What is Valium used for?

Learn more about what Valium is, why doctors prescribe it and its addictive-ness. Plus, if you’ve used or abused Valium, discuss what to do next. We answer all questions about Valium and Valium addiction in our comments or via video!

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What is Valium?

Valium is the brand name for a drug called diazepam. Valium is a type of medicine called a benzodiazepine, which enhances the effects of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. The more GABA in the synopses of nerve cells, the less active the brain, which is why Valium is mainly used as a sedative or tranquilizer. Valium (diazepam) is also considered a hypnotic, anti-epileptic, and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) drug which affects the central nervous system as a general depressant. Typically, doctors administer Valium in a tablet form in doses of 2-10 mg per dose taken 2 to 4 times per day. Under the Federal Controlled Substance’s Act, Valium is classified as a Class IV substance by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), meaning that it has a current medical use but a low potential for abuse. Valium is also classified as a Schedule IV drug due to its relatively limited physical and psychological dependence when compared to the drugs or other substances in Schedule III.

What is Valium used for?

Valium is mainly used to help treat anxiety, alcohol withdrawal and/or insomnia. Valium is also used to sedate or tranquilize people or to induce amnesia before certain medical procedures. Valium is prescribed by doctors for a wide range of medical conditions. These include:

  • alcohol withdrawal (control agitation)
  • anxiety
  • benzodiazepine withdrawal
  • Ménière’s disease
  • muscle spasms
  • insomnia
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • neurological diseases
  • panic attacks
  • restless legs syndrome
  • seizures
  • tremors

Non medical uses of Valium

Valium (diazepam) can be a psychoactive drug, which creates a “high” in some people. This is why some people use valium recreationally or to calm down. Other non medical uses of Valium include:

  • induce feelings of drowsiness
  • lethargy
  • loss of inhibition
  • relaxation

Can I get addicted to Valium?

Yes, Valium can be addictive. In fact, if you take a larger dose of Valium than prescribed, take it more often that prescribed, or for a longer time than your doctor tells you (often 4 months max), you may develop tolerance to the drug, which means that you may need to take higher doses to get the same effect. Long-term or excessive use can also result in withdrawal (a sign of physical dependence) when you stop taking the drug.


Does someone you know take regular doses of Valium, or mix Valium with other substances such as alcohol or prescription drugs? Do you yourself have a potential problem with Valium? Comment here, and we’ll respond to you as soon as possible. Or learn more about next steps for prescription pill addicts here.

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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