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Does Valium show up on drug tests?

Yes, Valium shows up as a benzodiazepine and is detected in many 5-10 panel drug testing kits. In fact, urine concentrations of metabolites are detectable for several days to weeks after last use of Valium. More here on drug testing for Valium.

4
minute read

Yes, Valium shows up on most urine-based drug panels.

Valium is a central nervous system depressant that is called a benzodiazepine. The main ingredient found in Valium – diazepam – is mainly used medically to relieve anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures and to control agitation caused by alcohol withdrawal. However, Valium is a powerful psychoactive drug that can affect mood and performance.

So, why do employers and drug courts test for Valium in the blood, urine, or hair? And how long will Valium stay in your system? We review these Q&As here. Then, we invite your questions about detecting Valium in drug tests at the end.

So, why order a drug test for Valium?

As a depressant, diazepam is a moderate tranquilizer, causing sleepiness, drowsiness, confusion, and some loss of anterograde memory. At high doses, excitement, disinhibition, severe sedation, and effects on respiration occur. And because diazepam can produce a state of intoxication, employers and health care providers want to know what’s REALLY going on with you. In fact, they are looking at testing for Valium as a way to identify possible signs of Valium addiction or problems with work impairment.

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Testing for psychoactive drugs is performed extensively today in work, medical, and health settings. Doctors, employers, and health professionals mainly test for Valium to detect substance use/abuse and to monitor treatment compliance. Analysis of test results provides guidance for Valium use, as well as information for program planning and performance improvement. In addition, other agencies concerned with patient progress (e.g., child welfare and criminal justice agencies) routinely request and use drug test results with patients’ informed consent.

Also, when you enter a sedative drug addiction rehab program, you can expect to be subjected to regular drug tests to confirm your adherence to the program.

Types of Valium drug tests and testing

Drug tests or drug panels (if one or more drugs is being tested) indicate if one or more prescription or illegal drugs are present in urine. These kinds of tests are typically used because they are not intrusive, are cheap, and quick to administer. Combination drug panel tests detect the presence of drugs such as:

  • amphetamines
  • benzodiazepine
  • cocaine
  • ecstasy
  • marijuana
  • methamphetamine
  • opiates

The testing is often done in two steps. First, administrators may facilitate a quick at-home test. Second, if the test suggests that drugs may be present, they would send the sample to a laboratory for additional testing. Drug panels are also called qualitative tests – they are used find out if a particular drug may be in the urine, but not how much is present.

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Valium detection

Urine concentrations of metabolites are detectable for several days to weeks after last use of Valium. In fact, urine tests are the most frequent types of tests used to detect Valium.  Urinary excretion of unchanged drug is less than 1%. Further, simple interpretation of blood concentrations without any knowledge of drug-taking history is not recommended. Repeated use and variability in response mean that blood concentrations do not provide a good indication of behavioral effect. Additionally, the long half-life of diazepam may cause accumulation to occur with repeated use. Blood concentrations may be several-fold higher after chronic use compared to single use, and there are significant increases in blood levels in the elderly.

Valium cutoff levels

The administrative cutoff (or threshold) of a drug test is the point of measurement at or above which a result is considered positive and below which a result is considered negative. This level is established on the basis of the reliability and accuracy of the test and its ability to detect a drug or metabolite for a reasonable period after drug use. It is suggested that cut-off concentrations for Valium should be 20 ng/ml.

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Positive drug testing for Valium

If you get a preliminary positive result for Valium, you should send the urine sample to the laboratory for a second test. It is very important to send the urine sample to the laboratory to confirm a positive at-home result because certain foods, food supplements, beverages, or medicines can affect the results of at-home tests. Laboratory tests are the most reliable way to confirm drugs of abuse.Many things can affect the accuracy of the tests, including (but not limited to):

  • other prescription or over-the-counter drugs you take before the test
  • the way you did the test
  • the way you stored the test or urine
  • what you ate or drank before taking the test

Valium testing discussion

Do you still have questions about testing for Valium? Please share with us your experience or questions in the comments section below. We are interested in hearing from you and will do our best to respond to all legitimate queries with a prsonal and prompt response.

