Diazepam Drug Facts | A Center for Addiction Recovery

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Information provided below is courtesy of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Diazepam Overview

Diazepam Addiction TreatmentDiazepam is a prescription medication that affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause serious anxiety. Along with treating anxiety disorders, diazepam is also used to help with alcohol withdrawal symptoms and muscle spasms. In some cases, the medication is used in conjunction with other medications to help treat seizures. Diazepam should never be taken with alcohol, as it is known to increase the effects produced by alcohol. Diazepam is available in the form of a liquid or as a pill.

Addictive Qualities

Diazepam is known to produce relaxed and calming feelings in individuals who are prescribed, treating any of the above ailments. When abused with alcohol or taken in high or un-prescribed doses, the effects of the medication and/or the alcohol taken with it are dramatically amplified, and lead to multiple addictions as well.

Dependence and Tolerance

Diazepam has been known to be habit forming in some cases or when abused. It is favored for its slight euphoric and strong relaxation properties. Diazepam should always be taken based on a specific prescription, or from strict doctor instruction. For individuals who are prescribed Diazepam for long-term treatment, which is longer than 9 weeks, there is a greater chance for developing tolerance to their original prescription dose. Tolerance means that over time, as the body becomes accustomed to the medication, it will begin to lose its strength of affect. The user will then increase the amount he or she is taking, in order to reach the same effects as the original dose. As tolerance builds, and should a doctor decide to continue the use of the medication in an individual, it is necessary to increase the dosage amounts and frequency, or even both, in order for the medication to remain effective. Prolonged repetition of doses of Diazepam can result in dependency in which the body and brain become dependent on the addition of chemicals in order to function properly and without withdrawal symptoms.

Effects of Diazepam Abuse

Short-Term Effects

There are several minor side effects that are considered common and non-threatening for individuals who take Diazepam.

  • Memory problems
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling restless or irritable
  • muscle weakness
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • drooling or dry mouth
  • slurred speech
  • blurred or double vision
  • mild skin rash or itching
  • loss of interest in sex

There are also several more serious side effects which require immediate notification to a doctor or physician. They include:

  • Confusion
  • Hallucination
  • Unusual thoughts or behavior
  • Unusual risk-taking behavior, decreased inhibitions
  • hyperactivity
  • agitation, aggression, hostility
  • new or worsening seizures
  • weak or shallow breathing
  • muscle twitching or tremors
  • loss of bladder control or little to no urination
Long-Term Effects

Diazepam is known to have some long-lasting or long-term side effects that can occur with prolonged use. With steady abuse or long-term high dose prescriptions of this drug, individuals have been known to exhibit sluggish and slowed behavior, reactions, as well as problems in thinking. Long-term effects which continue after stopping Diazepam include much of the same symptoms, and may diminish slowly over time.

Withdrawal and Detoxification

As some individuals may become addicted or dependent on Diazepam after continual or frequent use, it is common that medical assistance or a rehabilitation program is required in order to assist the individual into a comfortable, normal functioning life without the use of the medication. Those who are addicted or dependant on Diazepam may suffer from withdrawal symptoms upon stopping the use of the medication. This can include:

  • Muscle pain
  • Tension
  • Tremor
  • Abdominal cramps
  • vomiting
  • sweating
  • headache
  • restlessness
  • confusion
  • irritability and extreme anxiety

Although an individual may become dependent on Diazepam under doctor prescription, it is very possible to wean off the medication painlessly and effectively. Detoxification can last from 3 to 7 days, and should be undertaken at a medically managed detoxification facility. In a detox facility, in which medical personnel can observe and manage a gradual weaning from Diazepam, an individual can safely return to a normal functioning life without medication assistance.

At A Center for Addiction Recovery we help clients with a Diazepam addiction to overcome their problems with real-life solutions, equipping them with tools and life-coping skills to confront and handle common obstacles encountered in life. Only when both the underlying reasons for the Diazepam addiction and the Diazepam addiction problem are resolved can a person become a healthy and happy member of society.

For information about prescription drug rehab, please contact us at 1 (800) 570-4562