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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  1. Hi….. I have been on diazepam for 17 years. I am 48 and my psychiatrist is weaning me off it. I am at home with my family but am really struggling! Any suggestions? ????

    1. Hi Meghan. You may want to speak with your doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule. Also, check out the Ashton Manual (a manual that can help you with dealing benzodiazepine dependence and withdrawal):

  2. I stupidly went through withdrawal alone with no medical supervision. I was a heavy user over 30 years. I read about it during week 2, as I once was a trained researcher and licensed social worker, I can’t believe I did that. I wanted to die and took any pill left that my children didn’t take ie ibuprofen. I had researched the best way to die, I missed a step (I won’t reference here) and my sons found me.I had seizures, hallucinations, and all the other horrible symptoms. Do NOT do what I did. You need medical supervision. I almost didn’t make it. And I was a professional in the field.

  3. I take over 10 x 10mls a day maybe over im having to buy them as doctor wont prescribe ive been consistently usin valium for 4yrs but been takin them for 20yrs plz help

    1. Hi John. I suggest that you call the helpline displayed on the website to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant.

  4. Is going to a detox clinic better than tapering off valium on my own? Been raking 10 mg a day for 9 months and down to 5 mg now. I was using it for a one herniated lowest lumbar disk after my surgery in late May 2015, no hardware involved. My muscles became tight in my core , so the PA gave me it to relax my mind and muscles while I do PT. I was dumb and used it daily ,beyond the two months. It lost its effecriveness and I was already beginning withdrawal without upping my dose beyond the 10 mg. I tried to do my PT again in the summer and I could not stretch or bend at all. All the PT’s said STIFF(tight) muscles. I was going to maybe go to Coleman Institute . They use Flumazenil. The Psychiatrist told me to go down to 5mg for five days , then 21/2 mg for five days and gave me Gabapentin.

  5. I have been taking Valium for about 12
    And 1/2 years prescribed 4 x 24 hrs . While I very rarely took 4 a day I would say I took 3 daily 10 mg for this amount of time . My Dr. That was writing this rx has retired . I am left to fend for myself . While I did find a dr. To prescribe me 2@daily . Until Feb. 2017 . So I am frightened and don’t know where to start . I know that the decrease in the last two weeks I have no memory of a lot that has happened during that time . I find myself thinking something that happened just last week seemed like an eternity ago . I am reaching out because I don’t really know if I can do this alone . I also had rx for neurontin and ambien and Effexor . While I did take the Effexor as
    Prescribed. I weaned myself off the neurontin and rarely took the ambien anyway . Please could you suggest what might be the best way to come off of this very potent drug ?? Thanks so much

  6. I am trying to detox from…Oxycodone….Lyrica and Diazapam all at the same time. All prescribed for a major spine injury that happened on November 5,2016. Because of severe pain and basically having my life taken away during a routine spine proceedure performed by my pain management Doctor…I ended up with Cauda Equina Syndrome. Im worried the pillsare destroying me and would to live with none or much less. If tou can help message me. Thanks.. Whendi

  7. I have just done a self detox at home from Benzos. At the end of last year I was taking 2.5mgs of xannx. I tapered slowly over 3 months without any help from doctors as they wanted me continue taking them. Anyway it was hell,but it was worth it. If I can do it,then you can do it. I was on them for 9+years. You have to be strong and keep postive. Just remember you can do it. Good luck to you all.

  8. I have been using diazepam for years for back spams. I have arthritis in my spine. I would like to
    detox. I take on a daily basis .5mg usually at night. I usually break in half the 10 mg pill. Can I start detoxing by breaking the 5mg pill in half. I would like to do this from home on my own.
    How should I go about this. I have about 20 pills left. Do I need more diazepam to detox.
    20 pills is good for 40 days. Can I start breaking the 5mg in half. Please advise
    Thank you

    1. Hi, Mario. I suggest you speak with your doctor or a pharmacist to help you create an individualized tapering schedule.

