Ad Disclosure: Some of our MentalHelp.net recommendations, including BetterHelp, are also affiliates, and as such
we may receive compensation from them if you choose to purchase products or services through the links provided
Addiction is a disease characterized by physical, psychological and social consequences. Tolerance to the pharmacological effects can develop within weeks of chronic use and withdrawal manifests once the drug is no longer available, both signifying the high addictive potential of Valium.
Can Valium Abuse and Addiction be Treated?
If we address only the physical and social consequences, but do not address the psychological ones, there is a greater risk of relapse.
If we address only the physical and social consequences but do not address the psychological ones, there is a greater risk of relapse.
The physical consequences of Valium addiction must be treated first. This usually occurs at the detox stage of treatment and includes the medical management of withdrawal symptoms and any co-occurring physical or psychological problems that are exacerbated during detox.
Therapists are Standing By to Treat Your Depression, Anxiety or Other Mental Health Needs
Once you have safely completed detox, you can participate in treatment activities designed to help address other psychosocial consequences, like recurring anxiety, maladaptive thought patterns, and dysfunctional family and social dynamics.
A combined approach utilizing both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment options has long been reported to lead to improved treatment outcomes for benzodiazepine addiction.
If you have a doctor's prescription for Valium but you find yourself using more than prescribed and running out of your prescription before your next refill, you may have developed a tolerance and need addiction treatment.
If you have tried to stop using on your own but find yourself returning to using Valium, you may have difficulty stopping without addiction treatment.
If you experience increased blackouts and your Valium use is interfering with your work, school, social and family life, it may be time to seek help.
Types of Treatment
Residential treatment may be referred to as inpatient treatment or rehab and involves living at the treatment facility while receiving treatment services. Such services can include:
Education about addiction and the recovery process, as well as relapse prevention techniques.
Depending on the treatment center's philosophy, you may also be encouraged to participate in a 12-step support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.
Long-term residential programs, also known as therapeutic communities, were found to be effective in reducing drug use and improving employment, legal and psychological outcomes among the residents.
Generally, residential programs have been found to be effective for those that are referred by the judicial system as well as those with co-occurring psychiatric disorders.
Medically Assisted Treatment
Because of the risk of seizures associated with Valium withdrawal, medically assisted treatment will be necessary to navigate the potentially dangerous period of acute detox. Gradual dose tapering has been a commonly recommended approach for successful discontinuation of benzodiazepines. Additionally, it is recommend to offer psychological support whenever necessary.
Interventions such as cognitive restructuring and cognitive-behavioral strategies can foster a sense of control over withdrawals and help manage anxiety.
Potent sedating medications including Librium and phenobarbital, as well as anti-convulsants like depakote and gabapentin have been successfully used during withdrawal from Valium to prevent seizures. Medications such as clonidine, Vistaril and trazodone can be used to respectively treat high blood pressure, anxiety and sleep difficulties.
Currently, there are no approved medicines for long-term management of benzodiazepine addiction. Recently a pre-clinical study has reported success with the use of low doses of the benzodiazepine antagonist flumazenil in reducing withdrawal sequelae and providing relief from long-term withdrawal.
Counseling and Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that can best treat Valium addiction by helping you identify and change your thoughts and perceptions about drug use.
Psychological support has been recommended as an adjunct intervention during benzodiazepine discontinuation. CBT is intended to help you develop coping skills to handle life's stressors without needing to use Valium. It is also an effective form of therapy in treating anxiety associated with valium withdrawal or as an adjunct in managing the anxiety disorder that was the precursor to your Valium use.
CBT helps builds self-efficacy, and its use is associated with improved outcomes.
CBT offered in combination with supervised tapering of benzodiazepine has been found to be effective in improving abstinence rate as well as improving sleep. CBT can take place in an individual counseling session but seems to be most effective in group settings as you have a greater chance of learning valuable skills from the peers in your group.
Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient
Partial hospitalization (PHP) is a step below inpatient or residential treatment. You do not live at the treatment facility, but you typically go there for about six hours a day Monday through Friday.
