How Does Valium Work? Can You Smoke Valium?
Valium (diazepam) is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety disorders. It is in the class of medications called benzodiazepines and serves as a sedative, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxant medication. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that Valium is intended for the short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
The medication, which comes in tablet form, is dispensed in the dosages of 2 mg, 5 mg, or 10 mg of diazepam. These tablets are to be taken orally, swallowed, and metabolized through the stomach and gastrointestinal system. Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are considered to be highly habit-forming, even when they are taken as directed. For this reason, Valium is not recommended for long-term use.
Valium and benzos are big targets for abuse, and when misused, they can cause a mellowing and euphoric high that can be desirable. Valium is a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), meaning that it is known to be a target for diversion and abuse, and it has a risk of dependence and possible addiction. The DEA publishes that 15 million prescriptions for diazepam were dispensed in 2011, and in that same year, 20 million-plus people in the U.S. reported misusing a benzodiazepine drug at some point in their lifetime.
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Valium can be misused via several methods, such as swallowing, snorting, smoking, or injecting the drug. Snorting or smoking Valium can be particularly risky because it increases the odds of a life-threatening overdose, drug dependence, long-term health consequences, and addiction.
Valium interacts with the brain’s chemistry to lower anxiety by mitigating the stress response. When a person feels high levels of stress or anxiety, the fight-or-flight reaction gets turned on. The body reacts by increasing the heart rate, raising blood pressure, speeding up respiration, and elevating body temperature. A person becomes hyper-alert and has trouble sleeping or relaxing. The body becomes tense.
Valium helps to quell anxiety and lower this stress reaction, both by acting as a CNS depressant and by interacting with levels of GABA in the body. GABA is a neurotransmitter produced naturally by the brain that helps to manage stress and works like a sedative itself. Valium can help a person to relax, feel less anxious, reduce muscle tension, and act as a sleep aid. It also can impair normal thinking and memory functions, however, as well as impair reflexes and motor skills.
Valium users may appear more sluggish, have balance issues, be unable to think clearly and suffer from memory lapses. Valium intoxication from recreational use of the drug can often resemble being drunk from alcohol and carry many of the same side effects, like lowered inhibitions, increased sociability, drowsiness, and a higher likelihood of engaging in behaviors that are potentially hazardous, resulting in accidents or injuries.
Because of the way it interacts with brain chemistry, Valium also can cause dependence with regular use, which is why it is only meant to be taken sparingly and for a short time. When Valium is taken on a long-term basis, the brain can become tolerant to the drug, and regular doses will no longer work.
Chronic Valium use can cause drug dependence, and it can then be hard to stop taking it. Once the brain relies on Valium to keep itself chemically balanced, withdrawal symptoms and cravings can kick in when the drug wears off.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be powerful and even potentially dangerous when a drug like Valium is stopped cold turkey after the brain and body are dependent on it. Abuse of Valium increases the odds of drug dependence and, therefore, hazardous withdrawal symptoms, including rebound anxiety, insomnia, hallucinations, delusions, and seizures.
Any misuse of benzo is risky, and taking one of these drugs like Valium without a prescription is drug abuse. Snorting or smoking Valium bypasses the intended route of metabolism for the drug, which is through the gastrointestinal system, and instead sends the drug immediately across the blood-brain barrier. This can lead to a more instantaneous high, but also a quicker crash. A person may then be more inclined to take another dose of Valium sooner to limit the comedown and prolong the euphoria. This can more quickly cause drug dependence.
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Can Valium Be Smoked?
Can You Smoke Valium? When Valium is smoked, it is regularly laced into other drugs, such as marijuana, heroin, or cocaine, which can greatly increase the odds of a life-threatening overdose. Valium may be added to stimulant drugs like cocaine in an attempt to combat its negative side effects. The push-pull effect can dampen the feelings of each drug; therefore, a person may then take too much, resulting in an overdose. Valium also may be added to marijuana or heroin to amplify the effects of these drugs, which also raises the risk factors for both.
Smoking Valium can negatively affect the respiratory system and lead to possible infections in the lungs and respiratory system, including pneumonia or bronchitis. A chronic cough is another potential side effect of smoking Valium. Smoking drugs can potentially raise the rate for certain types of cancers as well as adversely affect the immune system and open the door for illness, infection, and disease.
In the short-term, smoking Valium can cause burns on the hands or face. It can influence a person’s decision-making process and make it more challenging to think through possible consequences logically. Smoking Valium makes the drug take effect more quickly than taking it by mouth. This practice amplifies all of the possible side effects and risk factors of the drug.
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How to Smoke Valium?
By heating Valium on tin foil, the active ingredient is supposed to be vaporized, making it easy to inhale and quick to act. In reality, very little of the medication is probably being released. This is because when you try to smoke Valium on tin foil, high temperatures are usually damaging to most medicines. You’ll have to use much more Valium this way than you would if you were taking it using a different method. If you insist, this means more exposure to irritating fillers and more damage to your throat and lungs.
Side Effects Of Smoking Valium
Valium effects on the body and brain include central nervous system depression. Plus, diazepam can be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or for a longer time than your doctor tells you to. Tolerance may develop with long-term or excessive use, making the drug less effective.
