Diazepam is a type of benzodiazepine. It is used to treat the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, as well as anxiety and muscle spasms. It may also be combined with other medications to remedy seizures. It does this by altering chemicals within the brain in a manner that may cause imbalance or anxiety if the drug is abused. It is for this reason that those who are prescribed it must use it with care.
When diazepam is misused, the user may become addicted. Like many prescription drugs, it has ingredients and properties which can make it habit forming. Diazepam differs from other drugs in that it is a liquid medication that must be measured with a dosing syringe. A user that chooses not to use a syringe or measuring spoon could easily overdose, which can result in death. Diazepam should only be used for a short period of time. Under no circumstances should it be taken for more than four months unless a doctor has recommended it.
Warning Signs of Diazepam Addiction
There are many warning signs that someone may be abusing diazepam. Heavy users may showcase confusion or behave in an erratic way. Other addicts will experience hallucinations, and this drug also lowers inhibitions which may result in the user engaging in risky behaviors. Some users may experience mood swings, and may become depressed or suicidal. When agitated, diazepam users may become unusually hostile or aggressive. Other indications that someone may be addicted to this substance include:
- Seizures which worsen
- Breathing which is shallow and weak
- Reduced bladder control
- Drowsiness and weak muscles
- Severe exhaustion
- Reduced coordination
Side Effects of Diazepam Abuse
Those who abuse diazepam may display numerous side effects, some of which are life threatening. When under the influence of this drug, a user may walk awkwardly. They may also experience pain in either their stomach or abdomen. Vision may become blurred, and after bowel movements the stool may be tarry or black. Diazepam addicts may have chills, and their manner of speaking may be altered. Other side effects which are associated with this substance are:
- Urine which is dark colored
- Feelings of anxiety and discouragement
- Dizziness or lightheadedness when lying down
- Rapid heart beat
- Feelings of paranoia
- Headaches and itching
- Hyper excitable and easily irritated
- Reduced appetite
- Pain in the side or lower back
- Nervousness and nightmares
Prescription drugs such as diazepam can sometimes be more dangerous than illegal street drugs due to the fact that they are legal and readily available. Anyone who uses them is susceptible to becoming addicted, which is why it is so important for users to take the medicine as directed and only use it for the length of time specified. Should someone become addicted to this drug, the best solution is rehab.
Today, there are thousands of patients receiving treatment for diazepam addiction. Rehab services have proven to be effective because they allow addicts to be treated within a controlled environment. The patient will be assessed to determine their level of need. Rehab can be both efficient and cost effective, especially when you are using insurance to offset treatment costs.
Contact us by email or phone at NeuroPsychiatric Addiction Clinic, where we can get you started on the path toward complete recovery.