This option allows you to be at home during the evening and night if needed or to live in a sober/transitional living house while still participating in group and individual therapy. Intensive outpatient (IOP) is a step below PHP and you typically attend treatment at an outpatient facility for about 3 hours a day, 3 days a week. This option allows you the flexibility of going to school or work full-time.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment: What to Expect
Valium is typically prescribed by physicians to treat anxiety. Those who later develop a dependency would be said to carry a primary diagnosis of an anxiety disorder, with the subsequent addiction to Valium a secondary diagnosis.
The prevalence of psychiatric disorders has been found to be high among those abusing benzodiazepines, especially when dependence is severe.
Around one-third of those with severe benzodiazepine dependence are reported to suffer from a lifetime major depressive disorder and panic disorder.
It is recommended to offer a comprehensive intervention package that integrates intensive outpatient treatments, case management services, and behavioral therapies such as contingency management for treatment of severe co-morbid conditions among individuals with drug addiction.
There are treatment facilities that specialize in dual diagnosis treatment, providing medically assisted treatment along with CBT to address anxiety, depression and addiction.
A 2013 article in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology indicates that CBT has significantly positive outcomes of weakening the link between anxiety and the motivation to use drugs or drink.
How to Choose the Best Valium Treatment
Search for inpatient treatment centers that are affordable and provide the services that are necessary for you to be successful in your sobriety.
The types of medical services they provide, if there is 24/7 medical care and how long the detox portion of treatment usually lasts.
The types of therapy offered and if they encourage family participation.
What you can and cannot bring with you and if there are any restrictions to follow during your time there.
Whether have a website where you can look up further information about the facility and patient testimonials.
An appropriate treatment center can make your detox safer and more comfortable.
Ashton, H. (1994). The treatment of benzodiazepine dependence. Addiction, 89(11), 1535-1541.
O'Brien C, P. (2005). Benzodiazepine use, abuse, and dependence. J Clin Psychiatry, 66 Suppl 2, 28-33.
Vanderplasschen, W., Colpaert, K., Autrique, M., Rapp, R. C., Pearce, S., Broekaert, E., & Vandevelde, S. (2013). Therapeutic communities for addictions: a review of their effectiveness from a recovery-oriented perspective. ScientificWorldJournal, 2013, 427817.
Ashton, H. (2005). The diagnosis and management of benzodiazepine dependence. Curr Opin Psychiatry, 18(3), 249-255.
Hood, S. D., Norman, A., Hince, D. A., Melichar, J. K., & Hulse, G. K. (2014). Benzodiazepine dependence and its treatment with low dose flumazenil. British journal of clinical pharmacology, 77, 285-294.
O'Connor, K., Marchand, A., Brousseau, L., Aardema, F., Mainguy, N., Landry, P., Savard, P., et al. (2008). Cognitive-behavioural, pharmacological and psychosocial predictors of outcome during tapered discontinuation of benzodiazepine. Clinical psychology & psychotherapy, 15, 1-14.
Morin, C. M., Bastien, C., Guay, B., Radouco-Thomas, M., Leblanc, J., & Valli?res, A. (2014). Randomized clinical trial of supervised tapering and cognitive behavior therapy to facilitate benzodiazepine discontinuation in older adults with chronic insomnia. American Journal of Psychiatry. Am Psychiatric Assoc. Retrieved from http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.ajp.161.2.332
Busto, U. E., Romach, M. K., & Sellers, E. M. (1996). Multiple drug use and psychiatric comorbidity in patients admitted to the hospital with severe benzodiazepine dependence. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 16, 51-57.
Kelly, T. M., Daley, D. C., & Douaihy, A. B. (2012). Treatment of substance abusing patients with comorbid psychiatric disorders. Addictive behaviors, 37, 11-24.
Kushner, M.G., Muarer, E.W., Thuras, P., Donahue, C., Frye, B., Menary, K.R., Hobbs, J., Haeny, A.M., & Van Demark, J. (2013). Hybrid cognitive behavioral therapy versus relaxation training for co-occurring anxiety and alcohol disorder: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81(3), 429-442.
As advocates of mental health and wellness, we take great pride in educating our readers on the various online therapy providers available. MentalHelp has partnered with several thought leaders in the mental health and wellness space, so we can help you make informed decisions on your wellness journey. MentalHelp may receive marketing compensation from these companies should you choose to use their services.