Drug and Alcohol

Valium: How Long Does Valium Stay In Your System? More Facts About This Potent Benzo

How long does Valium stay in your system? This potent benzo can hang around for a surprisingly long time. Learn more about Valium in our blog.

How Long Valium Stays in Your System & More Facts About This Benzo

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

November 10, 2023

The Forge Recovery Center

Valium, known by its generic name diazepam, is a benzodiazepine commonly prescribed to alleviate anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures and promote relaxation. As one of the most prescribed medications in its class, Valium has garnered both praise and concern due to its potential for misuse and addictive properties.

How Does Valium Work?

When Valium is ingested, it acts upon the central nervous system, enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This increased GABA activity results in a calming effect, alleviating anxiety symptoms and promoting a sense of tranquility. In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of Valium metabolism and discover the surprising truth behind its enduring presence in your body.

In order to exert its sedative effects, Valium binds to the GABA receptors that are present across the central nervous system. This region of the nervous system comprises the mind and spinal cord. By binding to GABA receptors, Valium creates s sensations of peace and relaxation as well as a reduction in the overactivity that occurs in the brain.

What is Valium Used For?

Valium is effective not only for the treatment of anxiety but also for the treatment of seizures, sleeplessness, and spasms in the muscles. 

It is not advised to use Valium as a long-term solution for anxiety, sleep issues, or relaxation of the muscles because of the significant risk of misuse connected with this medication and the negative effects linked with its use.

How Quickly Does Valium Work?

Valium achieves its therapeutic effect by enhancing the release of the neurotransmitter GABA at various receptor sites located throughout the brain. GABA inhibits activity in various brain regions, including those that control emotion, thinking, and memory and regulate involuntary tasks like breathing. Valium helps lower anxiety and promotes muscle relaxation and sleepiness by enhancing the actions of a chemical in the brain responsible for these effects.

Within one hour, nearly everyone who takes Valium in pill form will begin to experience the effects of the medication. However, some people report feeling the effects of this within fifteen to thirty minutes after it has begun.

This can be impacted by a wide variety of factors, such as the effectiveness of other medicines you take, the condition of your kidneys and liver, or even the type of food you have eaten in the past few days. Valium is additionally offered as an injectable, which takes effect within a few minutes after administration.

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What Does Valium Feel Like?

When someone takes Valium, they will most often experience feelings of calm and relaxation. Drowsiness, weariness, and muscle weakening are the most frequently experienced adverse reactions to this medicine. Vertigo, trouble paying attention, and memory issues are all possible side effects of taking this drug after its use.

Long-term use of the tranquilizer Valium has been associated with an increased risk of developing dementia and depression.

Withdrawal Symptoms from Valium

The severity of withdrawal symptoms from Valium will be determined by several factors, including the length of time a person has been using the medicine, the dose, and whether or not the individual is also consuming alcohol or other controlled substances along with this medication.

In most cases, the onset of withdrawal symptoms from Valium occurs between one and four days after the last dose of the medication. The following is a list of symptoms associated with Valium withdrawal:

  • Inability to fall or stay asleep

  • Irritability

  • Anxiety

  • Shaking of the hands

  • Sweating

  • Lack of concentration or focus

  • Nausea

  • Increased heart rate

  • Headache

  • Seizures

When discontinuing the use of Valium, there is a considerable possibility of experiencing seizures. Detoxification from Valium is required since it is the only way to avoid withdrawal's potentially dangerous and excruciating effects.

Under the close observation of a qualified medical specialist, this method makes it possible to remove the chemical from the body without causing any harm to the patient. While the detox process, additional drugs might or might not be administered to help ease withdrawal from Valium.

How Do People Take Valium?

Valium can be administered orally, intravenously, or as a rectal gel. It takes anywhere from a minute to five for the side effects of Valium to become noticeable when it is given as an injection. When used orally, it typically takes fifteen to sixty minutes for people to start feeling the benefits after intake.

People with seizures may get relief from using rectal gel, which begins to work almost immediately after administration.

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What is the Half-Life of Valium?

The substance's half-life is the period that elapses during which half of a single dose is metabolized and removed. When compared to other benzos, Valium's half-life might range anywhere from 20 to 50 hours. This implies that after taking a single dose of Valium, it may take 2.5 to 10 days for your system to flush out any traces of Valium that may have been present.

