Detox from Valium

Detox from Valium can take from a few days to several weeks. Learn about Valium detox protocols here, with a section for your questions at the end.

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Valium detox treatment

Are you thinking about detoxing from Valium (diazepam)? Whether you are just physically dependent on Valium or are seeking treatment for Valium addiction, you need to consider safety during detox.  A clinical Valium detox includes medical supervision during the acute period right after you stop taking Valium. So how exactly do you detox from Valium and is withdrawal from Valium dangerous? Plus, can you detox from Valium at home? We review here and invite your questions about Valium detox at the end.

Detox from Valium symptoms

Detox from Valium symptoms can be acute or prolonged. In fact, Valium withdrawal can last for several weeks after the initial period of treatment for symptoms of withdrawal. What are diazepam withdrawal symptoms?  Valium detox symptoms that arise during the initial detox process include:

  • abdominal pains
  • dysphoria
  • extreme anxiety
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • muscle pain
  • restlessness
  • sweating
  • tension
  • tingling of extremities
  • tremors

Detoxing from Valium time

Detoxing from Valium can take anywhere from 24 to 78 hours to several weeks, depending on how long you’ve been taking diazepam, and at what dosing amount and frequency. Discontinuation therapy, or tapering doses of Valium, will take significantly longer than hospitalization. One thing to be aware of is that because diazepam is a long acting benzodiazepine, Valium detox naturally takes longer than other types of medication due to protracted withdrawal. And as you are detoxing from Valium, symptoms of detox fluxuate over time. This means that even though there may be no more Valium in the body, symptoms of withdrawal can still affect you. During protracted withdrawal of “rebound” symptoms, expect to support yourself as uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms resurface.

How to detox from Valium

Below are several ways you can detox from Valium.

Valium discontinuation therapy

Slowly getting rid of Valium in your body is one form of detox. Discontinuation therapy is a way of getting rid of Valium slowly, over a long period of time and can last from 6 weeks to 6 months. Because Valium is used to treat anxiety and mood disorders, when you quit taking Valium these symptoms will begin to resurface. Also known as tapering, this method allows the body to compensate for withdrawal symptoms a little at a time, normalizing while eliminating Valium from of the system. Be sure to check with your prescribing doctor for a tapering schedule and to appoint times for check-in.

Removal of Valium from the gastrointestinal tract

Sometimes, detox can be necessary due to overdose. That means your body has so much Valium in the body that you risk serious side effects if left untreated. While it is difficult to overdose on Valium alone, large amounts of diazepam may be removed from the intestines to disrupt the absorption rate of Valium into the body and keep it from being overly damaging to the body.

Phenobarbital substitution

Phenobarbital is a medication used during benzodiazepine detox. Phenobarbital helps block the efficacy of Valium so you can switch to a less reactive drug or a shorter acting benzodiazepine.

Hospitalization for Valium detox

If you are using more than the recommended therapeutic doses of Valium, inpatient detox is the best route for you. While hospitalized for Valium withdrawal, clinicians observe the process and can intervene when medically necessary. Also, if you are think you may be addicted to Valium, a medically supervised Valium detox is recommended before seeking out a treatment facility.

Outpatient Valium detox

Outpatient Valium detox uses a combination of medically assisted therapies that help address the physical and psychological symptoms which occur during Valium withdrawal. A good outpatient Valium detox program will make sure that your body and mental health are simultaneously being treated, with follow up after-care once detox has been completed.

Detox from Valium at home

Can or should you detox from Valium at home?  Only if you have been using therapeutic doses of Valium can you detox at home. And only under medical supervision!  If you think you may be addicted to Valium or have been taking high doses of diazepam, never detox from Valium at home.  Seek medical help at an inpatient detox clinic or hospital.

There are ways to Treat Valium Withdrawal symptoms and help support your body as you are flushing diazepam out of your body. If you are tapering doses of Valium with the help of your prescribing doctor, detoxing, while slow, can be done at home. Success is always greater for those who visit their doctor weekly and have some sort of follow up plan. That is, Valium detox is most successful when you arrange psychotherapy, doctor check-in appointments or have a supportive community you can interact with while you are going through a cleansing process.

Furthermore, benzodiazepines are known for their protracted withdrawal symptoms. While Valium may no longer be in the system, you can still feel the effects of withdrawal upsurge. In fact, protracted withdrawal from Valium can cause a lot of frustration,which is why it is important to arrange for help outside the home that you can call on in your time of need.

Detox Valium questions

Do you still have questions about Valium detox? Want to know more about Valium detox and what to expect? Do you have experience detoxing from Valium? If so please ask any questions or share any experience you may have with detox in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you. And we will answer questions you may have personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: NCBI: Prolonged benzodiazepine elimination in addicted patients as a reason of early post-detoxification relapses
NCBI: A Physician’s Guide to Discontinuing Benzodiazepine Therapy 
NCBI: 4 Physical Detoxification Services for Withdrawal From Specific Substances
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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