangerous situations or confusion.
  • A few people might develop depression
  • You could develop an infection, which can cause things like a fever, chills, or a sore throat that won’t get better.

If any of these things happen to someone taking Valium, it could mean an allergic reaction. These reactions could get worse. A person could start having trouble breathing.

Some people may start to swell or develop a rash because of this medication. Allergies can come out of nowhere and be quite scary. If any of these side effects start to happen, the doctor should know about this immediately.

These are the dangers you could face when taking the medication. Things can get worse for folks who abuse the drug.

 

Abuse by Mixing With Other Drugs

A person could abuse Valium in various ways, but the most common form of abuse is simply mixing the medication with another substance. Some folks take Valium with something else. A person might do this because they’re bored or because they want to enhance the drug’s effects. You can’t predict why someone’s going to start abusing this medication, but it happens nonetheless.

The following are some side effects that can occur if you or a loved one takes this medication with another drug:

  • A complete loss of consciousness
  • Severe disorientation
  • Coma
  • Death

It’s easy to see how dangerous this drug can be, especially when considering its high potential for abuse. According to recent statistics, approximately 20% of all people who take Valium or another type of benzodiazepine are misusing the drug. With abuse, the dangers increase.

 

The Dangers of Abusing Valium

Taking more Valium than you need increases the risks of addiction and could lead to dangerous consequences. At this point, a person could start experiencing many of the side effects mentioned earlier but to a stronger degree. Sadly, the dangers don’t stop there.

If you use Valium differently than prescribed, substance use disorder can develop, which poses all sorts of threats to you. The people at Granite Recovery Centers have heard many heartbreaking stories regarding people’s experience with Valium.

When substance use disorder takes hold, a person might start to alienate folks, including people who they love. A person may start lying to doctors to get more Valium.

The people you love can only stand so much of this, and that could lead to heartbreak. You can come to us before that happens, but we are here for you even if things have fallen apart. You can talk to us about what you’re going through, and we’ll explain some of our evidence-based treatment programs.

Once this type of substance use disorder takes hold of a person, they could deal with more than just the effects mentioned earlier. Some people develop an inexplicable rash, while others start to have seizures even if they don’t have a history of this ailment.

Someone who’s developed substance use disorder might also have a hard time letting go. Folks who can’t let go of Valium might suffer irritability, shakes, and much more if they are unable to take the drug. Experiencing withdrawals and having a craving for Valium when you stop taking it are signs that dependence has developed.

 

Intervention Is Vital

If the person dealing with substance use disorder is someone you love, an intervention is important, especially now that you know the dangers of Valium abuse. The conversation you need to have with your loved one isn’t going to be an easy one. It’ll be uncomfortable for you, and your loved one might not even be receptive. In fact, the person might even be combative. The reality is that you won’t know how this intervention is going to turn out, which is partly why it’s so scary.

You’ll want to create a list or outline of everything you plan to talk about. It is important to find the right mindset; you have to be calm when you do this. You want to remain that way no matter what happens. Tell your loved one how the substance use disorder is affecting his or her life and make it clear that everyone knows what’s going on.

If you can, try to get other family members and friends involved in the intervention. This is more powerful when the statements come from the people who are close enough to the person to feel the effects of their addiction.

A professional interventionist is going to be there to help everyone understand what is going to happen. They are also there to teach everyone what your loved one is going through. These folks will help you plan out the intervention as well as possible. This person is there to help the person suffering from substance use disorder see your point of view along with everyone else’s.

 

Granite Recovery Centers

The team at Granite Recovery Centers wants to be able to say we’ve made a difference in your life. Please, give us a chance to make that difference by giving us a call, and let’s talk about how we can meet your needs.

At Granite Recovery Centers, we want to provide accurate information about health and addiction so that our readers can make informed decisions.

We have credentialed medical doctors & clinicians who specialize in addiction treatment review the information on our website before it is published. We use credible sources such as government websites and journal articles when citing statistics or other medically related topics.