Valium Side Effects & Signs of Addiction

Written by Melissa Carmona

& Medically Reviewed by Dr. Kevin Wandler, MD

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Last Updated - 08/10/2023

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Updated 08/10/2023

Valium, which is a benzodiazepine, has become almost an ingrained part of our culture. It’s not uncommon to hear people on TV, movies and pop culture talking about the use of valium casually. That can lead people to perceive that it’s not harmful or be unaware of Valium’s potential side effects.

The following highlights why this isn’t the case and why you or your loved one should get help if you believe there’s a problem with Valium.

Valium Side Effects

Valium, as a part of a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, is a sedative. Valium side effects, whether you take this drug as prescribed or otherwise, indicate the type of drug it is. Valium is prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders, and it can also serve as a muscle relaxant.

Some of the possible side effects of Valium can include:

  • Drowsiness or sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • The feeling of spinning
  • Loss of balance
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Problems with memory
  • Slurred speech
  • Blurry vision
  • Rash or itching
  • Sexual problems

Perhaps even more frightening than some of the general common side effects of Valium is the fact that use of the drug can lead to physical dependence and addiction. Valium is classified as a Schedule IV narcotic by the DEA in the U.S., which means there is a known potential for abuse and addiction.

Valium Side Effects the Next Day

With many drugs and alcohol, there can be side effects of use that extend into the following day, referred to as a hangover. People wonder if there are valium side effects the next day, and for the most part, these side effects may not be as severe as with other substances, but they can occur.

Some of the possible Valium side effects the next day can include feeling fatigued or groggy, having a headache or feeling depressed.

If you are physically dependent on the drug and try to stop taking it suddenly, the Valium side effects the next day can be very severe and include withdrawal symptoms. Valium withdrawal symptoms can include headache, nausea, vomiting, cramps, tremors, increased blood pressure, confusion and the risk of developing seizures. Other withdrawal symptoms of Valium can be cravings, depression, panic attacks and rebound anxiety.

Valium Side Effects with Long-Term Use

Physical dependence and addiction are the most important considerations when looking at Valium side effects.

Physical Dependence to Valium

When you use Valium over the long-term, or even for a short time in some cases, it can lead to physical dependence. This means that your body sees the presence of Valium as its normal situation, and when you stop taking it, you go through withdrawal. When you are physically dependent on Valium, you may or may not be addicted.

Addiction to Valium

Another side effect of long-term Valium use is addiction. Addiction is a disease of the brain. When you take a drug like Valium, it profoundly changes your brain, and your brain then compels you to continue wanting to take the drug to achieve the effects of the high.

There are other Valium side effects with long-term use as well.

Some of the possible long-term side effects of Valium can include:

  • Memory impairment and loss
  • Hallucinations
  • Breathing problems
  • Slow pulse
  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Psychotic scenarios

Signs of Valium Overdose

Valium overdose can occur for several different reasons. It may occur because someone has taken the drug more often or taken larger doses than they’re supposed to, or because they’ve mixed Valium with another substance like opioids or alcohol. A Valium overdose can also happen when someone takes the drug in a way it’s not intended to be used, such as crushing it up and snorting it.

Valium overdose symptoms can include:

  • Lips or nails that appear to have a blue tint
  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Confusion
  • Extreme depression
  • Dizziness
  • Unsteadiness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Weakness
  • Breathing problems
  • Seeming unalert or unresponsive

A drug overdose can be fatal. If you believe an overdose is in progress, take immediate action by dialing 911 or the National Poison Control Center at 1-855-599-5032.

Valium Addiction Symptoms

It is possible to become addicted to Valium, so there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you should know the signs of valium use.

The signs of valium use can include seeming tired or confused. Signs of valium use are often similar to being intoxicated from alcohol, and these symptoms can occur even when someone is taking the drug as prescribed by their doctor.

Symptoms of Valium can indicate abuse as well. Signs of Valium abuse include taking the drug without a prescription, not following a doctor’s instructions for using it, or doctor shopping to get multiple prescriptions.

Symptoms of Valium abuse can then move to Valium addiction signs.

Valium addiction signs may include:

  • Someone who has moved from abusing Valium to becoming addicted may be out of control of their use of the drug, and they may regularly do things like using more than they intend to
  • As with any drug addiction, one of the first Valium addiction signs is withdrawing from friends, family, and responsibilities. You may notice a decline in performance at school or work when someone is addicted to Valium
  • Signs of Valium addiction can include relationships problems, lying, stealing and criminal behavior, often to support the addict’s drug use
  • Symptoms of valium addiction may include trying to stop using the drug and being unsuccessful
  • People who are addicted to Valium tend to feel like they can’t function without it

Help for Valium Addiction

If you think you have any of the symptoms of valium addiction, or you have a loved one who shows these Valium addiction signs, there are resources for help in Colorado. One option, whether you’re in Colorado Springs, Boulder, Denver or anywhere else in Colorado is The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake. We also operate national facilities if you would like to leave Colorado to receive treatment for Valium addiction symptoms.

Sources

Accessdata.fda.gov. “Valium.” 2016. Accessed October 29, 2021.

Medlineplus.gov. “Diazepam.” National Institutes of Health, May 15, 2021. Accessed October 29, 2021.

NIDA. “Benzodiazepines and Opioids.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, February 3, 2021. Accessed October 29, 2021.

DEA. “Controlled Substance Schedules.” Drug Enforcement Administration, 2021. Accessed October 29, 2021.

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