Valium abuse is common among teens. It is an easy drug to access, both from clinicians and adult’s medicine cabinets. Adults might think of Valium as a powerful, effective drug used in the fight against anxiety and muscle spasm disorders. Teens, on the other hand, may think of Valium as candy, sleeping pills or tranks.
As teens become more and more disconnected from the real dangers associated with Valium abuse, they become more and more likely to use the drug for recreational purposes. Doing so can bring about disastrous results.
Prevalence of Abuse
Teens might use almost any prescription drug for recreational purposes, and many stories about the risks and dangers of prescription drug abuse among teens focus on illicit use of prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin.
While it’s true that a startling number of teens are leaning on strong painkiller drugs, and developing intense addiction issues as a result, many teens are choosing to focus on Valium as their addictive drug of choice. For teens, the drug seems to provide a soothing, calming experience that can allow them to get through stressful schooldays and difficult evenings with family members, all while maintaining a veneer of peace and tranquility.
In an article published in U.S. Pharmacist, researchers write that 33 percent of teens felt that there was no shame in the illicit use of drugs like Valium. Furthermore, 21 percent of teens felt that their parents would not be concerned if the teens got caught abusing prescription drugs like Valium. These teens might actually believe that the drug is safe, when compared to street drugs, and that they’re being effective problem-solvers when they begin to use Valium to help them deal with life.
Signs of Valium Abuse
Teens who abuse Valium might not be willing to admit that they’re taking addictive drugs on a regular basis. Teens can be secretive and shameful. And, deep down, teens who are abusing drugs may know that there is something not quite right about taking drugs so frequently.
Valium is a depressant, meaning that it slows down the body’s normal systems. Also, a teen who is under the influence of Valium might demonstrate:
- Slow breathing
- Rapid eyeball movements
Teens who abuse Valium may also spend a significant time sleeping, and they may become irritable when they need to take another dose of the drug. In addition, these teens might retreat to their bedrooms and demand increased privacy when upset, and emerge in a completely different mood just a few moments later.
Where Do They Get Them?
Teens who cannot find the drug in the medicine cabinet may turn to the Internet for relief. According to a Columbia University study, a whopping 94 percent of sites that sell prescription drugs don’t require a prescription.
Teenagers are often unaware that Valium interacts with alcohol, and the mixture can prove fatal. Both substances can slow breathing, meaning that a person who mixes the two substances can simply forget to breathe altogether. If teens don’t receive immediate help, they may not survive such an episode.
Taking Valium on a regular basis is a bit like wrapping the brain in cotton, 24 hours per day. Experts recommend entering rehab programs for their addiction, rather than attempt to go through Valium detoxification on their own at home. By entering a treatment center, people can get medical support for dangerous side effects.
Stopping the Abuse
Teens who abuse Valium may benefit from a firm talk with their parents, in which they’re reminded that:
- Valium abuse is illegal.
- The drug is dangerous.
- Help is available.
This last point is the most important for parents to stress. Valium can seem like a cure-all to some teens, and they may have developed physical addictions that make it impossible for them to simply stop taking the drug, even if they wish to do so. Parents can gently inform their children that rehab programs for Valium addiction can and do work. Also, explain that there are many kinds of therapies available in the fight against prescription drug abuse. If you need to hold a talk like this with your teen, but you’re unsure about how to get started, please contact us. At Newport Academy, we have extensive experience in helping teens recover from addictions. We can help you determine just what to say, and we can help you start the enrollment process to get your teen needed help for a Valium addiction.