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The prescription drug Valium (its generic name is Diazepam), is a benzodiazepine derivative commonly used to treat OCD and anxiety. This powerful sedative, first approved by the FDA in 1963, is in the long-acting class of benzodiazepines.
Valium works through binding to the neurotransmitter receptor in the brain responsible for over excitement called GABA. When Valium enters the brain and attaches to a receptor on GABA it creates a powerful inhibitory effect causing sedation and reduces anxiety.
Common uses for Valium include: treating muscle spasms, anxiety, restless leg syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal and benzodiazepine withdrawal.
Other medical purposes for Valium include pre-surgical purposes to minimize tension and anxiety, or to induce sedation. At some point, Valium adopted the nickname, “Mother’s little helper,” because of its usefulness in treating panic attacks.
Valium can be taken orally, rectally, by injection, or as a powder to be inhaled. A doctor can prescribe 2 to 30 mg tablets, capsules or a liquid form of Valium. From 1963 to 1982 Valium (Diazepam) was the most prescribed prescription drug in the United States and is still one of the most commonly abused benzos today.
Central nervous system drugs, like Valium, are known for producing skeletal relaxation. Valium is known to be beneficial in treating anxiety, but like all prescription drugs it can cause dependence. As with any benzodiazepine, side effects as a result of taking Valium should not be overlooked.
Most doctors recommend that Valium is only taken for a period of 2 to 4 weeks. If Valium is taken longer it can be habit forming. When one uses Valium for an extended period of time, tolerance develops and more of the drug is needed to produce the desired effect.
Many accidental overdoses have been noted involving Valium. This is largely due to the fact that many Valium abusers, who have succumbed to Benzo dependence, become unsure of how much to take.
Once dependence develops, stopping Valium abuse alone can be extremely difficult. Never quit a psychiatric drug like Valium “cold turkey.” This is because of the fact that serious withdrawal effects accompany all benzodiazepines. A number of adverse reactions occur when the body tries to physically detox itself. Some of the symptoms experienced from Valium withdrawal can be ten times as strong as before administration of the drug, and some can be fatal.