Withdrawal | 6 min read

Valium Withdrawals: Symptoms, Timeline, & How To Detox Safely

Medically Reviewed

Medically Reviewed By

Dr. Po-Chang Hsu

Dr. Po-Chang Hsu

On August 27, 2022

Written By

Amanda Stevens

Amanda Stevens, B.S.

On June 12, 2022

MHTN Drug Rehab Patients Seek family counseling services
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Valium, also known as diazepam, is a drug used to treat alcohol withdrawal, seizures, and anxiety. In addition, it can relieve and treat muscular spasms and help sedate and relax patients before medical procedures.

Valium works by calming the brain and the nerves so that the electrical signals and messages sent around the body and brain are not received at such a fast pace. Valium is in the family of drugs called benzodiazepines.

Valium is typically taken by mouth as directed by a doctor and is only available by prescription. Taking Valium has several risks associated with it due to its high likelihood of causing a Valium addiction. Valium is available in several forms, including concentrated solutions, pills, and liquid forms.

Valium also poses high risks for complications when mixed with other substances. Consuming Valium alongside other drugs or alcohol can cause intense drowsiness and breathing problems. Mixing Valium with medications in the opioid family, such as codeine, can cause extremely dangerous side effects, some of which are fatal.

Mixing Valium with other substances also increases the risk of Valium addiction. Valium addiction is a serious issue that must be dealt with promptly to prevent further damage and harm to oneself. Valium can also cause serious withdrawal symptoms; suddenly stopping a Valium dosage can cause death.

Beating a Valium addiction is a difficult thing to do, but it is possible. It is an important accomplishment to get your life back on track. However, there are certain things that people dealing with Valium addiction should know. Please read on to find out more information about Valium addiction and how to detox from Valium safely and effectively.

What Are The Symptoms Of Valium Withdrawals?

Because Valium is likely to cause an addiction, people can easily become dependent and addicted to the drug. Many people misuse and abuse the drug for purposes other than what it was prescribed and designed for. These addictions and abuses of the drug can lead to a person experiencing withdrawal if they stop taking it.

Valium withdrawal can be extremely serious. People who misuse, abuse, and become addicted to Valium become physically dependent on the drug. Physical dependence is a physical condition when a person builds up a tolerance to the drug and then experiences withdrawal symptoms when not on the drug.

A dependency on a drug can only occur if the person uses the drug regularly for an extended amount of time for more than a few weeks. When tolerance happens in conjunction with withdrawal symptoms, the person is physically dependent on the drug.

What Are The Symptoms Of Valium Withdrawals?

It is crucial to understand that a physical dependency or addiction can occur with Valium, whether taken illegally or prescribed by a doctor. People abusing the drugs and misusing them or taking them illegally can be diagnosed with a substance use disorder due to a physical dependency or addiction to Valium.

Valium withdrawal has various symptoms and stages you can identify throughout the process. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines, such as Valium, is usually broken into two different stages. Each stage lasts a different amount of time and is characterized by the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms the user will experience.

The first stage is the acute stage. The acute stage lasts from one to four days after the person’s last dosage of Valium. This is when the person will begin to feel the effects of acute withdrawal. Valium has a half-life of up to 48 hours, meaning that some people may not feel symptoms on day one or two but may feel intense symptoms on day three or four.

The time frame of the symptoms showing up depends on the volume the person last took, the length of time they were misusing or taking Valium can contribute to symptoms, and how often the person was consuming volume. There can also be effects from individual differences in the user. Some people experience different timelines of withdrawal symptoms due to their metabolism and their emotional stability.

The most common symptoms of acute withdrawal from Valium are listed below.

