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Is Valium a narcotic?

No. Valium is not a narcotic.

We review the difference between medical and legal narcotics here. Plus, information on the addiction liability of Valium. And we invite your Valium  questions at the end. We try to respond to all legitimate Valium questions with a personal and prompt reply.

Medical uses for Valium

Valium (diazepam) has a few different uses, including anxiety relief, the treatment of muscle spasms, and calming seizures. But Valium is habit forming, so it’s typically only prescribed for a few weeks at a time. This prevents addiction or physical dependence.

Is Valium a medical narcotic?

No. Valium is not a medical narcotic.

Only opiate and opioid medications are referred to as “narcotics” in a medical setting. Opiates (like heroin or morphine or their derivatives) slow brain activity and cause sedative effects, causing dizziness and drowsiness, sometimes even the loss of consciousness. Opiates are typically used to manage moderate to severe pain, although they can have other therapeutic applications. Although Valium has many of these same sedative effects and Valium get you high, it is not related to opium. Therefore, Valium is not considered a narcotic by medical definition.

Is Valium a legal narcotic?

No. Valium is not a legal narcotic.

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Legal narcotics can include drugs that considered to be medical narcotics, but the category also includes a few other substances, including cocaine and marijuana. The term “narcotic” can be used to refer to all illicit drugs or controlled substances, but the US Drug Enforcement Administration does not follow this usage in their official documentation. Therefore, because Valium is not a Schedule I, II or III drug, it is not considered to be a controlled substance by the DEA.

Why is Valium a Schedule IV drug?

Valium is considered to have low potential for abuse relative to Schedule II and III drugs. Valium is not as widespread a problem as drugs in higher schedules, and tends to mostly become problematic with long-term use, or in those with a history of abusing different drugs.

Is Valium addictive?

Valium can be addictive. Valium creates a physical dependence in users, which causes them to experience withdrawals if they try to stop the drug abruptly. However, physical dependence on a drug is not always the same as an addiction. Addicts usually experience cravings, exhibit drug-seeking behavior, and take escalating doses of the medication. Someone using Valium as directed by a doctor may have a dependence, but not an addiction.

Valium abuse

Valium can be abused and is often taken in combination with other drugs.   How long does Valium stay in your system?  Although Valium doesn’t attach to the same receptors in the brain as opiates, it does have sedative effects which a person might appreciate. And some people prefer a Valium high to other types of euphoric sensation. But the line between recreational use and abuse is very sensitive. Valium is highly addictive, and Valium addicts begin to crave the drug and experience withdrawals if they aren’t able to obtain it.

PROs of keeping Valium a Schedule IV drug

Valium is a great medication for people who suffer from anxiety or sleep disorders. It works well for short-term treatment of minor disturbances. Most of the common side effects of the medication are minor, so it’s fairly safe.

CONs of keeping Valium a Schedule IV drug

The dependence and tolerance that develop with long-term use can be problematic. The drug may become less effective for someone over time. The withdrawal effects and addictive potential mean that Valium should only be prescribed short-term, to those without a history of previous addiction.

Valium narcotic questions

Do you have questions about Valium? Please leave us your questions about Valium use, abuse or addiction. We will be happy to answer your questions with a personal reply.

Reference Sources: Drug Enforcement Administration: Controlled Substance Schedules
Drug Enforcement Administration: Narcotics

Photo credit: enemyradar

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24 Responses to “Is Valium a narcotic?
11:23 pm June 16th, 2012

I have taken Valium by a medical doctor about a yr. I am a recovering alcoholic, & attend meetings on a regular basis. I was taking it for anxiety, and for the drinking. Now, I only take the prescribed dosage at night to go to bed. I know that my doctor will have to wing me off the prescription eventually. I do not have any side effects other than being drowsy. I entered into a detox facility, and got clean fm the alcohol, and I’m 2 months sober. I still need the valium most of the time to get a good night’s sleep. What do you suggest I do at this point? I am at “The Cross Roads.”

1:33 am June 20th, 2012

Hi Donnetta. Good for you! Congratulations on the sobriety. Way to go! Weaning off diazepam under medical supervision is always recommended. I’d personally suggest that you look into other ways to calm yourself. Exercise and meditation can really help, but these require discipline. What does your doctor say about finding an alternative to Valium?

12:13 am September 2nd, 2013

I had an ankle replacement, a fusion on the left side and a large spur removed on june12.
I was on 5mg of oxoycodone very 4 hours and 5 mg of valium every six hours.
after about 55 days the oxyocodone was stopped and replaced with 5 mg of Norco 3 times a day, the valium amount stayed the same,

I am now off all three of the drugs and am using tramadol and ibuprofen. was this a reasonable course of drug use. my family felt it was used for to long when I was talking slowly and forgetting things and mixing up numbers, etc.

