What is Valium?  

Valium is a sedative that is typically prescribed to treat muscle spasms, anxiety disorders, certain sleep disorders, and alcohol withdrawal.  

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Valium primarily affects the central nervous system (CNS). It can cause depressed breathing, impair liver function, and cause substance use disorder (SUD). Valium is highly addictive and disrupts the function of GABA receptors in the brain. 

Valium

How Long Does Valium Stay in Your System?

Valium is typically metabolized within 8 hours. However, it is detectable by a drug test for much longer. The period of time valium stays in the system can vary based on individual factors. All listed times are averages:

Urine Tests:  Valium is detectable in urine for up to a month and a half.

Blood Tests: Valium blood tests can test positive for up to two days from the last dose.

Hair Tests: In general, substances are detectable in hair follicles for 3+ months. Valium is no different. 

Saliva Tests: Saliva tests can detect valium drug use for up to 10 days.

What is the Half-Life of Valium?

The half-life of valium varies depending on age, gender, dosage, and underlying health issues. 

Children: The half-life is up to 8 hours. Premature babies have an increased half life. 

Elderly:  The half-life is up to 20 hours.

Underlying liver condition: The half life is in excess of 100+ hours.

Factors That Influence How Long Valium Stays in Your System

The intensity of valium side effects and how long it stays in your system is dependent on a variety of individualized factors. Here are the most common:

  • Body fat
  • Dosage
  • Underlying health conditions
  • Other drugs
  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Gender
  • Route of administration 
  • Mood
  • Tolerance
  • Diet

What Drugs are Similar to Valium?

Valium is a long-acting benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed for anxiety disorders, muscle spasms, and other sedative uses. Benzodiazepines are widely prescribed and are all highly addictive. Besides valium, here are some of the most commonly prescribed “Benzos:”

  • Temazepam
  • Xanax
  • Nordiazepam
  • Alprazolam
  • Clonazepam
  • Oxazepam

It’s dangerous to combine any substance on this list with valium. The medicines are central nervous system depressants, which can lead to a host of serious medical conditions. Side effects and symptoms are similar between benzodiazepines. 

Valium Addiction Treatment

Taking valium can cause life-threatening effects and/or the loss of a loved one. Valium addiction treatment options vary. Finding one that works is often a combination of personal receptiveness, transportation, and other financial factors.

Medical Detox: Detox treatment is a form of recovery that provides a stable environment within a treatment center for the effects of withdrawal symptoms. The intensity of withdrawal symptoms are dependent upon the level of addiction and frequency of use. However, withdrawal symptoms can cause a number of effects on the body, including but not limited to:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Delirium 
  • Failure of vital organs
  • Changes in brain chemistry
  • Depression
  • Sleep issues
  • Shortness of breath
  • Common cold symptoms
  • Panic attacks

Detox treatment is designed to directly counteract the chronic or persistent side effects of withdrawal symptoms. Your healthcare provider may recommend detoxification treatment as an option for chronic drug abuse. 

Inpatient Care: Addiction centers for inpatient care accommodate overnight stays and 24 hour medical care. Rehab with inpatient care for substance use disorder (SUD) is reserved for more severe addiction. Medical professionals deliver intense mental health treatment in combination with medical treatment to assist with withdrawal symptoms.


Outpatient Treatment: Outpatient treatment offers rehabilitative care without overnight stays. Addiction centers are set up to provide job counseling, medical treatment, and therapeutic treatments to those that opt for outpatient care.

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Resources

Cheng, Tianze, et al. “Valium without Dependence? Individual GABAA Receptor Subtype Contribution toward Benzodiazepine Addiction, Tolerance, and Therapeutic Effects.” Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, Dove Medical Press, 23 May 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5973310/.

Treatment, Center for Substance Abuse. “Appendix B. Urine Collection and Testing Procedures and Alternative Methods for Monitoring Drug Use.” Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64092/.

Genentech, Inc. “VALIUM (DIAZEPAM).” Https://Www.accessdata.fda.gov/, 2016, www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/013263s094lbl.pdf.

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Updated on: December 16, 2020
Author
Alyssa Hill
About
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Medically Reviewed
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Annamarie Coy,
BA, CADACII/ICADC, ICPR, MATS
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