Valium Withdrawal Timeline, Symptoms, and Treatment
Valium (diazepam) is a commonly prescribed benzodiazepine drug that increases the production of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid. This causes the activity in the central nervous system to become slowed down, leading to symptoms of drowsiness, dizziness, and memory issues. While doctors prescribe Valium to sedate overactive brain functions like anxiety or seizures, the effects that help these conditions also cause individuals to abuse the medication.
When a person abuses diazepam, they may feel relaxed, sedated, and euphoric, but people who abuse this medication become dependent on the drug rather quickly, beginning the cycle of addiction.
If someone is addicted to Valium, their body becomes accustomed to the presence of the substance in their system. Because of this, quitting the drug cold turkey could lead to the emergence of withdrawal symptoms. Knowing what the Valium withdrawal timeline is like can be extremely helpful for individuals struggling with an addiction to this drug.
What are the Symptoms of Valium Withdrawal?
Anyone who is dependent on diazepam and stops taking it abruptly will face symptoms of withdrawal. Because the body was used to having Valium in it, it will attempt to function as if the substance is still present, causing the symptoms of withdrawal and cravings.
Diazepam withdrawal symptoms will occur when someone attempts to cut back or completely stop using the drug. The symptoms of withdrawal will vary in severity and length depending on a variety of factors, like dosage, length of use, and personal health.
The symptoms of Valium withdrawal may include:
- Elevated heart rate and blood pressure
- Muscle spasms
- Abdominal cramps
- Sensory hypersensitivity
- Rebound anxiety
The symptoms of diazepam withdrawal can be dangerous, as some individuals experience seizures, severe confusion, and delirium. Due to this, it is extremely important that individuals attempting to quit Valium abuse attend a professional detox program.
The Valium Withdrawal Timeline
Oftentimes, people do not know that they are addicted to Valium until their dependency has become severe. This causes individuals to suffer from a serious addiction, which can lead to intense symptoms of withdrawal when they decide it’s time to stop taking diazepam. Because of this, attending a professional detox program is extremely important.
While most people experience Valium withdrawal for 1-4 weeks, the length and duration of this condition depend on the individual, genetics, frequency of use, and dosage. However, there is a general timeline that most people follow.
Diazepam has a half-life of 12 hours, which means symptoms of withdrawal usually begin 24 hours after the person’s last dose. For the first couple of days, the symptoms people will experience may include anxiety, appetite loss, nausea, and insomnia. It is common for individuals to deal with changes in heart rate, shifts in blood pressure, mood swings, depression, and extreme cravings for the drug.
After the first two days, the symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, and discomfort will begin to lessen. However, other symptoms will begin to emerge. It is important to note that individuals face a risk of developing seizures and hallucinations during this stage of Valium withdrawal.
5 to 7 Days
After the first 5-7 days, the symptoms of withdrawal will begin to decrease in severity. However, people can experience prolonged symptoms of nausea, anxiety, and irritability. This is why individuals need to attend a professional detox program that can treat their symptoms, no matter how long they may last.
Some individuals may experience the return of acute symptoms after 2 weeks. This is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome. These individuals require extra treatment to stabilize their symptoms and return them to normal functioning.
While most people complete the withdrawal process after 2 weeks, some individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms for several weeks. This is why it is important to attend a professional detox program where doctors can taper the person off of diazepam and provide them with medications to manage their symptoms.
Treatment for Valium Withdrawal
Benzodiazepine detox centers can prescribe medications to help patients slowly taper their dose, preventing most of the symptoms of withdrawal from occurring.
Typically, the tapering process is completed by providing a patient with another form of benzodiazepine medication. Over time, the patient will take less and less of the benzodiazepine, allowing the body to naturally adjust to the removal of the substance from the body.
Other medications may be used to soothe specific symptoms of diazepam withdrawal. For example, SSRI medications can be used to combat symptoms of anxiety and depression, while melatonin or other sleeping aids are used to help patients sleep.
Once a person is medically cleared and has overcome their symptoms of withdrawal, they can move on to the next phases of recovery. Typically, people choose to attend residential treatment and outpatient programs after they complete a professional detox. This allows them to recover from the mental and emotional aspects of their addiction.
Finding Help for Valium Withdrawal
If you or a loved one suffer from Valium addiction, it’s time to seek help. Addiction to this drug can lead to an array of consequences, including financial devastation, physical health complications, and emotional distress, and stopping Valium use can be dangerous and difficult. Attending a professional drug and alcohol detox program can help you begin your recovery journey the safe way.
Contact Mandala Healing Center today for more information on our benzodiazepine addiction treatment program.