Any type of misuse increases the likelihood of overdose on Valium. Smoking Valium can have other effects on your body, as well. Whenever Valium is abused, there’s the potential for adverse reactions to the medication. Some of the side effects to watch out for include:
- Blurred vision
- Delusions and hallucinations
- Drowsiness and fatigue
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle weakness
MedlinePlus suggests that you do not take diazepam regularly, daily, or chronically for more than 4 months at a time. Further, you should not stop taking this medication without talking to your doctor. Stopping Valium suddenly in a cold turkey withdrawal can worsen your condition and cause withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, sleeplessness, and irritability). Instead, if you think you’ve become dependent on Valium, ask your doctor to supervise a taper and decrease your dose gradually.
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Can You Smoke Valium? Dangers Of Smoking Valium
Valium is prescribed as a tablet meant to be taken orally. When you use drugs outside their intended purpose or in any other way than prescribed, it’s considered abuse. Even if you are experimenting or it’s something you don’t do regularly, smoking a drug is considered abuse. When you smoke Valium, you can experience confusion, hallucinations, and low blood pressure. Smoking Valium is the least effective way to take the medication, and it’s challenging to experience intoxication when heating and inhaling the drug.
You might be disappointed to find out that smoking Valium won’t get you high. While snorting or smoking the drug works on occasion, it’s the least effective means of using the medication. It’s a potent tranquilizer, sedative, and central nervous system depressant (CNS), and it was designed to be taken orally. When you use the drug as prescribed, it will be rapidly absorbed. The oral bioavailability of this drug is 100 percent. Even more, close to 99 percent is bound in plasma.
Even though smoking Valium won’t likely get you high, you should always monitor your symptoms. If you develop lightheadedness, unusual dizziness, slowed or labored breathing, or a strong desire to sleep, you must call 911. If you witness someone become unresponsive who recently smoked Valium, don’t hesitate and get help immediately. The sooner you reach out for help, the lower the odds are of the person developing long-term or permanent brain damage or death.
If you’ve reached a point where you feel the need to either smoke or snort Valium, it could indicate an even more significant problem. Those experimenting with drugs aren’t typically snorting or smoking these drugs. It’s mostly reserved for those who can’t find relief because of their tolerance. However, there are exceptions to everything, but it might be time to get help. Valium can produce severe and even deadly withdrawal symptoms upon cessation, meaning professional help is necessary to overcome a dependence on the drug. Don’t wait another day and continue risking your life over something that can be treated.
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Am I Addicted to Valium?
Valium is an addictive Benzodiazepine with longer-lasting effects than other drugs in its class. Diazepam (Valium) addiction can progress quickly if the drug is used in a way not directed by a doctor. Over time, it is harder for a Valium abuser’s brain to function normally without the drug. Yet some people addicted to Valium may not even realize they have a problem.
Taking Valium for longer than 4-6 weeks, even with a prescription from a doctor, increases the likelihood of becoming addicted. One of the telltale symptoms of a Diazepam (Valium) addiction is needing larger doses to feel the drug’s effects. Other signs of Diazepam (Valium) addiction include:
- Strong cravings for the drug
- Isolation from family and friends
- Continued use despite problems caused by the drug
- Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities
- Ignoring obligations
Once a user has a tolerance to Valium’s effects, they could also have withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking it. Valium withdrawal can be dangerous and uncomfortable, which makes it hard for addicted people to quit on their own. The symptoms of withdrawal are intense, and many people addicted to Valium need the drug to feel normal.
Addicted to Valium Signs
Valium addiction often starts in a seemingly harmless way: people will take it once or twice to catch up on sleep or cope with a stressful day. Many Valium users hide their drug use, which can make it hard for loved ones to recognize that there is a problem. As someone becomes more dependent on Valium, they often increase their doses. This makes it harder for them to hide their use, and they are more likely to show visible signs of Valium abuse.
The visible and behavioral effects of Valium intoxication are similar to that of alcohol intoxication. Some signs that may indicate Valium addiction include:
- Changes in appetite
- Uncharacteristic sadness or irritability
- Shaking (from withdrawal)
- Slurred speech
- Impaired coordination
- Dilated pupils
Valium Addiction Treatment
People addicted to Valium should never quit “cold turkey.” Withdrawal from Valium can lead to seizures and coma, which can be fatal. Treatment for a Valium addiction helps users step down their doses over several weeks to minimize uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and prevent complications. Some common symptoms of withdrawal from Valium include anxiety, insomnia, and shakiness.
The duration of withdrawal is different for everyone. Those who took larger doses of Valium over an extended period take the longest to reach a sense of “normal” without the drug. Therapy and support groups are also invaluable cornerstones of Diazepam (Valium) addiction treatment. Treatments like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Valium addiction help users understand the underlying reasons for their Valium addiction. Support groups and 12-step meetings can provide a constructive environment for people with the same goal.
Reclaim Your Life From Valium Addiction
People suffering from Valium addiction often put their addiction ahead of professional and personal obligations. They are also likely to become unmotivated and lose interest in hobbies they once found pleasurable. We Level Up treatment rehab & detox center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from this condition with a professional and safe detox process. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.