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Diazepam (Valium) Detox Guide: Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

What is Diazepam (Valium)?

Diazepam (Valium) is a prescription medicine used to treat anxiety, seizure disorders, muscle spasms, and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.1,2 Valium and other benzodiazepines are central nervous system (CNS) depressants, meaning they reduce overall brain activity.1,2 Valium misuse or abuse can trigger pronounced calming and euphoric effects. People can misuse and abuse Valium in several ways, such as:

  • Taking it without a prescription.
  • Taking it in larger doses or more often than prescribed.
  • Combining it with other substances, such as alcohol or opioids.
  • Dissolving it in fluid and injecting it.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies Valium as a Schedule IV controlled substance, which means that it has potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction.Dependence happens when the body gets used to the presence of Valium so that if you greatly reduce your dose or stop taking it, you have withdrawal symptoms.1,5 Valium addiction, which is typically accompanied by dependence, is marked by compulsive Valium abuse despite the harm it causes.5

Once you have developed a Valium addiction, it can be difficult and dangerous to quit on your own due to life-threatening withdrawal symptoms and strong cravings.Attending a Valium detox center can help manage the withdrawal symptoms, prevent complications, and prepare you to transition into a comprehensive addiction treatment facility.

Diazepam (Valium) Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

Valium withdrawal symptoms generally appear a few days to 1 week after your last dose.Valium withdrawal symptoms tend to peak (be at their worst) after the second week, and slowly get better over 3 to 4 weeks.5 Valium withdrawal symptoms can include:3,5

Woman sitting outside on steps thinking about diazepam detox

  • Anxiety.
  • Restlessness.
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Increased sweating.
  • Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach) or vomiting.
  • Hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren’t there).
  • Tremors (shakiness).
  • Grand mal seizures.

About 20 to 30% of people who withdraw from Valium or other sedatives without detox treatment experience a grand mal seizure, which can be fatal.5 Because of this and the risk of other dangerous withdrawal symptoms, you should talk to your doctor before trying to quit Valium on your own.7

How to Safely Stop Taking Diazepam (Valium)

Professional medical detox is a safe way to clear your system of Valium and any other substances.6,7 At an inpatient detox setting, medical and mental health staff are on hand around the clock to watch your progress, identify and treat any possible physical or mental health issues, and intervene if you have any medical complications.6,7 The goal of a Valium detox center is to help patients withdraw from Valium  safely and prepare them to enter substance abuse treatment in either an inpatient or outpatient rehab setting.

During detox, your care team will slowly taper you off of Valium to ensure your safety.7 Tapering is when you take smaller and smaller doses of medicine over time before you stop for good. Your care team may also switch you to a different, lower-risk benzodiazepine such as chlordiazepoxide (Librium) or clonazepam (Klonopin).7

Using insurance is the most common way to access these detox services for Valium. In most cases, insurance providers offer at least partial coverage for detox. However, your individual plan may have specific restrictions or limitations so it is best check with them or the detox treatment provider directly to confirm your coverage.

Diazepam (Valium) Detox Treatment Near Me

Professional detox centers offer a safe and structured environment for you to withdraw from Valium. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a leading provider of medical detox and addiction treatment with facilities throughout the country. For more information about Valium detox at one of our treatment centers, call our 24/7 detox hotline at . We also offer 24/7 text messaging support for those not ready to call.


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