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Valium Withdrawal: SIgns, Symptoms, Timeline & Treatment

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Valium Withdrawal Chattanooga, TN
Picture of Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Mohsin Ali, MD

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Mohsin Ali, MD

Dr. Mohsin Ali MD is board certified in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Trained in Syracuse NY, he has worked in Tennessee for the last sixteen years.

Table of Contents

Valium, known by its generic name Diazepam, has historically been a widely used medication, holding the title of America’s best-selling drug at one point. It is prescribed for various conditions including anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, seizure control, restless leg syndrome, muscle spasms, and insomnia. However, due to its significant potential for dependency and abuse, Valium is no longer the preferred initial treatment for anxiety but is still prescribed for certain medical issues.

What is Valium Withdrawal?

Valium withdrawal can arise after prolonged use, sometimes as brief as a few months. The drug tends to accumulate in the body, fostering physical dependency. This dependency is marked by the body’s decreased ability to naturally regulate stress and anxiety, increasing reliance on Valium for normal function. Consequently, users may increase their dosage to avoid withdrawal symptoms, a path that can lead to severe health risks if Valium use is abruptly discontinued.

Undergoing withdrawal without medical oversight can be perilous, with possible outcomes ranging from severe anxiety to seizures and even life-threatening conditions. Professional guidance is crucial to safely decrease Valium use, allowing the brain and body to adjust.

Valium Withdrawal Symptoms

Symptoms of withdrawal from Valium and other benzodiazepines can start within days after cessation and may last from a few weeks to several months, with some effects lingering for up to two years.

Typical symptoms of Valium withdrawal include:

  • Life-threatening seizures
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Heart palpitations and rapid heartbeat
  • Severe anxiety, panic attacks, and depression
  • Sensory distortions and heightened sensitivity to stimuli
  • Physical sensations like tremors, muscle spasms, and acute pain
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia and nightmares
  • Cognitive impairments like memory loss and confusion

Additional valium withdrawal symptoms may involve:

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort such as nausea and vomiting
  • Hyperacusis (increased sensitivity to sounds)
  • Fluctuations in weight and appetite
  • Significant mood swings and irritability

Given the array of possible withdrawal symptoms, which can be profoundly debilitating, managing the process under careful medical supervision is essential. Gradually tapering off Valium, rather than stopping suddenly, is often recommended to mitigate the severity of withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of dangerous complications.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with dependence on Valium, professional help is available. Iris Wellness Group offers specialized treatment plans tailored to help individuals safely overcome Valium addiction in Chattanooga, TN. Contact us today at 423-460-9766 or through our online form to start your journey toward recovery.

Symptoms of Valium Withdrawal

How Does Valium Addiction Happen?

Even when used in a medical context, Valium’s potential for dependence and abuse is significant, often being used in conjunction with alcohol, narcotics, and other substances to amplify effects, which raises the risk of a potentially fatal overdose. Valium can induce physical dependence and lead to withdrawal symptoms even when taken as prescribed. Users may develop a tolerance, necessitating higher doses to achieve the same therapeutic effects. Upon reducing or stopping Valium, withdrawal symptoms can emerge.

Although physical dependence is a sign of a substance use disorder, it alone does not constitute addiction. It’s possible for individuals to develop tolerance and experience severe withdrawal symptoms without being addicted.

How Long Does Valium Withdrawal Last?

Valium withdrawal typically lasts longer than that from other benzodiazepines. Due to its long-acting nature, Valium provides prolonged anxiety relief but also delays the onset of withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, symptoms might not appear until up to a week after cessation, particularly in heavy users.

Research from the 1980s suggests that individuals who consumed 60 to 120 mg of Valium daily for several years could experience withdrawal symptoms lasting more than a month.

Valium Withdrawal Timeline

The withdrawal experience from Valium varies by individual but generally unfolds over several weeks:

  • Days 1-7: As a long-acting benzodiazepine, Valium’s initial withdrawal symptoms may not appear immediately and can include increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and possibly fever.
  • Week 2: Often the peak of withdrawal, symptoms can intensify to include tremors, anxiety, confusion, sweating, agitation, and in severe cases, hallucinations and seizures.
  • Weeks 3-4: Symptoms typically begin to decrease in intensity and frequency, with most subsiding or entirely disappearing by the end of the fourth week.

