Some of us deal with a lot of pressures on a day-to-day basis. From school to work, family or marital problems, the stress of wondering if we are going to be able to keep food on the table or pass that exam that will determine if we graduate with a degree. We all have stressors and some of us may develop anxiety to the point of exhaustion or insomnia; some of us to the point where we can’t function. So needing a quick fix to be able to get back to work or school we visit the doctor to help us out
Many of us feel anxious from time to time but for some people, ongoing anxiety can affect your ability to function at home, school, and work. Sometimes it can get to the point of having a panic attack. Treating panic attacks often involves talk therapy and antidepressant medications such as Benzodiazepines.
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Valium and Panic Attacks
One of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines or benzos is Valium. It is one of many medications prescribed short-term for the treatment of panic attacks. In addition to panic attacks, Valium also treats several other conditions, including:
- Acute alcohol withdrawal
- Skeletal muscle spasms
- Seizure disorders
- Chronic sleep disorder
How Does Valium Work?
Valium works by impacting the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. GABA is a neurotransmitter in the brain that is connected to the regulation of sleep, relaxation, and anxiety. When influencing the GABA receptors, Valium slows down the central nervous system.
The reason for the short-term use is because, after a few weeks, most people will develop a physical dependence. It doesn’t matter if you were taking the prescription as directed, there is a high chance that once you stop taking the drug, you will start to have some form of withdrawal after a few hours or days.
Becoming Dependent on Valium
Over time, it is harder for a Valium abuser’s brain to function normally without the drug. Even though, some people addicted to Valium may not even realize they have a problem. Taking Valium for longer than 4-6 weeks, even with a prescription from a doctor, increases the likelihood of becoming dependent on the drug and most likely addicted.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains:
Dependence develops when the neurons adapt to the repeated drug exposure and only function normally in the presence of the drug. When the drug is withdrawn, several physiologic reactions occur.
One of the most obvious symptoms of a Valium addiction is needing larger doses to feel the drug’s effects. Other signs of an addiction to Valium include:
- Strong cravings for the drug
- Isolation from family and friends
- Continued use despite problems caused by the drug
- Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities
- Ignoring obligations
Once a person has a tolerance to Valium’s effects, they could also have withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking it. Valium withdrawal can be uncomfortable and life-threatening, which makes it hard for people addicted to quit on their own. The symptoms of withdrawal are intense, and many people addicted to Valium need the drug to feel normal.
The withdrawal symptoms of Valium are very similar to withdrawal from alcohol. Both are probably the worst withdrawal you could experience and the only you could die from if you don’t have supervised medical detox. You can feel anxious and have flu-like symptoms. They can be severe or mild and they can come and go.
Valium Rehab at Garden State Treatment Center
Due to the risks associated with Valium detox, this process should only be carried out under medical supervision. At Garden State Treatment Center, we offer a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) program that is perfectly suited to assist our clients that need to build a strong relapse prevention plan.
Recovery from substance abuse takes more than good intentions or determination. When a family member is struggling with addiction, it is important to get them the right kind of help. Attempting on your own to recover exposes you to a higher risk of experiencing a relapse. With the right professional care, you can come off clean in a gradual, stress-free manner.