Valium is a benzodiazepine with many indications but is most commonly used to treat anxiety, seizures or alcohol withdrawal. It is classified as a Schedule IV substance under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning addiction can develop even if taking this medication as prescribed.
Withdrawal from diazepam can result in many uncomfortable and dangerous side effects similar to other benzodiazepines; therefore, it is not recommended to stop Valium cold turkey. Instead, tapering off Valium can reduce the chances of severe withdrawal symptoms like seizures. For this reason, taking it at the lowest effective dose and for the shortest time necessary is essential.
Valium is most often used for anxiety, alcohol withdrawal or treating seizures but is also used for muscle spasms, night terrors or sedation for medical procedures. Benzos, like Valium, work by decreasing the signals between the brain and body by increasing the activity of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This activity increase can result in feelings of calm and relaxation, which help with anxiety.
In addition to feeling calm and relaxed after taking Valium, it can lead to several other side effects. These can include:
It is not recommended to stop Valium cold turkey. The body compensates for having Valium in the system consistently over time and will require time to adjust when Valium is stopped. Most people wanting to stop Valium will do so slowly over many weeks for this reason. By gradually stopping Valium, the chances of severe withdrawal symptoms like seizures are less likely.
It is essential to discuss your desire to stop taking Valium with your healthcare provider for a personalized recommendation. Safely stopping Valium differs from person to person and will depend on many factors, including how much you take and how long you have been taking that dose.
Diazepam withdrawal can result in many symptoms, similar to other benzodiazepines. These are from abruptly stopping or tapering off of Valium too quickly and not allowing the body enough time to adjust. In general, withdrawal symptoms have the opposite effect as the substance. In the case of Valium withdrawal, symptoms can include:
The diazepam withdrawal timeline can differ from person to person and may depend on factors like how much Valium you take and for how long. Other factors include medications or alcohol taken with Valium, genetics or kidney and liver function. In general, there are three phases in the diazepam withdrawal timeline.
Tapering off Valium is recommended for most people. Quitting Valium this way can help prevent withdrawal symptoms and increase the likelihood of staying sober. In addition, under medical supervision, any withdrawal symptoms that happen due to tapering Valium too quickly can usually be managed easily. Most importantly, deciding to quit Valium means taking the first step toward taking your life back.
Your healthcare provider will determine the most appropriate taper schedule after considering your specific needs. However, a sample Valium taper schedule may look like this:
You might wonder, “How long does it take to detox from Valium?” This timeframe can differ between people and depends on many factors, including how much you have been taking and for how long, your liver and kidney function and if you take other substances regularly. However, it can generally take the body up to 10 days to eliminate just one dose of Valium. This is because Valium has a very long half-life compared to other benzos. A substance’s half-life is the time it takes the body to metabolize and eliminate half of one dose.
At The Recovery Village Columbus, our licensed, compassionate staff and accredited facilities are here to provide you with the support you need. We offer treatment programs ranging from medical detox to inpatient and outpatient treatment. No matter where you are on your path to recovery, we can help.
Contact us if you or a loved one are ready to discuss Valium addiction. Our admissions coordinators are available to talk 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help you lead a healthier life today.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.