benzodiazepine valium pills

Valium: Everything You Need to Know

Diazepam, commonly known by the brand name Valium, is primarily used for the treatment of anxiety, alcohol withdrawal and seizures. One of the most commonly prescribed of the benzodiazepine drug class, diazepam has a strong potential for abuse that should be considered when using this medication.

What is Valium?

Valium belongs to the class of medications known as benzodiazepines that work in the brain to promote calmness and relaxation. Benzodiazepines are commonly used as muscle relaxers, sedatives and for reducing anxiety. While primarily used for anxiety disorders, Valium is also used for seizures, muscle spasms and to alleviate symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

Valium increases the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that inhibits activity in the brain, leading to a calming effect on the nervous system. This helps relax muscles, reduce anxiety and prevent seizures. Valium is federally classified as a Schedule IV drug under the Controlled Substances Act because it has the potential for misuse and dependence. Available in several forms, the dosage for diazepam depends on the condition being treated, the age of the patient, the severity of symptoms and the individual’s response to the medication.

Like all benzodiazepines, Valium can be habit-forming and lead to tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms with longer-term use, so it is crucial to use Valium as it is prescribed and under the care of a licensed healthcare provider.

What is Valium Used For?

Valium is generally used for its muscle-relaxing, sedative, anticonvulsant and anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) properties. It is prescribed by healthcare providers for short-term use for acute alcohol withdrawal, anxiety disorders, seizures, muscle spasms, and panic disorders. It is sometimes used to sedate patients before medical procedures.

Physicians prescribe Valium carefully, often exploring other treatments and interventions for managing these conditions over the long term.

Only a licensed healthcare provider should determine the appropriate dose and duration of treatment based on the individual’s condition and response to the medication.

What is the Chemical Composition of Valium?

Valium, chemically known as diazepam, has the molecular formula C16H13ClN2O, indicating its composition of carbon, hydrogen, chlorine, nitrogen, and oxygen atoms. This chemical structure contributes to its pharmacological effects by interacting with GABA receptors in the central nervous system, leading to its anxiolytic and sedative properties.


What is a Common Diazepam Dosage?

The common dosage of diazepam can vary widely depending on several factors including the age and health of the patient, the condition being treated and the individual’s response to the medication. For anxiety disorders, muscle spasms and seizures, the typical dose for an adult is 2 to 10mg given two to four times a day. For acute alcohol withdrawal, an initial dose of 10mg three to four times during the first 24 hours is then reduced to 5mg three to four times a day. As a pre-operative sedative, 10mg is prescribed the night before a procedure and then 10g two to four times on the day of the procedure. Lower doses are given to elderly or debilitated patients often starting at 2 to 2.5mg once or twice a day.

What Are the Side Effects of Valium?

The intensity and occurrence of side effects from Valium can vary among individuals especially when it is taken with other medication. Some side effects may be mild and temporary, however, there is a risk for serious effects that require medical attention.

Common Side Effects

· Fatigue

· Drowsiness

· Muscle weakness

· Dizziness

· Headache

· Dry mouth


Less Common Side Effects

· Depression

· Confusion

· Gastrointestinal issues

· Changes in vision

· Urinary retention


While rare, serious side effects such as ataxia (loss of control over body movements), uncontrollable shaking, slurred speech and slowed breathing and heartbeat should be reported immediately to a healthcare provider.

What Does Valium Abuse Look Like?

· Frequent requests for refills

· Taking a higher dose than prescribed for a stronger effect.

· Visiting multiple doctors to obtain different prescriptions

· Experiencing withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, sweating, and tremors when not taking the drug.

What Are Common Signs of Valium Addiction?

Recognizing the signs of Valium addiction is crucial for seeking timely help. Addiction can manifest through a variety of physical, behavioral, and psychological signs:

· Mood swings

· Anxiety or depression

· Drowsiness

· Poor coordination

· Slurred speech

· Difficulty with concentration, memory, and decision-making.

If you or someone you know is showing signs of Valium misuse, it is critical to seek advice from a trained counselor. Addiction to benzodiazepines like Valium can be serious, but treatment is available.

If Diazepam is interfering with your daily life, obligations, relationships, and more you may be struggling with a substance use disorder. Some of the behavioral changes may be: 

  • Taking more and more of the drug or taking the drug for longer periods of time than intended.
  • Spending a lot of time obtaining the drug, using it, and recovering from its effects.
  • Continuing to use even though use affects your ability to fulfill duties at work, school, or home.
  • Continuing to use despite it causing social or interpersonal problems.
  • Giving up important activities or hobbies to use.

What is Valium Addiction?

Valium addiction is a state of physical and psychological dependence, a condition characterized by the compulsive use of Valium despite adverse consequences to one’s health, social life, and overall well-being. Addiction can develop through prolonged use, even when prescribed by a doctor, and the risk increases significantly with misuse.

Over time, the body becomes accustomed to the presence of Valium and requires higher doses to achieve the same effect, leading to increased use. If usage is reduced or stopped, withdrawal symptoms can occur. Users often rely on Valium to help with anxiety, sleep problems or to cope with stress, making it harder to quit.

Whether you or a loved one is struggling with Valium addiction, there is hope to begin the recovery process with an accredited treatment center like Mountainside.  

What Does Valium Addiction Treatment Look Like?

Valium addiction is a complex disorder that often requires comprehensive professional treatment, including counseling, detoxification, and support groups, to overcome.

Valium Detox

Detoxification should be seen as a courageous first step to a comprehensive treatment plan to address both the physical dependence and psychological aspects of addiction. It is a process of safely removing Valium from the body, typically under medical supervision.

Valium withdrawal can be uncomfortable, and in some cases, life-threatening. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, including anxiety, tremors, insomnia, headaches, muscle pain, and in extreme cases, seizures. Due to the potential severity of these symptoms, detoxing from Valium should never be attempted alone. Medical supervision ensures that the withdrawal process is safe and as comfortable as possible, reducing the risk of complications.

Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment

The key to recovery from Valium addiction is finding a program that aligns with the individual’s specific needs. Both inpatient and outpatient treatments are effective when followed by ongoing aftercare and support. The choice often depends on an individual’s circumstances, the severity of the addiction and their support system. It is crucial to consult with healthcare professionals and recovery specialists to help create an appropriate treatment program.

· Inpatient care: This setting allows for a medically supervised detoxification in a structed environment free of triggers and daily stresses. Inpatient care is particularly beneficial for those with severe addiction or those at risk of complicated withdrawal symptoms. A daily schedule of therapy, activities and support meetings helps keep individuals engaged and focus on recovery. Aftercare planning offers assistance with transitioning back into daily life after treatment.

· Outpatient care: Allows individuals to live at home while receiving treatment for addiction. These programs vary in intensity ranging from daily participation to a few times a week. This allows for flexibility in scheduling around work, family or school commitments. Regular therapy sessions and support meetings allow individuals to stay on track with recovery while working through real-life challenges.

If you or a loved one is struggling with Valium use, help is available. Please reach out to one of our compassionate admissions team members to learn about treatment options.

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