How Does Valium Work?

Valium is the brand name of diazepam, a benzodiazepine that treats insomnia and anxiety. It may also be used for seizures, restless legs syndrome and muscle spasms. Valium affects the body quickly: peak plasma levels may be achieved 30 minutes after taking the drug orally. It moves throughout the body and can cross the blood-brain barrier. The body stores Valium in muscle and fatty tissue, often in the heart and other organs. Continued use of the drug causes levels in the body to increase, meaning the body can become tolerant to Valium’s effects.

How Valium Affects the Brain

Valium primarily affects the neurotransmitter GABA, which calms the nervous system by inhibiting nerve transmission in the brain. Valium enhances the effects of GABA by binding to a specific location in the brain, which slows down how quickly these chemicals affect the body.

When people take Valium, the body reacts to balance the altered neurotransmitter levels. When levels of neurotransmitters are raised, the body either produces less on its own, or it makes receptor sites less sensitive. This leads to drug tolerance, in which medications become less effective and larger doses are required to relieve tension. Tolerance to Valium can develop quickly, within days or weeks.

When people take Valium regularly, tolerance generally leads to dependence as they alter their dosage to feel its effects. When a user is dependent, the body has adapted to its effects so that GABA levels are low when the drug is absent. When dependent users stop taking Valium, the low GABA levels lead to withdrawal symptoms because the body now needs the drug to function well. The lack of sufficient amounts of Valium lead addicts to hyper-excitable states as withdrawals symptoms can include insomnia, anxiety, tremors and seizures.

How to Recognize Valium Dependence and Addiction

Valium’s withdrawal symptoms mimic the conditions for which it was originally prescribed. Rebound anxiety may be especially severe and is often more intense than before the drug was taken. People often fail to recognize withdrawal symptoms for what they are, so a trained clinician may be needed to determine which symptoms indicate withdrawal and which ones indicate the an underlying condition.

Withdrawal symptoms mean a physical dependence has developed. Addiction may also develop easily. People are addicted when they feel unable to control their usage and they continue to use it despite negative consequences.

Valium Addiction Help

If you have become addicted to Valium, we can help you find freedom. Our toll-free helpline is available 24 hours a day and our phone counselors can answer your questions about Valium dependence, addiction and treatment. If you wish, they can check also your insurance coverage to help you understand your treatment options. Valium addiction is a progressive disease that continues to worsen, so take action today before it is too late.

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