  9. Hi, there is just one problem with going to my GP for a withdrawal ‘package’, He gives me 7.5mgs,zopiclone and has done for 20 odd years, obviously I have become tolerant to them, so buy on line(i know this can be dodgy) but i have a good supplier.I now take 3 a night, which works for me. As I stated previously,zopiclone is so short acting, i get around 2 hrs sleep if i’m lucky! so have added an anti histamine to the mix, and can usually get around 7 hrs sleep. The problem arose when I decided to try diazeam 10mgs instead of the anti histamine(again, not prescribed by my GP). As stated previously, I have taken them for a short period, and feel that if there is a way to detox at home. I cant go back to him and tell him ive been taking all that lot without his knowledge! So I’m going to have to try to do it myself, with hopefully, some information from your end,i.e. how to taper off. I have had problems with alcohol in the past, and am glad to say apart from 2yrs when I tried(not deliberately) to kill my self with anti depressants,and Vodka,ended up on ventilator for 10 days, ive had 24yrs alcohol free. But we all know that drugs r just a substitute, but i can live with that! I have ordered some 5mgm tabs, to try to start the detox process, but am not sure how many to take and when?? In the past when detoxing from alcohol, they used a drug called(and i’m not sure of the spelling) heminevrin, it was as difficult to get off those as it is alcohol, but they were giving me bottles of 100 tabs, and a 2 wk period of four every 4 hours. Now I understand they either use diazepam or librium, as over dose with heminevrin was a real danger,especially if done at home. So u c I’m in a catch 22 situation, is there any way to do it at home, if so, what would be the regime?

  10. I tried to cut my dose of alprazolam down. But it was so bad it made me rebound and I increased my dose to over 2.5mgs sometines 3mgs+ Because I felt so bad I finally admitted to my wife and doctor that I have been self dosing and now I’m addicted. Unfortunately I’m living in a foreign country and I’m finding it hard to get help. I really want to quit. Can anyone give me some advice?

    1. Hi, Chay. I’d suggest you consult your doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule only for you. Also, you could find some treatment centers in the country you’re staying, and see your options. Good luck!

  11. I have taken 20mgms in afternoon, and at night.(40mgs)daily for about a month. I take zopiclone at night(have done for many years. Because zopiclone is short acting, I have been taking doxylamine with it just to get around five hrs sleep. I stopped that, and took diazepam instead.The afternoon dose is for 2hrs sleep(100% good 2hrs, which brings me up to around 7hrs sleep daily. It is a large dose of valium I do realize, but after such a short period,I feel I can ‘taper off’ at home??? I expect withdrawals.but not on the same time scale as one taking them for a long period, correct or not?

    1. Hi, Dianne. I’m really glad for you. If you want to taper off the drug, I’d suggest you consult your doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule just for you. Withdrawal symptoms may occur at the same time, and they may last up to several weeks. Good luck!

  12. I have taken a daily dosage of between 1mg up to 2.5mgs for about 5 years. Whilst this is maybe a low dose. I tried to cut down to just 1mg per day. BUT I have a lot of stress and anxiety increased,plus other symptoms. How would you recommend stopping taking diazepam? Cut by 0.5 per week?
    HOW long will the withdrawal effects last?

  13. Dont stop the valium,decrease if you can.It causes cerebral bleedings…. youve read well,and your nervous system will explode if you quit with the worse headaches you imagine.If you take more than 15mgday youre ruined.decrease because only you know how much is necessary,and hours,the medics will iniciate with the same or a new one.Just decrease your own way,take a nother benzodiazepine and strugle the withdrawal.

  14. I am terrified after 14 years of Valium use prescribed by my doctor he decided to reduce the dose by a third and I feel very ill. I was originally on 15mgs then to 6mgs now to 4mgs . Surely this is way too fast ? Every day is hell.I wanted to do a very gradual reduction.

  15. I have been taking Valium for 30 yrs.I am 68 years old. I take 40 MG a day. My doctor wants to taper me off the drug at home. What kind of taper do you suggest. How long do you think it will take. Any other suggestions. Thanks I think I am going to need a lot of help.

