Way back in 2015, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning regarding the purchasing of Diazepam, the generic name of Valium, over the internet. This was after the World Health Organization reported how patients in Central Africa took mislabelled drugs and suffered adverse effects. Valium is benzodiazepine drug used for its sedative and calming effects to treat anxiety.
It was not until late 2018 when accounts of fake Valium pills have resurfaced again. Several UK media outlets have reported about an alarming spike in drug-related deaths in Scotland, which are apparently being linked to counterfeit Valium pills. These fake pills that are sold on the streets or on the internet for as low as £8p a pill ($10 cents) were dubbed as the ‘Blue Plague” because of their deadly effects. There were also reports of a crime gang being busted for producing more £1.6m of street Valium from a garage in Glasgow, Scotland.
While there have been no confirmed reports until now whether fake Diazepam have indeed entered the United States, the accessibility offered by the internet has made it a very possible reality especially as the existence of other counterfeit benzodiazepines like fake Xanax have been confirmed. With many doctors becoming more cautious about prescribing Valium to people with high-addictive potential, many Valium addicts are trying to find other ways to source these pills.
The Fake Valium Victims
When Valium was first released in the 1960’s, it was seen as a safer alternative compared to other medications used to treat anxiety disorders. In fact, it consistently ranked as one of the highest selling medications in the United States. With billions of tablets being consumed by Americans, it should not come as a surprise why so many people abuse this prescription drug.
There are two types of people who become targets of the fake Valium drug trade. The first type are those who actively sought out the drug to use it for recreational purposes. They are after the fast-acting, sedative and calming effect of the drug. Teens, college students, and young adults who use Valium as a party drug fall under this category. These users normally get their drugs by faking anxiety symptoms and doctor shopping. While another popular method is to get it from clubs, on campus, or over the internet.
The second type are the accidental addicts. These people were truthfully suffering from anxiety in the beginning and were looking for a legit cure, without realizing that there is a possibility to be dependent on the drug. Just like opioids, the addiction potential of Valium was not immediately recognised by the medical and pharmaceutical industry. It took quite a long time for stakeholders to grudgingly admit that Diazepam can be addictive. The danger was only acknowledged after numerous studies have emerged about how the drug can cause physical dependence and abuse.
A recent study by the University of Michigan asserts that one in four people prescribed Valium will become addicted. This is a very disturbing information because the drug is usually only prescribed for two to four weeks. If users become dependent and experience withdrawal symptoms, the obvious desperate move if they run out of tablets is to source from illegitimate sources.
Why Fake Valium Is Deadly
Because Valium is a prescription drug, it is often perceived as a safer option compared to illegal substances like crack cocaine or meth. However, this does not mean that you will not suffer damaging consequences from abusing the drug, especially if you are gambling your life with pills that might be fake.
Like any other drug sold on the streets and online, you are not really 100% percent sure what you are getting when buying Valium outside a pharmacy. It is very common for drug manufacturers to cut or mix drugs with other substances to save money or to make them more potent. Some drug dealers even market the drugs laced with other substances as a more intense product to attract more buyers. This case is no different when it comes to Valium. There are reports of Valium being mixed with stimulants, opioids, and other types of benzo drugs. According to experts, poly-drug use is often the cause of a fatal overdose.
Another cause of a deadly overdose is when another drug is marketed as Valium without the users’ knowledge. There have been fatal cases in the UK where users thought they were taking Diazepam, only for medical experts to find out that the drug was at least 20 times stronger than Valium.
If you are suffering from Valium addiction, the answer is not to turn online or to street dealers. This can cost you your life, sooner than you think. You do not have to deal with this difficult situation by yourself. Help is available. Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center to learn more about our specialized modes of treatment.