Valium is a generic name for a drug called diazepam. Valium belongs to the benzodiazepine family. Benzodiazepines are a group of tranquilizing medications with sedative, anxiety reducing, muscle relaxing and sleep inducing properties.
Valium is most commonly prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal syndrome and chronic sleep disorders. It is also used in the treatment of epilepsy due to its anticonvulsant abilities. Valium is considered a long-acting classical benzodiazepine, meaning it has a longer effect compared to other benzodiazepines. Prolonged use of Valium causes the body to develop a tolerance which means that higher doses are needed to produce the same effect. This is why prolonged use can lead to addiction. Valium is considered one of the most commonly abused legal drugs.
Alprazolam (Xanax) is an extremely useful drug in medicine, with myriad uses and a good side-effect profile. Unfortunately, alprazolam is one of the most commonly reported drugs of abuse, because of its high potency, rapid onset and relatively short duration. The addictive characteristic is caused by the high rate of physical dependence and serious withdrawal symptoms. Most patients that are prescribed alprazolam do not abuse their medication for recreational uses, but it is such a commonly prescribed drug that it is unavoidable that some do. About half of patients on long-term therapy develop physical dependence and require that the drug is slowly tapered. Doctors should always prescribe alprazolam at the lowest effective dose, for the shortest duration required. Patients should keep their medication away from children, teenagers and anyone with a known history of drug abuse.