Valium, or diazepam, is one of the most frequently prescribed drugs to treat conditions such as anxiety, seizures, and muscle spasms (restless leg syndrome), as well as to help control symptoms of agitation resulting from alcohol withdrawal. It is also used prior to surgery to help calm and sedate patients. It is a benzodiazepine -which is a drug that works as a depressant on the body’s central nervous system (CNS). Additionally, it is a strong psychoactive drug that affects mood and performance. It is an effective drug when used properly; however, use of Valium can lead to abuse and addiction.
In today’s workplace and other settings, such as court systems or medical facilities, people who are taking Valium may wonder: does Valium show up on a drug test?
The answer is yes: Valium does show up in urine, saliva, and hair follicle toxicology reports.
Since Valium has a range of effects (sleepiness, confusion, memory loss, sedation, excitement, lowered inhibition) like those of alcohol, the 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 in the workplace.
Urine, saliva, blood, or hair follicle samples are analyzed to test for Valium. Tests look for different sets of metabolites. Depending on which source is being tested, the detection time from last consumption to total elimination from one’s 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 by urine samples. Urine tests can detect metabolites for several weeks after the last dose. The exact time of “expiration” is not a given, as there are other factors that can play into the drug’s elimination.
On average, saliva tests are good to test up to nine days after using Valium. The same timeframe applies for blood tests.
Hair follicle tests are less common. This test can detect the presence of Valium for up to 90 days, but is not considered to be as reliable as the others.
- Method of ingestion
- Dose taken
- Other drugs being used concurrently
- Personal metabolism rate
- Amount of body fat
- Liver health
- Kidney health
Because the test results can widely vary, it is advised that anyone who receives a positive result when the expectation was a negative result should get retested using a different lab and possibly by a different method.