Valium Withdrawal: Do I Need Detox?

Valium is a benzodiazepine that goes by the name Diazepam. It is listed as a Schedule IV controlled substance and is generally used to relieve anxiety and other issues like insomnia. Valium is also used along with other medications to control muscle spasms and spasticity caused by certain neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy (a condition that causes difficulty with movement and balance), paraplegia (inability to move parts of the body), athetosis (abnormal muscle contractions), and stiff-man syndrome (a rare disorder with muscle rigidity and stiffness). Diazepam is also used along with other medications to control seizures. Although Valium has its beneficial medical applications it is important to understand its abuse and addiction potential as many people are finding themselves addicted to it and in need of detox to manage withdrawal symptoms.

Individuals who are prescribed this medication should not stop taking it without talking to their doctor as dose adjustments will be necessary to safely get weaned off the drug and with the least discomfort as possible. When an individual suddenly stops taking diazepam, he or she may experience high levels of anxiety, sleeplessness, and irritability.

When Do I need Detox for Valium?

Valium like other benzos can cause physical dependence, but even though physical dependence is considered a symptom of a substance use disorder, dependence is neither necessary nor enough for a substance use disorder diagnose. For instance, a person who uses Valium for seizure control with the help of a physician may develop dependence over time but will not be diagnosed with a drug use disorder. People who demonstrate withdrawal from Valium may or may not qualify for addiction diagnosis. So, it is important to consult with a physician to get a comprehensive medical assessment to proceed with an appropriate treatment plan.

Valium often becomes a problem when individuals start abusing them by taking the medication in a different manner than was originally prescribed. The abuse of Valium can contribute to polydrug use and addiction because many people mix them with alcohol and other drugs. Mixing Valium with other drugs can have serious consequences with adverse reactions, increasing the potential for overdose and death.

A person with physical dependence on Valium who stops using it can experience the following withdrawal symptoms:

  • Acute: 1-4 days in length from last use, the person will experience high levels of anxiety (especially if they had anxiety before)
  • General: 3-4 days after acute detox begins, there will be more withdrawal that happens for up to 14 days that include cravings for the drug, feeling lightheaded, nausea, chills, depression, and continuing anxiety
  • Physical symptoms: can include combinations of these things including vomiting, tremors, and cramps
  • Cardiovascular symptoms including higher blood pressure, increased heart rate, and other heart issues
  • Neurological symptoms including confusion, seizures that need immediate attention
  • Mood swings, depression, panic attacks and rebound anxiety are all part of the experience of withdrawal


Help for Valium Addiction

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with valium addiction or would like to have an assessment for an accurate diagnosis? Please call Florida Center for Recovery (FCR) at (800) 851-3291. FCR provides a comprehensive all-inclusive inpatient addiction treatment program for individuals struggling with substance use disorder and mental health conditions.

Florida Center for Recovery
Clinical Excellence & Compassionate Care in a Healing Environment