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Reference Sources: FDA: Valium
NHTSA: Diazepam
MedlinePlus: Diazepam
NCBI: Detection of benzodiazepines in human hair by radioimmunoassay
FDA: Drugs of Abuse Home Use Test
NCBI: Guidelines for research on drugged driving
SAMHSA: Clinical drug testing in primary care
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.

30 Comments

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  1. My son’s drug test was positive for benzos so we sent it to the lab for confirmation. The results came back broken down into nordiazepam, oxazepam, and tamezapam. He swears he only took valium. I’m confused about whether these other drugs are part of valium and that ‘s why they are showing up or if they are different and he actually took 3 different drugs. Thanks.

    1. Hi Marina. Nordiazepam, oxazepam, and tamezapam are metabolites or end- products of metabolism. Following administration, diazepam/Valium undergoes metabolism to yield the active metabolites nordiazepam and temazepam. Nordiazepam and temazepam are then further metabolized to the final active metabolic product oxazepam. Thus, the presence of nordiazepam, temazepam, and oxazepam together on a drug test is consistent with Valium use.

  2. I have been attending mediation sessions with my ex partner with regards to contact with my 4 year old daughter. I have battled with alcohol problems for many years but am in recovery now and am 5 months sober. My ex is a very controlling man and unwilling to compromise, he almost sees my daughter as ‘his’ possession and I’ve been/am going through a very traumatic time. Due to my previous history with alcohol my doctor has refused to prescribe anything that calms my nerves. NOTHING works by way of prescription. I can’t sleep and find myself suddenly bursting into tears. I have suffered 5 years of emotional abuse at his hands and I made a rather silly choice to order diazepam online. My ex knows as he’s been going through my personal emails. At our last mediation session we agreed we would have to go to court to sort things once and for all. Now I’m in despair as I have agreed to take a drug test. I have admitted to both the mediator and my lawyer that this is what I have felt resorted to. I don’t take anything to get ‘high’ I just want to be able to cope with this nightmare I am in. The courts will normally only accept a hair strand test, as they did last year when we went to court. Ironically (that test was for alcohol consumption over a 6 month period), the test came back fine. More or less saying there was no evidence of problematic alcohol abuse. Now though I don’t know if there is anything that can be done to prove I’m not an “alcoholic junkie” as my ex calls me!!!!! Please help. There are no court dates set as yet but I’m so scared that if I come off diazepam as well as my prescribed anti depressants I might have a breakdown.

  3. I was am being tested for a program, I had a prescription for Valium due to a pinched nerve, when the results came back, I was told I tested positive for more than one Benzo. Is this possible? I have read that Valium can break down into other benzo types??? I also am on other meds, I took Benadryl, trazadone, gabapentin, hydroxizine, banofin, indomethacin, a natural sleep aid containing valariun root, chamomile and melatonin and tylonol pm….I am super upset and wish I had answers….. Thank you

  4. I have taken the home panel test, it shows positive for THC. I’ve read some of the information in this article, I just want to make sure I understand correctly, that me taking Diazepam and cyclobenzaprine is the cause of my test results coming out positive THC.

  5. So I am legally prescribed Valium and I took a drug test today what is the story about testing positive for it but actually having a prescription for it? I took a pre-employment drug screen.

  6. I dont normally take valium but due to a loss i took one 10 mg today. I have drug test in 4 days if i drink allot of watery can i flush it out by then. Im 5ft1 and 115 lbs

  7. Can you tell me if you take 5 mg of Valium and then take a drug test a few hours later, will the Valium already be in your urine & test positive? Thanks!

