By: Daniel J. Hawkins

What is it?

Valium is a benzodiazepine. Valium affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with anxiety. It is also meant to be used to help treat people with seizures

The Looks

Valium that is prescribed by a doctor is usually prescribed in liquid form, however it is often sold and bought illegally in pill form. A Valium pill is typically light yellow, light blue, or white in color.

Facts and Stats

  • In 2014 there were almost 15 million prescriptions of Valium filled out by doctors in the US
  • Valium reduces neuron activity in the brain
  • Only 7,500 people have checked into rehabilitation for Valium addiction in 2014
  • In 2015 24 million people reported that they have taken tranquilizers such as Valium that were not prescribed

Drug Category and Origins

Valium falls into the category of drugs labeled as "benzodiazepines". The modern benzodiazepine compound was created in 1960 and was originally used to treat muscle spasms, irritable bowel syndrome, night terrors and panic disorder. In traumatic medical procedures it can help induce amnesia.

Intended Medical Uses

Valium is intended to be a very effective and necessary drug for people to overcome a variety of medical issues. Valium is used to treat anxiety, acute alcohol withdrawal, seizures, muscle spasm, and can be used by medical professionals to aid the inducement of amnesia.

The Addiction

People become addictive to Valium because of its ability to reduce neurological function, causing an overwhelming sensation of relaxation. Since you need to take so much Valium to get a high, it is very easy for an addict to build a tolerance for the drug. Over time Valium changes the neurological function of your brain, making Valium detrimental to long term health.

Method of use and Abuse

Valium prescribed by a doctor is usually prescribed in the form of liquid and is supposed to be ingested or injected. Pills can also be swallowed. These methods are used for both medical and abusive practices.

Short and Long Term Effects


  • Dry mouth.

  • Decreased respiratory rate.

  • Changes in heart rate/rhythm.

  • Slurred speech.

  • Delayed reflexes.

  • Nausea.


  • Memory loss.
  • Hallucination.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Slowed pulse.
  • Coma.
  • Heart attack.

Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Digestive problems
  • Feelings of numbness or tingling in the limbs
  • Vision impairment
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Seizures

Treatment Options

The only true way to quit a Valium addiction is to detox. Detox may be a tapered program (doses are slowly decreased) or a medically assisted withdrawal procedure. Patients are usually involved in a program of events that assist in the withdrawal process and that encourage building coping skills and strategies. Group therapy sessions are also common because of the amount of people who are addicted to tranquilizers such as Valium. Nearly all addictions of this kind enroll in a treatment plan similar to this because of its success and accessibility.


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