What Is Diazepam?

What is Diazepam?

Diazepam belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Its main use is to reduce muscle spasms and can also be used as a sedative taken before medical procedures. It can be used for treatment of seizures, alcohol withdrawal, anxiety and even panic disorders. The drug has even been used to treat the symptoms of vertigo, tetanus, oxygen toxicity or even issues associated with recent stroke or paralysis victims.

The drug works by acting as an enhancer of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA, located in the brain. GABA works as a neurotransmitter, or what nerve cells use in order to communicate) that essentially stops brain activity. Too much activity in the brain could lead to issues with anxiety or other psychiatric disorders.

Diazepam is also known as the brand name Valium, Diastat, Diazepam Intensol, and Diastat Acudial. It is an approved drug by the FDA and is one of the most widely distributed and prescribed drugs in the United States. It was first put on the market back in 1963. It is considered to be one of the safest and actually most effective drugs currently needed in the health system today.

Diazepam can be taken a number of different ways including orally, rectally, inhalation, or injections via a vein or muscle. Dosages are determined using a number of factors including body weight, what the drug is being used to treat, how severe symptoms are or any other conditions the person is currently suffering from or had prior to using the drug.

Side effects of the drug are typically uncontrolled muscular coordination, unsteadiness or shakiness. Other side effects not as common include blurred vision, changes in urine, chills, blistering, confusion, changes in the stool, irregular heartbeat, headaches, or signs of depression. If taken via a vein it takes between one and five minutes to begin working and effects last typically up to an hour. When taken orally it could take up to forty minutes to begin working.

This drug can become addictive if used over an extended period of time. Side effects of withdrawal could include anxiety, vomiting, sweating, headaches, insomnia, or fatigue. Because of this, dosage should be slowly lowered to avoid any addition or withdrawal issues with patients. Those patients with a history of addiction to alcohol or those suffering from personality disorders should be especially careful with using this drug as they are more susceptible to becoming addicted.

Diazepam should not be taken with drugs such as antidepressants, opioids or barbiturates.

Diazepam can be used for a variety of things but must be taken with caution since there are side effects and could become addictive. Talk to your health care provider when being prescribed to ensure you understand proper dosage and usage.

Diazepam As a Drug of Abuse

Diazaepm is an extremely addictive drug and it must be recognised that people who’ve been prescribed Diazepam could end up abusing the drug and becoming addicted.

Diazepam abuse takes place when:

  • A person uses more Diazepam than prescribed.
  • Or, a person takes doses of drug more often than prescribed.
  • Or, when a person takes the drug, without a prescription, in order to get high or change the effects of other drugs of abuse

Abuse of Diazepam can make a person very ill, both mentally and physically. They may even die. Ill. The risk is particularly increased when other drugs are used as the same time as Diazepam. These drugs include alcohol, barbiturates and opioids, such as painkillers or heroin.

Diazepam and Sudden Death

In 2021, Diazepam became linked to several sudden deaths in Northern Ireland. Experts suggested that this may have been caused by a bad batch of drugs, probably bought online. In recent years, particularly since lockdown, sales of  prescription drugs such as Diazepam and Xanax are increasingly being made illegally online.

Does Diazepam Show up on Drug Tests?

Yes – Diazepam will show up on a urine drug test kit for benzodiazepines.

Testing for drugs such as Diazepam is common nowadays in various settings, including the workplace and in medical facilities. Employers, health professionals and doctors may want to check for Diazepam in order to screen for substance use and abuse, or to monitor for treatment compliance.

Many employers will test workers for drugs as part of random testing or as a pre-employment requirement. They will use a multi panel drugs test kit to do this and this will screen for the presence in urine of one or more prescription or illegal drugs.

Multi panel drug test kits detect the presence of drugs such as:

Drug testing of this type is normally carried out in two stages. Firstly, a simple urine or saliva drug test kit will be used. If the person being tested is found to be positive for one or more drugs, a sample of the fluid would then be sent to a laboratory for further testing and confirmation of the result.

Buy Diazepam Drug Test Kits

At Zoom Testing, we are one on the leading suppliers of drug testing kits in the UK. so, if you are looking to purchase drug test kits, we can probably help with products or advice. When testing for Diazepam, this can be detected using a simple one drug test kit for the drug or for a more sophisticated multi drug test kit that screen for 13 drugs including Diazepam.

More information on sleeping pills and minor tranquillisers can be found on the Mind website.

Photo by Anastasiia Ostapovych on Unsplash

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

This post was originally published in September 2019 and has been updated regularly since.

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