Can You Get High On Valium?

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


If abused, Valium will tend to make a person feel dizzy and disoriented, but also pleasantly or even euphorically relaxed, fuzzy, numb, warm, sleepy, and free from anxiety, stress, or concern.

Originally approved for medical use in 1963, the brand-name benzodiazepine medication Valium (diazepam) has since been widely used to treat anxiety disorders, seizures, symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, muscle spasms, insomnia, and even restless leg syndrome.

However, Valium has also been widely misused throughout its sixty-year history, with its considerable potential for abuse reflected in Valium’s classification as a prescription drug and Schedule IV controlled substance.

While Valium may not produce a euphoric high in the same way that opioids or stimulant drugs do, Valium abuse is still a risky and addictive practice.

Effects Of A Valium High

Like other benzos, Valium is a strong central nervous system (CNS) depressant and acts as an anxiolytic (anxiety reliever) and anticonvulsant (muscle relaxer) with significant hypnotic and sedative effects (encouraging sleep or drowsiness).

If abused, Valium will tend to make a person feel dizzy and disoriented, but also pleasantly or even euphorically relaxed, fuzzy, numb, warm, sleepy, and free from anxiety, stress, or concern. In high doses, the drug’s effects are often compared to severe alcohol intoxication.

Valium produces these effects by promoting the effects of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter, effectively slowing physical and mental activity throughout the body.

How To Tell If Someone Is High On Valium

When someone is high on Valium, the drug will noticeably influence their behavior.

This may resemble the effects of heavy alcohol abuse, including:

  • reduced inhibition
  • impaired coordination, reactions, and muscle control
  • vertigo
  • slurred speech
  • tremors
  • reduced heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure
  • blurred vision
  • memory problems and amnesia (blackouts)

With varying degrees of effectiveness, Valium is also sometimes crushed and abused by injection, smoking, plugging, snorting, or parachuting (swallowing the powder in tissue paper) to increase both the speed and intensity of effect. 

This may also lead to certain other signs of drug abuse like track marks, runny nose, and accumulation of various drug paraphernalia.

Valium & Polydrug Abuse

While Valium may be abused on its own, it is also frequently used in cocktails or combinations with other drugs of abuse.

When taken with other CNS depressants, like opioids/opiates, barbiturates, and alcohol, the effects of diazepam will likely increase the other drug’s effects and vice versa, leading to a more intense but dangerous high with a steep risk of overdose and respiratory depression.

Otherwise, Valium may be taken along with stimulant drugs or after stimulant drugs to soften the arousal, paranoia, and pain of a stimulant high or comedown.

Side Effects Of Getting High On Valium

Side effects of Valium use can vary depending on how much a person takes.

If used as prescribed and in therapeutic doses, patients may still sometimes experience certain side effects, including:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • dry mouth
  • increased urination
  • confusion
  • problems with concentration
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • reduced libido
  • and others

However, these effects are more likely to occur, and more likely to be severe, when Valium is abused in higher doses.

Valium Overdose Symptoms

Trying to get high on Valium puts one at an extremely high risk of experiencing overdose symptoms, especially if a person mixes the drug with other CNS depressants which can, together, produce dangerous drug interactions.

Symptoms of Valium overdose can include:

  • bluish lips
  • double vision
  • severe drowsiness and fatigue
  • trouble breathing
  • physical weakness
  • difficulty moving

Respiratory depression, in which a person struggles to breathe or stops breathing due to the effects of CNS depressant drugs, is another possible complication of Valium overdose. This potentially life-threatening condition becomes more common and lethal in cases of polydrug abuse.

If you suspect a Valium overdose has occurred, call 911 and provide first aid to the victim until responders arrive.

Valium Dependence & Withdrawal

Abusing Valium to get high can greatly accelerate the development of physical dependence, as the body comes to rely on ongoing benzodiazepine use to maintain one’s internal chemical balance.

Long-term use of Valium may also lead to diminishing effectiveness as the body develops a greater degree of tolerance.

Likewise, any attempt to stop one’s Valium abuse cold turkey may produce prolonged and severe withdrawal symptoms that can include:

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • tremors
  • increased heart rate
  • blood pressure
  • rebound anxiety or panic attacks
  • confusion
  • cravings
  • mood swings
  • seizures

Valium withdrawal symptoms can be so severe that prescribing healthcare providers strongly advise anyone who may experience benzodiazepine withdrawal to instead work with a doctor or detox center to taper down their dosage over a period of time.

Valium Addiction Treatment

Prescription drug addiction is a treatable behavioral health disorder. 

In the case of Valium abuse and addiction, treatment options involve detoxification services followed by individual and group counseling, behavioral therapy, dual diagnosis care for secondary conditions (like anxiety), and aftercare support.

There are serious side effects that come with substance abuse. If you or your loved one struggles with Valium abuse or addiction, contact Ohio Recovery Center to learn about our treatment options.

  1. Australian Prescriber
  2. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  3. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  4. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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