Valium in the Body

Though the perceptible effects of Valium may fade, the drug can remain detectable in the body for extended periods:

  • Urine: Up to six weeks
  • Blood: Up to 48 hours
  • Saliva: Up to 10 days
  • Hair Follicles: Up to three months

Understanding Valium’s withdrawal process is essential to manage the risk of relapse and ensure safety during detox. Due to the potential severity of rebound anxiety and other physical symptoms, discontinuing Valium abruptly is not advisable.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome for Valium

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) represents a range of symptoms that linger for weeks or even months beyond the initial withdrawal phase from substances like Valium. This condition is sometimes referred to as prolonged withdrawal syndrome or protracted withdrawal, reflecting its enduring nature.

Common Symptoms of PAWS Include:

  • Cognitive difficulties such as impaired memory, trouble solving problems, and challenges with learning.
  • Persistent irritability.
  • Anxiety or panic attacks.
  • Persistent depressive symptoms.
  • Obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
  • Intense drug cravings.
  • General feelings of apathy or pessimism.
  • Disruptions in sleep patterns.

Valium Withdrawal Treatment in Chattanooga, TN

Medication and Detox for Valium Withdrawal

Valium is frequently prescribed to mitigate withdrawal symptoms from various substances, including benzodiazepines themselves.

When tapering off Valium, specific medications may be utilized to ease withdrawal symptoms effectively:

  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): These antidepressants are beneficial for managing symptoms of anxiety that can rebound after stopping Valium.
  • Melatonin: Used to improve sleep quality and reduce anxiety during withdrawal.
  • Anticonvulsant Medications: These help prevent seizures that might arise during the withdrawal process.
  • Baclofen (Gablofen, Lioresal, Kemstro): This muscle relaxant may help diminish cravings for Valium and other substances.

Undergoing a medically supervised detox is highly recommended rather than attempting to detox on your own. Medical detox ensures that you receive professional care and support, which are essential for safely managing withdrawal symptoms and ensuring comfort during detox.

Valium Withdrawal Treatment in Chattanooga, TN

At Iris Wellness Group we specialize in providing targeted and compassionate treatment for individuals struggling with Valium withdrawal in Chattanooga, TN. Recognizing the unique journey of each person affected by Valium addiction, our dedicated team offers personalized care plans designed to address the specific needs and challenges of our clients. Our goal is to support individuals on their path to recovery, helping them achieve a healthier, substance-free lifestyle through a comprehensive approach to treatment.

Treatment Options for Valium Addiction and Withdrawal

  • Outpatient Detox: Offers medically supervised detoxification services to safely manage withdrawal symptoms in an outpatient setting.
  • Outpatient Treatment: Designed for those who require flexible treatment schedules without intensive daily commitments.
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): Ideal for individuals needing more support than standard outpatient care, providing a structured therapy schedule while allowing patients to live at home.
  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): Serves as a bridge between inpatient care and outpatient treatment, offering comprehensive day-long therapy sessions for more intensive care without an overnight stay.

To complement our range of treatment options, Iris Wellness Group integrates a holistic approach to therapy, targeting the multifaceted aspects of Diazepam addiction. Understanding that recovery is not one-size-fits-all, we tailor our therapy programs to meet the individual needs of our clients, focusing on not just overcoming addiction but also on fostering long-term wellness and resilience.

Therapies Offered for Diazepam Addiction and Withdrawal:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Aims to identify and modify negative thought patterns and behaviors related to cannabis use.
  • Individual Therapy: Offers a private setting for patients to explore personal issues and challenges related to their addiction.
  • Group Therapy: Provides a supportive environment where individuals can share experiences and strategies for coping with addiction.
  • Family Therapy: Engages family members in the treatment process to heal relationships and build a supportive home environment for recovery.

If you or someone you care about be grappling with Diazepam withdrawal, it’s crucial to act now. Contact our drug rehab in Chattanooga, TN at 423-460-9766 or through our online form to embark on the path towards a life free from drug dependence.

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