Valium is a benzodiazepine (“benzo“). Benzodiazepine, and alcohol, withdrawal and detoxification are the two most potentially lethal withdrawals of all drugs including oxycodone, fentanyl and carfentanil. Valium addiction is more potentially lethal than oxycodone, fentanyl and carfentanil when it comes to detoxing outside of a quality residential facility.
As with other drugs, the severity of Valium (diazepam) withdrawal varies from individual to individual, the longer someone abuses Valium, the worse the withdrawal. Valium addiction traditionally takes some time to develop. Innocently, or not so innocently, starting at 2 mg as needed at bedtime and moving to 10 mg four times daily in a year or two. Unlike cocaine or nicotine addiction (which may take only a few months to develop), the person may pop Valium daily for a year or two before becoming [physically] Valium dependent.
After a while, Valium—and the addiction—has been woven deeply into the fabric of the person’s life. And like other prescription sedatives that mimic the effects of alcohol, Valium in one way or another has also probably been associated with a wider variety of activities: weddings, family dinners, birthday parties, football games, holidays—celebrations of all kinds—have become associated with Valium, in addition to all the nasty times. It is not an easy pattern to break. The relatively lengthier time period and ingrained associations of Valium increase the difficulty of withdrawal, and no one with a severe Valium problem should try to quit on their own.
Detoxing from Valium
Hospital or inpatient rehabilitation detoxification provides the needed medical attention, including fluids, vitamins, rest, sedation to ease the symptoms, and sometimes other medications to control the potential toxic effects of withdrawal, and grand mal seizures on day twenty-one of Valium absence in the absence of detox medication.
This underscores the need for residential rehabilitation detoxification or IOP detox in order to avoid having a potentially fatal grand mal seizure on day twenty-one of Valium detoxification. This is another vital reason why Valium detoxification is not for do-it-yourselfers.
Detoxification is started when the signs and symptoms of Valium withdrawal begin to peak, usually within hours of the last Valium. Although grand mal seizure is the most dangerous potential symptom of Valium withdrawal, the most usual and customary Valium withdrawal symptoms are the same as nicotine withdrawal, opioid withdrawal, alcohol withdrawal, and anxiety disorders:
- Excessive worry
- Feeling agitated
- Difficulty concentrating
- Tense muscles
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Panic, anger, or hate attacks
- Avoiding social situations
- Irrational fears
- Attention deficit & confusion
However historically significant, Valium detoxification with another benzo is rarely used today. This is because there are concerns about using a different benzo for Valium withdrawal:
- All benzos are addictive drugs that are potentially associated with a long life of misery, potential grand mal seizures and death, just like alcohol.
- Using another benzo during Valium withdrawal sends the addiction-replacement-message that it’s okay to substitute one benzo with another; as silly as detoxing beer drinkers with wine.
- Non-addictive detox medicines that also prevent seizures, should be used in place of addictive ones whenever possible (i.e. pregabalin in place of a non-Valium benzo).
Pregabalin and its relatives are a better option because they:
- are not addictive;
- end the likelihood of a grand mal seizure;
- decrease worry & increase relief;
- decrease agitation & increase calm;
- decrease restlessness & increase tranquility;
- decrease fatigue & increase ambition;
- improve concentration;
- decrease irritability & increase serenity;
- decrease muscle tension & increase comfort;
- decrease insomnia & increase somnolence;
- decrease panic, anger, or hate attacks & increase acceptance & acts of compassion;
- increase socialization;
- decrease irrational fear & increase sustained endurance;
- & decrease attention deficit & confusion & increase focus and conceptualization.
Similar medications are used to assist recovery during aftercare for coexisting or primordial conditions such as:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Panic Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
Medication-assisted detox and rehabilitation, without recovery-sensitive supportive therapy, is far from the ideal road to recovery. Medication assistance without a Valium dependence recovery program is a grave disservice. Medical detoxification with a concurrent Valium dependence recovery program is your ticket to ride sustained-recovery, as long as you leave the initial driving to the professionals.