Valium, also known by its generic name diazepam, is a benzodiazepine, and a fast-acting drug, which means that you will feel the effects of Valium relatively quickly after taking the drug. However, it has different durations for different people and situations, depending on your body’s needs, why you’re taking the drug, and what stressors might speed up its use in your body.
Like other benzodiazepines, Valium works to calm you down and can help deal with feelings of anxiety or panic. It can be used in various situations but requires a prescription.
More importantly, Valium is generally only approved for short-term use, and you may get a prescription for as little as a single dose. In other cases, you may get a prescription for more of the drug but specific instructions for how to and when to use the drug.
Unlike other common medications to help manage anxiety, addiction, and other stressful situations, Valium isn’t meant to be taken regularly. Instead, it is important to take the drug as recommended and only when you need it.
Valium is a medication that can be given in different ways. Its effects and durations can depend on how you take it. Most of the time, people take oral Valium, which usually kicks in after about an hour and can last longer.
Valium has a half-life of about 48 hours, which means it’s a long-lasting drug. However, for some situations, you may need to take Valium more often than that, and, depending on the dose and how you take it, you can take Valium up to 4 times a day.
Injectable or rectal Valium may take effect faster, and the dosing may differ. Make sure you always take Valium as prescribed.
If you’re asking how long Valium lasts because you’re worried about a drug test, Valium is detectable for a fairly long time after you take it. Valium and the detectible metabolites produced as your body breaks down the drug can be detected in urine for between 1-6 weeks after taking the drug. It’s detectible in blood for up to 48 hours and saliva for up to 10 days.
Like most drugs, Valium is detectable in your hair follicles for up to three months after your last dose.
There are no effective ways to change the detection time for Valium or any drug.
Valium is a medication with a fairly wide range of uses, and it is sometimes prescribed off-label or for uses that aren’t part of what it’s officially approved for.
Valium is approved for use with people who have anxiety, a couple of different kinds of seizures, muscle spasms, and alcohol withdrawal. It is also used as a medication given just before anesthesia and sometimes as a pre-surgery medication to help people with a lot of anxiety about the procedure.
In general, Valium is only used for the short term because it’s known to cause both chemical dependence, where your body needs a certain amount of the drug to function normally, and addiction, which is typically a combination of chemical dependence and psychological dependence on the drug.
That said, there is some risk of addiction even when Valium is used properly and even when you only take the drug for short periods.
All drugs have potential side effects and risks, and understanding them can help you manage the drug while you’re taking it, help you avoid addiction, and help you manage your risks even if something does happen.
If you’re dealing with an addiction to Valium or any other drug, it can feel like an impossible situation and impossible to escape.
Fortunately, there is hope, no matter how you got addicted or how severe you feel like your addiction has become.
You can overcome addiction. All you need to do is make the decision you want to and then find the help and support you deserve that can help you get through it.
One of the best ways to get that support and help is to go to an addiction treatment center that specializes in helping people overcome addiction and identifying and building the life skills needed to stay healthy and sober.
If that sounds like the kind of treatment that would be best for you or a loved one, contact Achieve Wellness treatment center. We know how to help, and we’re more than willing to answer any questions or concerns you might have before you start.
You deserve to be well, and we can help you get there.
Medically Reviewed By
Nicole Rettino-Lambert LCSW, LCADC, CCS, CCTP, CSTIP
Nicole Rettino-Lambert is a dually licensed clinician with over 20 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in both addiction treatment and mental health treatment. Along with extensive experience in clinical work, she has held leadership roles in both inpatient and outpatient addiction treatments centers in New Jersey. Throughout her various leadership positions, Rettino-Lambert has developed clinical programming, assisted staff in their growth and development in the clinical field, and had the privilege of helping numerous individuals on their path to recovery.