When an amount of Valium is consumed in pill form, the medication is first broken down and then absorbed into the bloodstream in the stomach. However, when the medication is administered intravenously, the absorption process via the stomach is bypassed, and the drug is absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

After being absorbed into the bloodstream, Valium continues to travel through the body and perform its intended function until the liver metabolizes it and then passes out of the body via the urine.

How Long Does Valium Take to Kick in?

The time it takes for Valium to start working after being taken by mouth might range from 15 to 60 minutes. An intravenous infusion of Valium is an option if the patient cannot take the medication orally, for example, in a surgical procedure. When administered intravenously, the action commences within one to three minutes.

Valium and Drug Tests: How Long Does Valium Show Up on a Drug Test?

Valium can be detected in the system for varying amounts of time, depending on what sort of drug test is used:

Urine Test for Valium

Valium can be found in the urine anywhere from a day to seven after it was last taken. Since it is less intrusive compared to other tests for drugs and has fewer costs, this type of drug testing is the one that is most commonly used.

Blood Test for Valium

Valium can be found in the bloodstream for 21 to 37 hours after it has been taken. Because it necessitates the use of specialized equipment and a visit to a lab for collecting blood, testing blood for drugs is significantly less prevalent than testing urine for drugs.

Saliva Test for Valium

In one investigation, the presence of Valium was seen between 2.5 and 3 hours after the administration of a dose. This kind of drug test can be just somewhat invasive; nonetheless, it works much better for detecting current intoxication than for detecting past use.

Hair Follicle Test for Valium.

Valium can be found in hair lasting up to 90 days; however, the concentration is often at its peak once a month or two has passed. However, this drug screening cannot determine how much Valium was taken or how long ago it was used.

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How Long Does Valium Remain in Breast Milk?

Because of the drug's extended half-life, Valium can be found in breast milk for up to six days after an individual has taken the medication.

Factors That Determine How Long Valium Stays In Your System

There are a variety of things that can affect how long Valium remains in your system

Among the most important of these considerations is that the liver controls the metabolism of Valium. Therefore, in patients whose livers are not functioning properly, the metabolic process of Valium will be slowed down.

Valium's elimination from the body takes longer in people with a higher fat percentage. Older people may require a longer period to metabolize or remove Valium than younger people.

Suppose you took Valium for an extended period or in more significant amounts. In that case, the medication may have the potential to build up in your body, resulting in a greater quantity of the medication in your system for a longer period.

Risks of Taking Valium

It is possible to experience major adverse effects from having excessive Valium in your system simultaneously. These include drowsiness, disorientation, impaired motions and balancing, shortage of breath, and even inactivity on the part of the individual.

The use of Valium can very quickly lead to addiction. After a certain time, you can build up a tolerance to the medicine. As a direct consequence of this, it is possible that your dosage needs to be increased. Particularly concerning are the adverse effects of taking an excessive amount of Valium.

In addition, continuous consumption of Valium and other medications with a similar mechanism of action prescribed for the treatment of anxiety has been linked in several studies to an increased likelihood of acquiring Alzheimer's disease.

If you use certain other drugs while still taking Valium, the drug's potentially harmful side effects could become significantly more severe and sometimes even life-threatening. When there is Valium in your body, it is more risky for you to take other drugs that put you to rest, such as sleeping tablets or tranquilizers.

Consuming alcohol is no exception to this rule. Mixing Valium and alcohol is a great way to experience a benzo overdose.

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Valium Addiction Can Feel Hopeless. At The Forge Recovery Center, it isn’t.

For a long time, we at The Forge Recovery Center have been at the leading edge of providing the most complete and successful therapies for substance and alcohol abuse. This therapy is vital, and we take pride in offering a wide range of options to alleviate the after-effects of benzos like Valium. We are here to support you and your family in making positive adjustments that will help you maintain a joyful and addiction-free life.

We have designed programs specifically tailored to meet your unique needs, allowing you to receive treatment without disrupting other important elements of your life. Whether it's your career or medical obligations, we will work with you to find a solution that caters to your requirements.

The Forge Recovery Center also offers comprehensive care for various mental health issues. We understand the interconnectedness of mental health and addiction, and our goal is to provide holistic support to help you heal and thrive.

Don’t deny yourself the life you deserve. At The Forge Recovery Center, you’ll be in a caring community working towards the same goal of a happy sober life. Reach out today to learn more about our effective, evidence-based Valium addiction programs.

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