  8. I took 2 valium 10 mg on sat do to significant amount of discomfort in my back I’m not prescribed them ND I have a drug test tomorrow morning for work will this show up on the test please lmn what I can do to get it out of my system if in fact it is still in there ty

  9. Hello,
    First off thank you for this blog. I’ve been doing endless research for the past day or so and have found nothing nearly as helpful.
    My situation is that I meet with my PO for the first time on the 12th of May. The month prior I had been sentenced and assigned probation, so technically I assume it started then, but I hadn’t actually met/talked to my PO. I clearly haven’t made the best choices, thus why I am here for some advice. I took 2 10mg valium pills at around 1am or so on May 7, because I was unable to sleep. I ingested one and a half orally and snorted half of one (yes I know, snorting them is very bad and makes me sound like a complete junky. I can assure you though, that isn’t the case.) prior to that I had been taking it occasionally for about a week or so, because it was readily available through a friend who is prescribed. I haven’t met my PO yet (misdemeanor btw) but I can only assume I will be drug tested. I researched my county, and the probation office sends their urine samples to a lab with quality analysis equipment manufactured by “Syva”. I guess what I’m trying to get at is what are my odds of passing, and what can I do to help my body detox. I am in my very early 20’s and weigh 140-145 pounds. I don’t want to go out and buy anything that’s going to waste my time and money. I will be buying the best at home test kit that I can find the day before so I can take it to see where I’m at. Any guidance on what I should do/take to help me would be GREATLY appreciated. Preferably natural things or supplements, but at this point anything that would get the job done works for me.
    Thank you for your time. I know this was a lengthy one, but I’m having some anxiety over this (clearly). Hopefully you see this soon enough to help me out.

    Much love and good vibes your way!

    – Thank you

  10. I have to take a drug test for work tests are for cannibis opiates methamphetamine,cocaine and alcohol this will be a urine test.will Valium be detected in the test it does not go to a lab it is done with strips you dip in the urine

    1. Hi Dan. Valium is a benzodiazepine. But, it shows up on most urine-based drug panels. However, if the drug test isn’t used for benzodiazepine, then you’re safe.

  11. Valium did not show up in my unine and now Dr.took me off cold turkey. But I took them 3 times a day and it was 5 for 2 years

  12. I’ve tested positive for valium these last two months. I only took it 3 months before for withdrawal. I’m about to get dismissed from pm. I don’t understand and I’m scared. Plz help. I don’t know how this is happening. I forgot to say I’m on suboxone for chronic back pain. Thank u so much.

  13. How long does it take for Valium and clonazepam to get out of your system? I had one 10mg Valium yesterday bout lunchtime as well as two 2mg clonazepam last night. I don’t take these sorta drugs Reguarly and was wondering how long would it take for me to pass a urine test?

  14. Benzodiazepines like Valium “should” be gone in 4-7 days. Depending on the how much you took, your weight/size, and how your body metabolizes it. Other Benzodiazepines are Alprazolam, Clonazepam, Diazepam, Flurazepam, Lorazepam, Temazepam, and Triazolam. Benzodiazepines should be used with extreme caution in patients with a history of alcohol or drug abuse.

  15. I am aware that Benadryl can sometimes cause a false positive on a 5-10 panel test. Can it still cause a false positive when it is sent out to the lab?

  16. I took. Valium at the beginning of this month because my mom passed and my brother was murdered not knowing it stay in your system is ittrue it stay in your urine for six weeks its been about two weeks and I have a drug test to take for a job. Ifell sobad for taking them.

  17. I have stop taking Valium cold turkey for about 4or5weeks having a hard time with my body muscle problems in my neck , arms and legs . I did not no these drug was doing this to my body. Now my doctor wants me to start back I was taking 20 mg a day. Now starting back at 5mg. Will it help my problem.

    1. Hi Linda. Did you have the muscle problems before you started taking Valium or did this problem occur when you stopped using the medication? Even if Valium helps your muscle problems, those 5mg will soon be not enough as your tolerance will start to grow again.

    1. Hello James. The best way to withdraw from Valium is to gradually reduce Valium doses with the help of a doctor, rather than go cold turkey. Benzodiazepines are generally reduced by 10% every two to four weeks depending on the level of Valium in the system. You can read other very useful information about Valium detox and withdrawal in this article: http://prescription-drug.addictionblog.org/valium-withdrawal-treatment-how-to-treat-valium-withdrawal/

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