I actually asked your CRS about Valium Fissy and he said nope he doesn't use it. I must look like a drug seeker or something :) SF CRS was cool with it though.
I have to disagree about the action of benzos though... At the end of the day, they all bind to GABA receptors and enhance the action of GABA, which is how addiction forms (because the brain then adjusts to produce less GABA). There are some subtle differences between the various benzos, but they primarily center around duration, binding affinity (rather than which receptors they actually bind to), and active metabolites. It's what I was taught in chem/pharm class and given my personal circumstances, I've unfortunately looked into the matter more than I would like :( For instance the chemical structure of diazepam and clonazepam are nearly identical, except clonazepam has a N2O group on it which changes its profile (but not binding site) a bit -- makes it metabolize quicker and more completely (without active metabolites like diazepam produces), increases the risk of side effects, etc. However, since there are so many benzos available, companies need to market each one for a different niche, and hence clonazepam gets marketed more for spasticity and anxiety while diazepam gets marketed more for muscle relaxation. But the inherent difference between them is actually not that great. The other thing to consider is that the smallest clonazepam tablet is 0.5 mg, which is equivalent to about 5 mg of diazepam, thus it cannot be taken in small doses like diazepam can, thus leading people to believe that it's stronger or acts differently when in fact a lot of it can be attributed to dose, rate of metabolism, etc. Anyhow I guess I'm just being anal here (funny thing to say on this site I guess :))
As for addiction I would honestly have to just say to be very, very careful. Benzos are one of the most common drugs for people to get addicted to, and it's a very individual thing. Some people can take them for months without problems and others can have major problems after just a few weeks. I wouldn't have believed it if it hadn't happened to me personally. I'm on a couple of benzo support forums and you wouldn't believe the number of people who have had problems after just a few weeks. I took diazepam for 5 weeks at a much lower dose than my CRS even prescribed and ended up not being able to stop. Just do a google search for "benzodiazepine withdrawal" or "benzodiazepine addiction" and you'll find a ton of people with stories just like mine. According to doctors that don't specialize in drug addiction, it's not possible to get addicted after that short a span of time, but once you talk to people who focus on only addiction, they'll tell you that it's entirely possible.
What really sucks isn't just being addicted either. It's that most doctors -- aside from addiction specialists -- have no idea how to properly taper off these things. They'll tell you to just cut your dose by 25% or 50% every week or two and you'll be fine, but I can personally say that's absolutely not true if you've got a real addiction, meaning a physical and not just psychological dependency. After I took diazepam for 5 weeks, I stopped over the course of a week went into terrible physical withdrawal. I told my CRS about it and she told me that was impossible, but I guarantee you it happened, and I finally realized I wasn't crazy when I stumbled on all the online benzo support forums and talked to a few specialists. It's a lot like an anal fissure -- people don't really know unless they've been there or if that's their field. There's a well known benzo taper protocol called The Ashton Manual which lays out the right way to taper off, and it's a long process. One of the most common emergency room drug-related admissions is actually for people in acute benzo withdrawal who followed uneducated tapering instructions from their doctors.
Anyway, I know this is a huge post and I do have a stick up my ass (another funny thing to say on this site I suppose
), and I certainly don't mean to freak you out FireCracker or second guess you Fissy, but when it comes to valium and benzos in general, it's pretty personal to me and I just don't want anyone else to follow down the same path unknowingly.
Now would I have taken valium again given the pain I was in during my acute fissure days? Well, hell yes, because the pain was THAT bad, and I would've done anything! But just be extremely careful and know what you could potentially (not guaranteed but possibly
) be opening the door to. Once that door's open, I and many other people can attest that it's reeeeallly hard to close, so best to use the valium for when things are real bad, but keep that benzo dependency door closed as much as possible :)