Tolerance to Valium

Valium users develop a tolerance to Valium within a week of regular or frequent use. Learn more about developing a tolerance to Valium and the connection between tolerance, physical dependence and addiction here.

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Does Valium (diazepam) not work for you anymore?

It is possible that you’ve developed a tolerance to Valium prescription pills. But how does Valium affect the brain and when does tolerance to Valium become Valium addiction? In this article, we’ll explore Valium tolerance, as well as its relationship to Valium dependence and addiction. We invite your questions about tolerance and Valium at the end.

Developing tolerance to Valium

Taking Valium in high doses or for extended periods of time can easily cause you to develop a tolerance to Valium. Clinically, any kind of drug tolerance means that the drug does not therapeutically work as well as it used to and that you need to take consecutively higher doses to achieve initial effect.

Q: Can Valium be addictive

A: Yes.

You’ll develop a tolerance more quickly if you aren’t taking Valium in the dosage or manner it was prescribed. However, tolerance to Valium doesn’t necessarily mean you’re addicted to Valium. But if you’re using Valium to get high, then tolerance, Valium (diazepam) withdrawal and addiction become more complicated.

Valium tolerance symptoms

Valium tolerance has two main symptoms:

1. You’ll need to keep taking higher doses of Valium to get the same effects.

2. Valium will stop working to control symptoms over time if you don’t increase your dosage.

Often, tolerance to Valium occurs at the same time as physical dependence on diazepam, which can make it difficult to stop taking Valium. When you are physically dependent on Valium, lower doses or abrupt disruption in dosing results in withdrawal symptoms. Remember that just because you’re experiencing these Valium tolerance symptoms doesn’t mean you’re addicted to Valium. While an addiction is characterized by psychological dependence (you NEED Valium to FEEL normal), tolerance simply means your body is used to the medication, so it isn’t responding as well.

Valium tolerance: How long?

Valium tolerance can develop very quickly. In fact, tolerance to Valium can occur within a week if you’re taking Valium frequently – and withdrawal symptoms can appear just as quickly if you suddenly stop taking it. This is especially true if you are taking high doses of Valium. Doctors try to limit Valium treatment to 4 weeks or less for these reasons.

High tolerance to Valium

Valium prescriptions start at just .2 mg, but go as high as 5 or 10 mg. 10 mg is on the high end of what a doctor will prescribe if you have been prescribed Valium.

How to lower tolerance to Valium

Lowering your Valium dosage is the only effective way to lower your tolerance to this drug. This may leave you without the desired therapeutic effects for some time as your tolerance slowly decreases. There might be other drugs which can help more effectively long-term, so speak to your doctor if you find your Valium tolerance has gotten too high for the normal therapeutic dose of the medication.

Building up tolerance to Valium questions

Do you still have questions about Valium tolerance? Please share your questions and experiences with Valium in the comments below.

Reference Sources: ToxNet: Diazepam
Medline Plus: Diazepam
PubMed: Addiction to diazepam (Valium)
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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