Millions of Valium pills are created and dispensed as prescriptions annually. Valium, also known by its medical label diazepam, is part of a set of sedative drugs called the benzodiazepines. These central-nervous-system tranquilizers quell any number of neurological issues. While Valium is not a cure per se, it is used to treat sleep abnormalities, alcohol withdrawal, spasms and more.
If this weren’t enough, Valium fills another role — lessening withdrawals from other benzodiazepines (also referred to as benzos). The drug can be 10 times weaker than other benzos and takes days to leave the body entirely. For someone suffering from a Valium substance use disorder, this is encouraging news. Valium just so happens to be one of the most straightforward benzos to detox from. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the process will not come with tribulations or setbacks. Whenever drugs are concerned, especially with benzos that have dangerous withdrawals, there is always an element of ambiguity and risk involved.
When a patient, recreational user, or their families feel as though the time to quit Valium has come, a medical taper might just be the solution they are looking for. A taper, as the name suggests, is a gradual weaning of Valium use over weeks and months. Using a Valium taper schedule as a guide map, those who may abuse Valium can get their journey of self-rediscovery underway.
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There is another motive for choosing a Valium taper. “Going cold turkey” has become a ubiquitous term used in all circles of discussion on the subject matter of drugs. Despite its notoriety, this approach lacks medical backing. Choosing to follow a Valium taper schedule makes a statement. It says that a person who uses Valium is willing and dedicated to achieving their drug cessation goals. This isn’t to say that someone who goes cold turkey is not. Many individuals simply do not know that this method is rife with cons. Cold turkey detoxes remove safeguards and support structures that are inherent to taper inside a rehabilitation center or under a doctor’s care. Quitting Valium outright may be dangerous, but it isn’t impossible. In would be incorrect to say going about a detox in this manner is doomed from the start — people can and have done it, by the thousands — but it certainly pales in comparison to tapers and other clinical methods which are in a realm of success all their own.
Additionally, going cold turkey leaves a user predisposed to each and every benzo withdrawal symptom, such as:
- Trembling or spasms
- Reduced motor functions
- Chronic headaches
A Valium taper by itself requires dose reductions of 5 percent, 10 percent, or 25 percent every week of a patient’s scheduled rehabilitation. A 25 percent taper example can be found below.
Week 1: The patient enters clinical care and prepares for their treatment. They are provided with their typical daily dose of Valium. No reductions take place at this time.
Week 2: Valium dose taken down by 25 percent.
Week 3: Valium dose taken down by another 25 percent.
Week 4: 50 percent is sustained.
Week 5 – 8: 50 percent of initial dose kept the same for four weeks.
Week 9 and Beyond: Dose taken down by subsequent 25 percent intervals until withdrawals no longer arise in the absence of the drug.
Following their taper, a user can then progress through the rest of their inpatient and outpatient treatment programs on their path towards full recovery.
Benzodiazepines like Valium can be a challenge to overcome. If you or someone you know is struggling to taper off of drugs or are interested in learning how to taper off alcohol, contact The Recovery Village for more information. Call 352.771.2700 today to speak with a representative who can give you more information, or enroll you in a program at one of The Recovery Village’s premier locations throughout the country.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a 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 provider.