12:16 pm September 2nd, 2013

Hi Carol. A couple of months on painkillers and anti-anxiety medications seems pretty par for major surgeries. Have you consulted with a patient advocate for more information?

4:36 am February 17th, 2014

Will valium make you forget a lot? Or days go by so fast it makes it feel like it was one big day?

1:19 am August 13th, 2014

My husband got caught with 14 Valium in 2013 and is now incarcerated with a $10,000 cash only bond. If Valium is a NOT a Narcotic or a controlled substance then why is he incarcerated?? Please help me out!!

8:40 am August 13th, 2014

Hi Alisha. Diffrernt States have different laws. Which State do you live in?
Minor tranquilizers, such as Valium are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act as Class C drugs but the possession offence is waived so that it is not illegal to possess or use them without a prescription. It is an offence to sell or supply them to another person.

4:31 pm November 13th, 2014

Hi,,, I have been clean and sober for some years now, but was addicted to crack for 27 years (no other drugs or alcohol), after two car accidents in 2013,, the doctor now have me taking 1 valium at bedtime,, it’s been about a month, so far no problems,,I got about 14 left in this prescription, and so far no problems. Should I Allow a refill or seek something eles?

12:45 pm November 18th, 2014

Hi William. Your decision needs to be made by taking your personal preferences, the doctor’s advice and other possible options into consideration. Truth is, every medication will have the power to alter brain’s activity. You can also talk to a psychologist about your concern.

10:23 pm September 27th, 2015

I think that all the side affects are just like a narcotic

12:32 pm September 28th, 2015

If you are on D.O.C. will Valium make you pee dirty

2:35 am January 7th, 2016

I’m recent took value and a lot everyday is it concierge enough to get on methadone

9:59 pm May 7th, 2016

I have been on Methadone 10 mg and Deluded 4 mg. I have severe stenosis. I now am on prednisone 5-mg am 5mg pm it i amazing year id rather have 10 like this then 30 in bed. Any way Im almost 60 trying to get off the the methadone and the deluded. The Prednisone seems to be great. I know the side affects. I get bone density and blood work all the time and keep an eye on my sugar. Im about 8 days into about 1/2 what I was taking. I get weird feelings and I get cravings for the meds. sleeping ok. Will the valium take the edge off? Any thoughts on the best way to do it? The pain Dr said I would need to go into program my own Dr thinks I can do it at home. Thoughts

2:59 pm December 19th, 2016

I am 71 and use valium for sleep only. It also relaxes sore back and even though I have a sleep number bed it helps tremendously. Pharmacy however typically refuses to refill prescription on time. This should be a violation of my rights.

7:42 pm January 14th, 2017

Is taking one (1) valium a night dangerous. For 13 years I have taken a “cocktail at night of valium,
triazolam 0.25,amitriptyline 50 mg, & Lovasttin 20 mg.” I am 77 and have an active life. My doctor for 25 years has retired and all of a sudden a new young doctor wants to mess with my meds.

2:40 pm March 14th, 2017

Does it help to withdraw from lorazepam? How long does it stay in your system ? Is it better than lorezapam?

12:16 am April 5th, 2017

My mother has been on dialysis for about 2 years & recently just found out that the klonopin she was taking for severe anxiety was building up in her system putting her in an almost comatosed state so the Dr lowered the amount & now she is doing so much better, she’s able to go to the bathroom on her own now where she wasn’t able to before on the klonopin but it isn’t controlling her anxiety at all. So my question is would valium be better, does dialysis filter out valium any better than klonopin? Thanks

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:10 pm April 6th, 2017

Hi April. I suggest that you speak with your mother’s doctor. S/he knows her medical history, and would know what’s the best for her.

5:32 pm April 29th, 2017

I was on opioids for 10 years, it took me 2 years to detox. In that time, I learned that, what opioids do to keep someone addicted, is the brain wants more of the drug, and thus tells the body its in pain so that they take more pain pills.
Does valium do the same thing?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
5:40 pm May 10th, 2017

Hi Charlotte. Yes. Valium has also addictive potential and may lead you to dependence as well as addiction.

2:24 am May 13th, 2017

Do valium help with opioid withdrawals

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
11:03 am May 16th, 2017

Hi Mork. First, I suggest that you consult with your doctor before taking anything. Also, there are many over-the-counter medications that can help yu with manage opioid withdrawal symptoms. For instance, trazodone may be prescribed to treat depression and anxiety, while diphenoxylate and loperamide can be used to treat diarrhea. Finally, download our free e-book ‘How To Quit Opioids Painkillers’ to learn more about opioid withdrawal, here:

1:44 am August 17th, 2017

My doctor prescribed diazepam to treat positional vertigo. I questioned that, but it worked instantly. One dose lasts about three days.

3:47 pm February 13th, 2018

does it really get you high or is this totally an class 3 drug?

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