Diazepam is a benzodiazepine or psychoactive drug that is used to treat various disorders. Because this drug contains sedatives, anticonvulsant, hypnotic and muscle relaxant properties, it is most commonly prescribe to alleviate anxiety and reduce muscle spasms. It is commonly used in combination with other medications to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawals such as seizures. Diazepam was first marketed as Valium by the Hoffmann-La Roche Company. Whether called Diazepam or Valium, this drug is used to help stabilize chemicals in the brain that cause emotional disturbances for some patients. These disturbances can lead to panic attacks, anxiety and muscle tension.
Some street names for this drug include but are not limited to:
- Benzos (Short for benzodiazepine)
- Dead flower powers
- Sleep away
- Old Joes
- Drunk pills
This drug differs in appearance, based on brand names and strengths. Diazepam is manufactured in prescribed in 2 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg round tablets that based on the manufacturer may be white, yellow, blue, orange and green. It is also available in a 15 mg blue and yellow extended release capsule which means the drug is formulated for a gradual release. Diazepam is subject to Schedule IV control under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.
Under the Controlled Substances Act, Diazepam received a Schedule IV Designation. This classification means that the benzodiazepines properties in this drug can make it addictive if abused. According to FDA data, addiction to Diazepam has been reported. As such, people who become dependent on this drug or those with a predisposition to addiction may require ongoing evaluation when treatment with diazepam is advised. Once dependence has developed, efforts to halt use of this drug may result in the occurrence of withdrawal symptoms that are similar in nature to alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Abdominal cramps
- Muscle spasms and pain
- Nausea, vomiting
- Extreme anxiety
When Diazepam is abused for an extended period of time, those individuals may experience more severe symptoms of withdrawal. Symptoms such as hallucinations, epileptic seizures, hypertension, loss of contact with reality and hypersensitivity to light, sounds and touch have manifested.
Effects of Diazepam
It is not uncommon for individuals this drug under the direction of a physician and in accordance with prescribed doses to experience adverse effects. Some of these effects are similar to those experienced when the drug is withdrawn. Other common side effects can have both a physical and psychological component. These range from gastrointestinal disturbances to psychoses, delusions and depression.
Abuse of Diazepam
When addiction or dependence on this drug occurs it is usually due to a strong predisposition to addiction, recreational abuse and or unsupervised use of the drug. Under careful supervision, onset of dependence is usually detected because the individual will gradually need to increase the dosage as tolerance levels change and increase.
An explanation offered by the FDA for abuse of this drug has to do with the rapid effects of the drug after it is ingested. These effects can be euphoric and impacts the user almost immediately. Acting on the neurotransmitters that slows down and calms brain activity these psychological effects can later lead to abuse and dependency. In some instances, dependence can occur quickly, sometimes as fast as in a one or two week time frame. People who are habituated or suffering from an addiction to Diazepam often do so in combination with other chemical substances. Alcohol and illicit drugs such as cocaine or heroin are particularly dangerous when combined with diazepam because they can lead to a fatal overdose. Respiratory depression, diminished motor skills, extreme drowsiness and or coma are all signs of a Diazepam overdose.
History of Diazepam
Diazepam was synthetized by Dr. Leo Sternbach of Hoffmann-La Roche in New Jersey. When the drug was released in 1963, it achieved a high level of popularity. This demand led to the growth and expansion of the Roche into one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. In this market, Diazepam enjoyed sales of up to 2.3 billion tablets between the years of 1969 and 1982. Soon, other pharmaceutical companies began to follow suit by developing many other products that included derivatives of benzodiazepine.
These benzodiazepines products quickly surpassed the use of barbiturates because they proved to be markedly safer for use as a therapeutic sedative. Only as a result of overt abuse and when used in combination with other depressants has diazepam been reported to cause a fatal drug overdose.
Diazepam Addiction Treatment
Treatment for Diazepam addiction includes medically supervised detoxification processes in order to address life threatening withdrawal symptoms. Our Drug Rehab Treatment Centers offers a highly effective comprehensive program that integrates various evidence-based traditional and rehabilitation protocols that are personalized for each patient. These services can be accessed, if you or someone you love is suffering from Diazepam addiction by calling us at our treatment centers at 877-855-3470.