After ingesting Valium orally, around 90% of the drug is absorbed by the body. According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), peak concentration occurs in about 1-1.5 hours. Valium has a half-life that ranges between 20-50 hours for a 5mg dose.
What Is Valium?
Valium (diazepam) is a long-acting benzodiazepine commonly prescribed for anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder, but it may also be used to treat alcohol dependence or seizures.
Valium acts on the CNS (central nervous system) by boosting the availability of GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid). This chemical reduces activity and results in feelings of reward and relaxation.
How Long Does Valium Stay in Your System?
How long Valium remains in a person’s system influences how the drug will affect them. As a long-acting benzodiazepine, Valium stays in a person’s system and induces effects that last longer than short-acting medications in this class.
The drug’s half-life helps predict how long a person could expect to test positive for Valium based on the timing of their last dose. However, due to personal factors and the fact that the half-life has a wide range, an individual should probably expect that it will be closer to the longer side of the spectrum.
A test for Valium can be conducted using blood, saliva, urine, or hair samples. How long the drug stays detectable depends on several factors, including the following:
- Weight and body fat
- Metabolic rate
- Use of other substances
- Route of administration
- Average dose
- Kidney and liver function
- Overall health
Valium can be detected in hair follicles for up to 90 days. These screens are used primarily to check for chronic drug use, as they can’t determine if the individual has been using the substance recently.
A urine test is likely the most common method employed to determine if a person has used Valium in the recent past. The drug can be found in urine for up to six weeks following the last dose.
Saliva testing is uncommon for Valium because it is only detectable using this method for up to 60 hours following the last dose.
Blood testing is yet another way to determine if an individual has Valium in their system. However, like urine, the metabolites of the medication do not stay in the blood very long—only about 48 hours days after the last dose.
When a person enters a detox center, intake staff will often conduct one of these tests to assess how much Valium is in an individual’s system. In most instances, a urine screen or blood test will be used.
Valium Withdrawal Timeline
Within 1-4 days of taking the final dose, withdrawal symptoms will manifest. These tend to be the most evident by the third day, and may include the following:
- Abdominal pain
- Rebound anxiety
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Drug cravings
- Anxiety and panic attacks
The acute withdrawal period is followed by another stage that lasts for 10-14 days. During this time, the following symptoms can occur:
- Drug cravings
- Mild headache
- Bouts of anxiety
- Mild fever
The symptoms in this second stage are typically less severe than the acute phase. Following this phase, it is possible to continue experiencing anxiety and depression as the body and brain continue to stabilize.
Ultimately, however, every individual detoxing from Valium will have a different experience. For this reason and others, seeking professional help with this process is the ideal option. Attempting to detox from Valium on your own could result in life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, medical supervision is always advised.
Two of the most potentially severe effects are psychosis and seizures. This condition is comparable in many ways to alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Psychosis is hallmarked by a partial or full break from reality. An individual might encounter the following:
He or she may also act in inappropriate ways, talk incoherently, and exhibit a difficult time functioning overall.
The average seizure will last between 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Seizures can lead to long-term effects or cause the person not to wake up if they persist for longer than 5 minutes. A seizure can occur as a result of abnormal brain activity, and can include the following symptoms:
- Loss of awareness
- Loss of consciousness
Treatment for Drug Addiction
Valium has many legitimate medical purposes, but it also has the potential for abuse and dependence. Persons who suspect they may be dependent on this medication should seek help from a detox and substance abuse treatment program. These programs help to make the withdrawal process more comfortable and ensure personal safety.
Contact Just Believe Detox anytime to learn about our treatment options. We customize our comprehensive programs to meet the specific needs of those we treat. We provide a warm, comfortable environment that promotes healing from addiction while individuals undergo withdrawal and begin the process of recovery.
We can help you reclaim your health and wellness, free from addiction, and begin to live the happy and fulfilling life you deserve!