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What Are the Risks of an Overdose?

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People who drift away into sleep often seem remarkably peaceful, as they’re sedated and slow. But while people who sleep breathe regularly, some people follow a very different breathing pattern. Each breath is shallower than the breath that came before, and soon those breaths are separated by moments in which the person doesn’t seem to be alive at all. Severe sedation like this is sometimes associated with benzodiazepines like Valium (diazepam), and when this breathing pattern takes hold, an overdose is possible.

When Does a Valium Overdose Happen?

ValiumFew experts will outline just how many Valium pills people must take in order to experience an overdose. As an article in The New York Times puts it, experts are afraid that people will use their words as a how-to manual, and they’ll take the right amount of pills as a suicide attempt. This caution is understandable, but those who do try to end their lives with Valium might be disappointed, as the human body seems remarkably capable of handling Valium without becoming overwhelmed.

But just because people do not die doesn’t mean that they’re not overdosing. In fact, people can experience a number of very nasty side effects when they take too much of this drug, including:

  • Excitability
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach

During an overdose, people might also fall into a deep sleep that lasts for hours and hours, and nervous bystanders might not be able to awaken the sleeper with words or gestures. The drug puts them under, and they’ll stay there until medical attention is given or the drug wears off.

Typically, an overdose like this is treated by pumping the person’s stomach, so additional Valium pills can be removed before they are digested and enter the bloodstream. Fluid therapies might also be helpful, as they can flush additional medications out of the blood.

Other Valium Overdose Concerns

While a standard Valium overdose might be just uncomfortable and not life-threatening, there are other situations in which people can experience very serious medical complications due to taking too many Valium pills. For example, some street dealers find it hard to obtain Valium, as they may not have acquaintances with valid prescriptions or doctors who are willing to play ball. These dealers may substitute other chemicals for Valium, and those substances might be very dangerous.

For example, in an article in the Journal of Emergency Medicine, researchers outline the case of two people who bought a product called “street Valium,” which contained no benzodiazepine at all. These people were treated successfully in the hospital, but an overdose could quickly take place if people pop pills of other substances they’ve never been exposed to. If these people think they’re taking Valium, for example, and they take five or six pills, but they’re really taking something like MDMA, they might overdose on MDMA, as they’ve built up no tolerance for that substance.

Help for Valium Addiction

If someone you love has overdosed on Valium, you’ve been provided with a unique opportunity. Now you can really begin to talk about the person’s thoughts, habits and behaviors, and you can help that person to see that treatment can, and will, make a big difference. Please call us at Michael’s House, and we can help you to get started.