Valium, also known as diazepam is a medication that belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. Initially, it was synthesized in the 1960s, and it quickly became one of the most commonly prescribed medications for anxiety and seizures. Its active ingredient is diazepam, and its effects on the body range from calming muscle spasms to relieving anxiety, although it is one of the most addictive drugs of its kind today.
But valium's effects on the body also make it a favorite for recreational use, which has boomed the black market for the drug. Valium can be addictive, and people who abuse it are at a high risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it. From 1969 to 1982, diazepam was the best-selling drug in American pharmacies, selling just over 2.3 billion tablets in 1978 alone. It is easy to guess that a drug with similar effects could easily be popular as a street drug.
What is diazepam and how it work?
Valium works by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is a neurotransmitter in the brain that slows down nerve activity. This results in a calming effect on the body and mind. When valium is taken orally, it is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream through the digestive system. It has a half-life of approximately 48 hours, which means that it can stay in the body for up to several days after ingestion. Valium acts quickly and can produce noticeable effects within 30 minutes to an hour after taking it. One of the reasons why valium has become such a popular medication for treating anxiety disorders is because it can provide immediate relief from symptoms such as nervousness, tension, and agitation.
However, diazepam’s fast-acting nature also makes it more susceptible to abuse and addiction. It should be noted that like other benzodiazepines, valium is only meant for short-term use because long-term use can lead to tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms when stopping its use abruptly. Therefore doctors recommend taking caution when using this medication over an extended period.
The Historical Aspect of valium.
The drug was first introduced in 1963 by the pharmaceutical company Hoffmann-La Roche. It quickly gained popularity as a treatment for anxiety and was even referred to as "Mother's Little Helper" due to its widespread use among housewives during the 1960s and 1970s. During its peak in popularity, Valium became the most prescribed drug in America. However, concerns began to arise about its addictive properties and potential for abuse. This led to tighter regulations on the drug's distribution, which caused a decline in its widespread use. In 2020, it was the 128th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 4 million prescriptions. In 1985 the patent ended, and there are now more than 500 brands available on the market.
In popular culture references, valium has been referenced numerous times in music and literature. In The Rolling Stones' song "Mother's Little Helper," it is portrayed as a cure for housewives' stress. In “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” by Hunter S. Thompson, it is mentioned repeatedly as a means of coping with the characters' intense experiences. Overall, while the history of valium may have experienced highs and lows throughout the years due to concerns about addiction and abuse potential. Its continued use under medical supervision shows that it still has value as an effective treatment option for certain medical conditions.
The Valium Experience: What should you know?
It’s important to understand what to expect when taking diazepam and how to enhance its effects for maximum benefit. One important thing to keep in mind when taking this drug is that it can cause drowsiness and impaired judgment. It is therefore recommended that you avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you know how the medication affects you.
Most popular effects associated with taking this substance: Memory loss, Blackout potential, Motor skill impairment, Dizziness, Depression, Irritability, Aggression, Rage, Personality changes, Drowsiness, Appetite fluctuation, Euphoria, Relaxation, Anxiety suppression, Muscle relaxation, Emotional and social dissociation or de-realization (normally seen with long term use).
Despite the rapidly growing tolerance, there are average dosages for successful substance experience for oral use:
Light – 2.5-5 mg.
Common – 5-15 mg.
Heavy – 15-30 mg.
The drug has long-lasting duration of effects. Combined with post-effects, it can last 120 hours.
Alcohol – Ethanol ingestion may potentiate the CNS effects of many benzodiazepines. The two substances potentiate each other strongly and unpredictably, very rapidly leading to unconsciousness. While unconscious, vomit aspiration is a risk if not placed in the recovery position. Blacking out and memory loss is almost certain.
GHB / GBL – The two substances potentiate each other strongly and unpredictably, very rapidly leading to unconsciousness. While unconscious, vomit aspiration is a risk if not placed in the recovery position.
Opioids – Central nervous system and/or respiratory-depressant effects may be additively or synergistically present. The two substances potentiate each other strongly and unpredictably, very rapidly leading to unconsciousness. While unconscious, vomit aspiration is a risk if not placed in the recovery position Blackouts / memory loss likely.
The Health Aspect of Taking Valium
It's important to understand the potential health risks associated with taking valium. In this section, we will explore some of the key health considerations that you should keep in mind if you are taking or planning to take this substance. Side Effects and Risks Like all benzodiazepines, diazepam can cause a range of side effects. Some of the most common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, muscle weakness and lack of coordination. In some cases, more serious side effects such as hallucinations, depression and thoughts of suicide may occur.
In addition to these potential side effects, there are also some risks associated with long-term use of valium. One major concern is the risk of addiction or dependence on the medication. This risk increases when valium is taken over an extended period or at higher-than-recommended doses.
ConclusionDiazepam has a rich history and a significant impact on popular culture. It’s important to understand the dos and don'ts of taking this drug as well as the potential health risks associated with it. When taken responsibly, valium can provide relief from anxiety and other conditions.
It should be remembered that all drugs in the benzodiazepine group have a higher risk of addiction than many opiates, as can be said for benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. With proper knowledge and caution, diazepam can be used effectively for those who need it.