Can I Do Valium Detox At Home?
September 15, 2022
Valium is a potent benzodiazepine drug used mainly to treat anxiety, seizures, and insomnia. The drug has the generic name diazepam, and it functions as a sedative. In the context of drug rehab, Valium is a commonly prescribed medication for easing alcohol withdrawal.
As a sedative, Valium slows down activity in your brain and nerves, giving you feelings of calmness and relaxation. This reduction in brain activity makes the drug particularly useful against seizures, anxiety, and insomnia, which are all characterized by overly active nerve cells in the brain.
Because of the potency of Valium, it has addictive potential. For this reason, doctors only prescribe limited doses of the drug to patients. In normal practice, doctors start with the smallest dose of 4 milligrams (mg) per day and increase it gradually if needed. Going over the maximum safe dose of 40 mg per day wll likely produce addiction quickly.
If your doctor prescribed Valium, you must follow the recommended dosage strictly. Doing so will prevent dangerous side effects and addiction. Do not attempt to increase your dose yourself. Only your doctor should adjust your dose if needed.
But if you already have an addiction to Valium, treatment is in order. In a formal rehab program, the first step is usually Valium detox. It is done either in a hospital or a rehab center in most cases. Is it possible to have this procedure at home? Read on to find out.
What does Valium detox do?
Detox aims to remove all traces of Valium from your body. The procedure is ideally supervised by medical professionals, which is why it is also known as medically-assisted detox. Medical personnel are trained to make the process as safe and comfortable for you as possible. If you experience any severe withdrawal symptoms or life-threatening emergencies, you can get help immediately.
As part of making your detox as comfortable as possible, doctors will recommend a slow tapering of your Valium intake. This way, you will experience only mild withdrawal symptoms, and these are more easily manageable. Tapering gives your brain and body more room to adjust to the absence of Valium, so withdrawal is less uncomfortable.
Doctors do not recommend stopping cold turkey because it will lead to more unpleasant withdrawal. When you suddenly remove Valium from your system, your brain gets “shocked” when it suddenly does not get any of the drug. The more severe withdrawal symptoms are signs that your brain is struggling to adjust. For this reason, gradually weaning you off Valium is the best route in detox.
At the end of the procedure, you can fully abstain from Valium and still feel all right.
What are the withdrawal symptoms?
It is normal during Valium detox to experience withdrawal symptoms. These are signs that your brain and body is getting used to being sober. Some of them may be uncomfortable, so doctors may give you medications to make detox more tolerable.
Typical withdrawal symptoms you can experience include:
- Hypersensitive vision, hearing, or touch
- Abdominal cramps
- Muscle twitching
- Muscle pain
- Heart palpitations
- Decreased appetite
- Panic attacks
- Memory problems
If your case of Valium addiction is more severe, these conditions may arise as well:
- Numbness or tingling in the arms and/or legs
These may quickly turn fatal if not addressed promptly. But in a medically-assisted detox setting, doctors can come to your aid right away, saving your life.
What medications help with Valium withdrawal symptoms?
If you experience any pain or extreme discomfort due to withdrawal, doctors will help you manage them through these medications.
- Melatonin for insomnia
- Baclofen for muscle twitching and spasms
- Antidepressants for anxiety or depression
- Anticonvulsants (other than Valium, which is itself an anticonvulsant) for seizures and convulsions
Can detox be done at home?
Detox is best performed with medical supervision. When you try to detox at home, you will not have medical personnel ready to give aid at a moment’s notice. You may be putting yourself at risk, especially in the event of any medical emergencies that could arise while detoxing.
You may have your family members with you, but they may not be trained to give first aid or emergency medical help. Calling for medical help is possible, but the time it takes for medical personnel to get to your home and to transport you to a hospital adds to the risk.
Additionally, detoxing at home can put your family members at risk too. Sometimes, withdrawal may produce violent behaviors, and you may inadvertently direct these towards your family. You may cause unintended harm and trauma to them, especially your children.
Despite these risks, detox can be done at home with the help of medical professionals. If you would allow a doctor or a nurse to be in your home, you can detox from Valium safely at home. Home detox actually has a number of advantages over detox in a hospital or rehab center, such as:
- You will be in a familiar environment
- You will get regular encouragement and inspiration from your family
- You are in a more relaxed mood at home
- You still have the freedom to move around and do things around your home
What is the next step of treatment after Valium detox?
After detox, you still need to go through behavioral therapies to address the psychological impact of Valium addiction. You may still experience drug cravings, and some stressful circumstances may cause you to relapse. Behavioral therapies give you the skills you need to keep sober.
Here are some widely used, evidence-based behavioral therapies:
- Contingency management
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Family therapy
- Recreation therapy
- Individual counseling
- Animal-assisted therapy
These therapies take time, but in the end they will be worth it. Once you have built healthy habits and skills, you can regain control of your life. You will no longer need drugs to function properly.