Wednesday January 17th 2018

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Is Valium addictive?

YES. Valium is addictive.

Are you taking Valium to help control a mood disorder or other medical condition? If you’re taking Valium as directed by your doctor, you probably won’t get addicted toValium. But if you’re taking larger doses than prescribed to try to “get high”, are mixing alcohol with Valium or are snorting Valium 10mg, then you’re misusing the drug, which is more likely to cause an addiction. But is this the only factor that makes Valium addictive? How do you even know that if you’re a Valium addict? We’ll review these questions here. We invite your questions about the addictive potential of Valium at the end.

What is Valium used for?

Valium (diazepam) is prescribed to help treat anxiety disorders, muscle spasms, and alcohol withdrawal. Valium helps relax the brain and body. When taken as prescribed, Valium can offer relief from symptoms throughout the day. But when you take Valium to try to achieve a euphoric high, Valium can become addictive.

What is Valium made of?

The active ingredient in Valium is a synthetic substance called diazepam, created in a lab. Diazepam is a benzodiazepine medication, a family of drugs known for being habit-forming. Still ,Valium is considered relatively safe unless taken in conjunction with alcohol or another central nervous system depressant.

How addictive is Valium?

Valium is very addictive, so it’s usually only prescribed for short-term use and in small doses. Valium’s a strong effects on the central nervous system cause it to be frequently abused, making it illegal to use this drug without a prescription. How much Valium is safe is between 4-40 mg daily.  But how addictive a drug is doesn’t just depend on its chemical properties. Social and cultural factors also heavily influence the availability of Valium. Some other factors which make this drug so easy to get addicted to are:

  1. attitudes of doctors prescribing Valium
  2. Valium availability
  3. Valium’s illegal diversion history
  4. state laws or local controls on Valium
  5. widespread awareness of Valium action

Valium dependence vs. addiction

You can be dependent on Valium without becoming addicted. Someone using Valium to treat their anxiety may have trouble getting through the day without it because of illness, or may experience withdrawal effects if they stop taking Valium. But this isn’t the same as an addition.

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Valium addiction involves a psychological compulsion to seek out the drug, despite negative consequences of continued Valium abuse. In other words, if you use Valium to get high, avoid psychological or emotional issues, or compulsively use Valium, you could be a Valium addict.

How do you get addicted to Valium?

It is possible for you to get addicted to Valium even if you take it exactly as prescribed. It’s far less likely that you’ll get addicted this way, however. On the other hand, if you make a conscious decision to misuse the medication, it’s very likely you’ll become addicted. You’re at a higher risk of Valium addiction if you’ve been addicted to other drugs or alcohol in the past. Some ways that people misuse and abuse Valium are:

chewing Valium to prevent controlled release
crushing Valium into a powder and snorting Valium
crushing Valium to dissolve in water and inject
taking Valium in higher doses than prescribed
takingV alium more frequently than prescribed

Signs of Valium addiction

Valium dependence and addiction can be hard to tell apart. Valium addiction causes intense cravings for the drug, and leaves the addict with the feeling that he or she can’t live without taking it. You may be addicted to Valium if you need to take it to deal with normal stresses in daily life. Other signs of Valium addiction include:

  1. Continued Valium abuse despite negative consequences
  2. Craving Valium and using it compulsively
  3. Seeking Valium in order to stimulate the “reward center” of the brain

Valium addiction potential questions

Do you still have questions about Valium addiction potential? Please leave them here. We are happy to help answer your questions personally and promptly. If we do not know the answer to your particular question, we will refer you to someone who does.

Reference sources: Toxnet: Diazepam
Medline Plus: Diazepam
PubMed Health: Diazepam

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8 Responses to “Is Valium addictive?
2:59 am February 8th, 2016

I suffer from Trigeminal Neuralgia and take Lamotrigine 200mg, Gabapentin 300mg and Cymbalta 60mg. I have severe pain at night from the TN so I tried 1 Valium 5mg at night with my other medications and have found that I can get through the night without pain. Would something that cause physical dependence on the Valium?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
4:34 pm February 12th, 2016

Hi, Julie. I suggest you speak with your doctor how Valium interacts with your other medication, and is it safe to combine them.

1:20 pm April 28th, 2016

Benzodiazapines were produced for a safer substitute for barbiturates. The habitation of alprazolam, is a issue. But the use of these anxiolytics for the purpose of improving your life and use of disabilities of severe anxiety are within the risks and the judicious use of them are effective.

7:09 am January 19th, 2017

You can become dependant taking as prescribed in tiny doses.. speaking from experience! !!

11:13 pm March 26th, 2017

Valium (and similar) are addictive to me because they work: I sleep really well and have less muscle pain so I feel really great the next day and can achieve lots, in other words it WORKS. Doctors give us drugs to control disease (when they can’t cure it), when they work we want to continue using the treatment they prescribe us. What does addictive mean? Do patients get addicted to e.g. medication for heart disease or diabetes? What is the difference between NEEDING our medication (eg my thyroxine – or I die) and the need I have for good sleep, less pain and fewer days in the bin?

I understand that valium (and similar) are controlled drugs, doctors precribe them for my anxiety and sleep because I have too much stress to try to cope with including no healthcare cover, no GP, no treatment for my physical injuries, no dentist, dangerous housing and threats of eviction. So they prefer I get addicted to their (‘legal’) drugs than help me remove the stresses? The psych really pushed me to have these drugs, I love them because they work, he wants me to control my use of them but knows I will over time need/want more. Choosing this for me (not my choice = last resort) is cruel and not in my best interests. Mistreatment, neglect and cruelty of a person (older person) with mental health (and physical) illness/injury – surely that is criminal?

I’m too tired to read your terms of use and because of my brain injury I probably wouldn’t understand it. So I cannot say if I agree or not but am forced to tick your box (this is not consent) in order to have a voice, to comment here.

9:01 pm July 7th, 2017

Valium is additive. Didn’t know that untill my psychiatrist doctor told me this

Ive used
12:13 am November 23rd, 2017

Ive used alchol and valium together can I get off it ive only taken two milograms dosess but drunk seven or eight pints can I get better with help ive also taken aniti depression drugs at same time im

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
1:51 pm November 24th, 2017

Hi Ive used. I suggest that you call the helpline you see on the website to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you find the best treatment for you.

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