Valium is a benzodiazepine prescribed by medical doctors and psychiatrists to treat anxiety and panic attacks. Historically, Valium has been a popular pharmaceutical agent–widely used for its muscle relaxant, anti-convulsant, and sedative properties. The substance is also known by its generic name, diazepam. Valium is a depressant drug that strengthens the effects of a neurotransmitter in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA works to slow down brain activity, so increasing GABA neurotransmission will result in less activity and reduced anxiety. Valium is a potential drug of abuse that can result in problems like physiological dependence, tolerance, and addiction when used for an extended period of time, at high doses, or for reasons other than prescribed.

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The general feeling of relaxation that Valium induces is what has made it one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs in the sedative or tranquilizer category. Gaining awareness that you have a problem with Valium is not going to happen immediately, but knowing the progression from abuse to addiction will aid in your understanding. Being prescribed the substance can make the abuse process more covert and confusing to both the user and those around them.

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