    1. Hi Robert. The best tapering schedule is a slow and gradual one. You should check out the Ashton manual online for best guidelines for quitting Valium. The general dose lowering is done at a rate of 20% each week. But, depending on how your organism reacts it can be done even slower, so you’d be cutting back 10% off your current dose each week, or every second week. It can take months and months to finally stop taking Valuim completely, and then the recovery process will also be a long one. But, it’s worth it! I suggest you find a good support group and don’t hesitate to speak to your doctor about any unusual withdrawal symptom or issues that may occur. I wish you the best of luck, motivation and success 🙂

  16. My son is an alcoholic. He was prescribed Diazepam as a sleep aid and for anxiety, 5mg. I know he combines them at times. When he tries to come off alcohol, he takes diazepam to make him feel good, but not as prescribed. He hurts and that makes him feel good, but not, for he is in a drunken state as he takes more than recommended. He has been to rehabs several times, doctors, etc., doesn’t seem to do the trick. He lives with me and I am 74 years old. I want to help him any way I can. I have not taken the diazepam away completely as I know that is not good, and give it to him sparingly to help him through the tough times. Heartbreaking. He is 52 years old. What drug or supplement can I give him in the interim. Thank you.

  17. I tried 1 5mg of Valium for the first time on monday. I have a drug test for a job in 7days. How long will it take to get out of my system for this urine test. And what are ways i could detox?

    1. Hello Cristal. If on Monday was your first and only time you took Valium, it will be long gone from your system by next Monday. I’d say you have nothing to worry about.

  18. Hi Angie. Is he tapering doses down gradually? If he isn’t that is no good and he may need to go to the ER because of some of the withdrawal symptoms. If he is tapering doses of Diazepam with the help of his prescribing doctor, detoxing can be slow, but it will be safe to do it at home. You can talk to the pharmacist at the local pharmacy for medications or tips on how to ease symptoms. Still, a clinical Diazepam detox under the supervision of medical professionals during the acute period is the best and safest way to go off this medication.

  19. My childrens father is suffering severe anxiety from diazepam withdrawal, but has been refused a clinical detox from his doctor and the community drugs team. Is there anyway to safely detox without the help from doctors?

  20. Is this a uk site? Am in Glasgow anyway doesn’t matter valium is highly abused here it’s so easy to get I have waited 4 months for a detox I am 36 was ready to get married nxt year my fiancé called it off because of these my family have practically disowned me it’s ruined my life this is my first day of my detox and I am crappin it but a want my life back I would like to hear from anyone out there someone to talk to . Thanx j

  21. Start my detox today absolutely crappin it been on about 80-100 mg fr a while a jst can’t wait fr it to get out my system because it’s been ruining my life other hand a would like to hear how the withdrawal symptoms are as a no it won’t be easy and would appreciate it thanx j

  22. Hello. I have been taking Valium to treat anxiety as well as alcoholism. Is there anything natural that I can take so I can flush my system of this drug? I’ve taken 2mg twice daily for about 1 month now.

  23. Hi
    I was prescribed 2mg of diazepam to be taken when needed,I was very anxious this morning and took 12mg in one go,stupid of me I know.i have been asleep for a couple of hours and feel a bit groggy,could I have damaged myself and will I get bad withdrawal symptoms.thank you for any help you can give.

  24. Hello Vivian. I’d suggest that you call your local pharmacist ASAP. And your prescribing doctor. You may need to re-start therapy and slowly wean off. Ask for more information about a slow reduced taper. You’ll be OK. Hang in there!

  25. A doctor told me to stop taking Valium slowly but with no plan or instructions. I have not slept in 14 days, I am severely anxious and scared and very I’ll. I have no one to tal to about this I am 80 years,old and live alone. I use oxygen for COPD and am very scared. Please help me

  26. I have avasular necrosisi of my hips and shoulders. They did a procedure that got rid of my pain and muscle spasm compleeteelly. I wass taking 40 mg of valium per dayyy for muscle spassm. I donpt need it anymore and stopped taaking it. The anxiety is hoorrifiic. I have some phenobarbitolj and was wondering how to take it. Please help. Thhis is disabling.

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