Valium is one of many drugs that are routinely screened for in drug tests. It can show up for varying lengths of time, depending on the test.

Valium (diazepam) is frequently prescribed drugs to treat conditions like anxiety, seizures and muscle spasms. The medication is also used before surgery to help calm and sedate patients, and it can help control agitation caused by alcohol withdrawal.

Valium is a benzodiazepine, which is a type of drug that works as a depressant on the body’s central nervous system. It is also a strong psychoactive drug that affects mood and performance. Valium is an effective drug when used properly; however, it also carries the risk of abuse, dependence and addiction.

Many people are required to get drug tested for work, legal or medical reasons. Those who take Valium may wonder whether this drug will show up if they are tested. The answer is yes: Valium does show up in urine, blood, saliva and hair follicle toxicology reports.

Valium Drug Test

Valium drug tests are performed extensively in workplace settings, including medical and health care-related facilities. These tests are also used by court systems to detect the Valium use of employees who deal with criminal justice and child welfare concerns. People who work for or are participating in a drug rehab program may also find themselves being tested for Valium.

Valium has a range of effects that are similar to those of alcohol intoxication, including:

  • Sleepiness
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Sedation
  • Excitement
  • Lowered inhibition

Because Valium and alcohol can have similar effects, tests are used to identify individuals who are considered to be intoxicated in the workplace. Positive test results can identify possible signs of Valium addiction, which can cause impairment at work.

Related Topic: Does alcohol show up on a drug test?

Urine, saliva, blood, or hair follicle samples are analyzed to test for Valium, and tests look for different sets of metabolites. Depending on which source is being tested, the detection time from last consumption to total elimination from the system can vary. This means that if a person is tested by one means and shows negative, an alternative method may still show a positive test result.

The most common method of testing for Valium is through urine samples. Urine tests can detect metabolites for up to seven days after the last dose. The exact time of “expiration” is not a given, however, as there are other factors that can affect the drug’s elimination.

On average, saliva tests can detect Valium up to two days after use. A similar timeframe applies for blood tests, which can detect the drug for up to 37 hours.

Hair follicle tests are less common, but this test can detect the presence of Valium for up to 90 days.

Factors Affecting Valium Drug Tests

Valium needs to be metabolized (broken down) by the body to work. In many cases, traces of the drug remain for long periods of time because parts of the body metabolize components of the drug in different methods and at differing rates. Factors that affect the metabolism of Valium can include:

  • Method of ingestion
  • Dose taken
  • Frequency of use
  • Use of other drugs
  • Age
  • Amount of body fat
  • Liver health
  • Kidney health

Because test results can widely vary, people who receive a positive result when the expectation was a negative result should get retested using a different lab and possibly a different method. False-positive results for benzodiazepines can occur if you are taking medications like oxaprozin or sertraline (Zoloft).

If you or someone you love is struggling with Valium use, help is available at The Recovery Village. Contact us today to learn more about Valium addiction treatment programs that can work well for your situation.

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Editor – Jonathan Strum
Jonathan Strum graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor's in Communication in 2017 and has been writing professionally ever since. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more
Sources “Valium.” October 22, 2021. Accessed November 11, 2021.

ARUP Laboratories. “Drug Plasma Half-Life and Urine Detection Window.” October 2021. Accessed November 11, 2021.

Cansford Laboratories. “Oral Fluid (Saliva) Testing.” (n.d.). Accessed November 11, 2021.

Ferguson, McKenzie C.; Mosher, Kelsey. “Ask The Expert: False-Positive Screen for Benzodiazepines.” Practical Pain Management, April 2015. Accessed November 11, 2021.

Gryczynski, Jan; et al. “Hair Drug Testing Results and Self-repor[…]sk Illicit Drug Use.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, May 2014. Accessed November 17, 2021.


Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.