Valium, or diazepam, a commonly prescribed drug used to treat anxiety, seizures, and muscle spasms, is a benzodiazepine – a drug that works as a depressant on the central nervous system (CNS). It is an effective drug when used properly; however, it is a strong psychoactive drug that affects mood and performance, and misusing it can lead to addiction and dependence.
The effects of Valium have been likened to those felt with alcohol consumption -excitement, lowered inhibition, sleepiness, confusion, memory loss and sedation.
Today, testing for the presence of Valium is common and performed extensively in many workplace settings, including medical facilities, court systems, educational institutions, and others.
While Valium is sometimes consumed for recreational purposes, it is also prescribed by medical care providers to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures. It is also used prior to surgery for its calming and sedating effects. However, because it is a benzodiazepine, Valium is a strong psychoactive drug. Because this type of drug affects mood and performance, employers feel the need to protect their company and other workers from workplace hazards that can occur from side effects like those associated with Valium use.
People who are tested for Valium provide samples of urine, saliva, blood or hair follicles. Urine tests, the most common method, detect metabolites several weeks after the person’s last dose. Saliva and blood tests have integrity for up to nine days after the last dose of Valium was consumed. Hair follicle tests, the least common and least reliable method, detect the presence of Valium for up to three months.
The detection time from someone’s last consumption to total elimination from their system (half-life) can vary widely. Tests which look for metabolites of Valium differ from one person to another, so it’s hard to pinpoint the duration at which traces of Valium will stay in the body.
A drug needs to be metabolized in the body to take effect. In many cases, traces of the drug remain in the system for long periods of time as parts of the body metabolize components of the drug through different methods and at different rates. Some additional factors that affect the metabolism of Valium include:
- Method of ingestion
- Dose taken
- Other drugs being used concurrently
- Personal metabolism rate
- Amount of body fat
- Liver health
- Kidney health