Valium (generically known as diazepam) is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms and acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Part of the benzodiazepine class of medications, Valium acts as a sedative, suppressing brain functions and relieving anxiety. Prescribed as a short-term treatment, Valium is often taken for extended periods, leading to abuse and addiction. People who abruptly stop taking Valium after prolonged use often experience painful physical and mental symptoms known as Valium withdrawal. Without medical help, withdrawal from Valium can be a painful and life-threatening process. Symptoms include vomiting, tremors, and potentially fatal seizures.

The Risks of Stopping Valium Cold Turkey

It’s extremely dangerous and possibly life-threatening to go through withdrawal from Valium without medical assistance. Abruptly stopping Valium after prolonged use (known as “quitting cold turkey”) can result in painful withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, nausea, and body tremors. But the biggest danger of withdrawing from Valium–like all benzodiazepine drugs–is the risk of seizures. A detox or drug rehab center can gradually taper addicted users off Valium in a safe and controlled setting.

Valium Withdrawal Symptoms

Valium Withdrawal Symptoms

Common withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening if not treated correctly. Strong cravings are very possible in the beginning, and somewhat inevitable. Signs of abuse are similar to that of alcohol, and just like the immense consequences of alcohol abuse, this drug can lead to traumatizing results. In the beginning, it may be the most painful, but again, with time and the proper treatment, these symptoms will pass.

Mild Symptoms

  • Muscle cramps
  • Anxiety
  • Skin Rash
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Irritability

Chronic Symptoms

  • Insomnia
  • Sensitive to Light
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty Concentrating

Severe Symptoms

  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Slowed Breathing
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Panic Attacks

Common Side Effects

Benzo withdrawal body symptoms can cause permanent damage in the central nervous system and major organs. From muscle pains, vomiting, hallucinations, and abdominal cramps to sweating, restlessness, insomnia, and hallucinations, the side effects are brutal. For more information on benzodiazepine withdrawal, click here.

Valium Withdrawal Timeline

Valium Withdrawal Timeline

Valium is not only the most commercially successful benzo in history, but it also has a series of side effects that tend to leave those with mental health issues at a higher risk of addictions. To help educate you more on the process, we have laid out a flexible timeline of withdrawal. It is important to remember that, like with any withdrawal process, it all depends on the dosage taken every day and how long and how frequent one used this pill before thinking about quitting.

    • 24 to 48 Hours

      Symptoms may begin to show within this time period or right after. From anxiety to restlessness to a difficulty concentrating, these symptoms may start off minimally, but then increase overtime.


    • 1 to 2 Weeks

      During the first two weeks, symptoms may begin to peak into full-blown insomnia, sweating, muscle pain, tremors, and nausea to say the least. A lot of mental, emotional, and physical pain may feel torturous and even unbearable, but with time, they will decrease as long as the drug is not picked up anymore.


    • 3 to 4 Weeks

      Withdrawal symptoms of Valium may go on for a month and even beyond depending on the dosage and duration of use and/or abuse. During this time, however, one may be able to better deal with the symptoms than before.


  • 5+ Weeks

    Those who have gained a large dependence on Valium may undergo Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) where withdrawal symptoms may reappear randomly during the five weeks and beyond. Symptoms may go on for months and even years depending on the individual and the extent of Valium abuse and/or dependence.

Valium Withdrawal and Drugs

Valium Withdrawal and Drugs
Dangers in Mixing Valium as Substitute for Withdrawal in Other Drugs

Replacing one drug for another to avoid withdrawal symptoms can prove to create more problems than solutions. In fact, it may create dire consequences mentally, physically, emotionally, and possibly with the law if such a way of weaning off a drug is taken. Consequences may, and often do, get worse if the initial withdrawal process of the first drug is not soldier out.

If a physician gives another narcotic in order to deal with withdrawal symptoms, however, it is important to follow medical orders and have your health medically monitored until you are weaned off of all narcotics. It is best to listen and do what a professional tells you overall.

Some common replacements include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Valium to Opiates
    Valium to Opiates
  • Valium to Alcohol
    Valium to Alcohol
  • Valium to Heroin
    Valium to Heroin
  • Valium to Tramadol
    Valium to Tramadol
  • Valium to Benzos
    Valium to Another Benzo

It is common that Valium and alcohol are mixed together in the drug abuse world. This can be a deadly combination for a lot of users. This combination has been known to cause stomach ulcers, ruptures in the intestine, esophagus, as well as leading to possible acid reflux so extreme that it can harm the vocal chords or completely destroy them. Alcohol is known to be one of the most acidic substances, and combined with Valium, it can cause a great deal of damage.

Users of Valium, as well as other prescribed narcotic pills, have been known to lead to heroin use. Being in the downer category of the drug world, when an individual runs out of their prescription for Valium and cannot get more, that person may want their next fix and desperately so. Whether it be because of not wanting to feel the effects of withdrawal or because the user simply does not want to stop getting high, individuals have been known to turn to heroin to get that next fix due to it being easier to acquire than getting narcotics from a doctor. This has been a common theme contributing to what we know as the opiate epidemic. For more information, check out our heroin page!

Valium Detox and Treatment

Valium Withdrawal Treatment
When it comes to medications that aid with Valium detox and withdrawal symptoms, detox must be sought out and treatment must be attended. This process must be done with a supervision of a medical professional who will then monitor and decide what medication is fit for the individual getting treatment.

Valium addiction treatment and withdrawal is a scary process. Valium detox is the process in which an individual takes to stop the use of this benzo. Detox is used to minimize the severity of the withdrawal symptoms so the person going through this can go through it as safely and as painlessly as possible. The other goal is to make sure death and permanent brain and organ damage do not occur.

For more information on detox and treatment, check out our treatment guides

Valium Withdrawal Frequently Asked Questions

Valium Withdrawal and Drugs
    • Can you have withdrawals from valium?

      Yes. Some symptoms, if ignored, can lead to seizures and death. Professional medical help must be sought immediately to avoid death and/or permanent brain damage. Some symptoms include incredible drug cravings, panic attacks, muscle tremors, a difficulty concentrating, and much more.


    • How long does it take to withdraw from valium?

      The length of withdrawal depends on how long the individual used the drug and what the dosage was over time. Symptoms can go from a month to a year. Your best bet is to seek a medical professional that can best determine how long withdrawal will be for you.




Valium Statistics

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Emergency department visits related to benzodiazepines increased by 89% in 2014, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

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According to Medical News Today, 31% of the 23,000 prescription drug overdose deaths in the United States involved a benzodiazepine.

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In 2012, 45.5% of the reported treatment admissions used benzodiazepines daily, according to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.