  • Cardiovascular symptoms: Cardiovascular symptoms might be associated with anxiety coming back, and general withdrawal symptoms such as increased blood pressure, heart rate, and other symptoms.
  • Psychological symptoms: Psychological symptoms can affect various behavioral and emotional responses. Some users may experience drug cravings, rebounding anxiety, new or worsening panic attacks, and behavioral issues such as aggression, impulsivity, irritability, and depression.
  • Physical symptoms: Physical symptoms include vomiting, nausea, cramps, headaches, tremors or shakiness, stomach pain, body aches and pains, chills, and more.
  • Neurological symptoms: Neurological symptoms include developing seizures and being confused about simple things. If a person experiences new or worsening seizures during the acute phase of Valium withdrawal, they must seek medical attention immediately, as these seizures are incredibly serious and can be potentially life-threatening or fatal.

After acute withdrawal, the second stage of withdrawal begins. This is called general withdrawal. General withdrawal is a longer stage of withdrawal that spans 10 to 14 days for most people. During this stage, the person will experience intense cravings for Valium. for many people, this is when they relapse.

The user will also feel light-headed, experience some headaches, some people experience fevers, and most people experience nausea, chills, anxiety, and depression. However, these symptoms are usually much milder than in the acute stage. Many people describe valium withdrawal in this stage as flu-like.

It is important to note that there is a general feeling of melancholy and sadness during this time. This is when many people may develop depression.

Valium Withdrawals Timeline

The timeline for Valium withdrawal is generally two to three weeks. It begins with acute withdrawal symptoms that can be very serious for one to four days. It is important to watch for seizures during acute withdrawal to ensure that the person experiencing withdrawal is not in a life-threatening situation.

After acute withdrawal is a 10 to 14-day stage called general withdrawal, when the person experiencing withdrawal will feel flu-like symptoms that are milder than the symptoms experienced during the acute withdrawal stage. This is often when people experience more intense cravings for Valium, which means that this time is a high-risk time for relapsing.

During general withdrawal, it can help to have friends and family around or be in a detox or rehabilitation center to prevent the person from experiencing withdrawal from relapsing due to the craving.

Are Valium Withdrawals Pointing To An Addiction?

The issue with Valium is that it can be abused or prescribed. It can also be prescribed and abused. We differentiate between Valium addiction and Valium physical dependency through the cause of the addiction or dependency.

If a person is misusing, abusing, or procuring Valium illegally, and they begin to experience withdrawal symptoms when they do not have it or become addicted, we consider that person addicted to Valium. They would be diagnosed with a substance use disorder.

If a person has a Valium prescription and is told by a doctor to take the Valium in certain dosages and at certain times and they experience withdrawal symptoms after stopping, they have a physical dependence on Valium. They would not be diagnosed with a substance use disorder because the drug is prescribed, and they take it as they are told.

Are Valium Withdrawals Pointing To An Addiction?

On the other hand, some people have a prescription for Valium and do not take the Valium per their prescription. These people may or may not be diagnosed with a substance use disorder because their physical dependence or addiction may be caused by their actions rather than the medical decision of a doctor.

So, in some cases, Valium withdrawal symptoms point to an addiction. In other cases, the person did not have a say in the decision because their doctor prescribed the drug to them. In general, the differentiation between physical dependence and addiction is blurred. Most people who become dependent on a drug call it an addiction. Therefore, experiencing any withdrawal symptoms related to Valium use can indicate an addiction.

How To Detox Safely To Mitigate The Intensity Of Valium Withdrawals

It is incredibly important to detox safely. Not only to make the withdrawal process more comfortable but to prevent fatal accidents or reactions. It can also help to prevent relapses and other dangerous mental health crises.

The best way to detox safely to mitigate the intensity of valium withdrawal symptoms is to go to a rehabilitation center or a detox center. These facilities are run by professionals who can help ease the symptoms of withdrawal as well as prevent relapses and fatal accidents caused by withdrawal.

If you or a loved one is struggling with Valium addiction, please reach out to a premier detox facility today to get the help you deserve.

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  1. Dhaliwal JS, Rosani A, Saadabadi A. Diazepam. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2022. Accessed August 27, 2022. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537022/