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Valium Tapering (diazepam)

This entry was posted in Benzodiazepine and tagged on by .
Medically Reviewed Fact Checked

Last Updated on January 17, 2023 by Diane Ridaeus

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

You need almost divine luck finding medical professionals who have the expertise to design and deliver a well-managed Valium tapering program.

Benzodiazepines like Valium have life-threatening risks associated with them.2 It is extremely important to find experienced, qualified professionals who can strategically and compassionately perform Valium tapering.

Do Your Symptoms
Require Valium?

valium tapering, titration
Alternative to Meds has been leading the way on benzodiazepine tapering for more than 15 years. We have published evidence regarding the successful outcomes of clients at the center. Some people come off benzodiazepines easier than others. However, many benzo users have become neurotoxic, forcing the CNS/neurology into fight or flight (sympathetic overdrive). This horrendous condition won’t regulate until the person can clean up that toxic burden, which involves many micro-changes and steps to do well. Each person is different and needs to be treated as such.
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Valium Tapering Information

The following Valium tapering information is provided here so you can get a better understanding of the kinds of therapies that can make getting off Valium many times easier than it could otherwise be for you or your loved one. Perhaps you have begun researching the benzodiazepine tapering process and are not sure how to get off Valium in a safe and healthy way. We hope the following information helps.

Top 5 Reasons for Valium Tapering
  • top reasons to taper off valiumValium should only be taken for a short duration.6
  • Valium tolerance: the prescribed dosage does not provide relief.
  • Valium dependence or addiction has developed.
  • Valium adverse effects outweigh any perceived benefits.
  • Holistic, drug-free treatments are available for symptoms that led to taking Valium.

It can often happen that a person is started on a benzodiazepine like Valium but is not given adequate information concerning stopping Valium so they end up feeling trapped on a pharmaceutical drug that they no longer wish to take. Continuing to renew a prescription of benzodiazepines for long periods should be discouraged as the risks begin to outweigh any benefits.1 Without correct guidance, trying to quit Valium can feel next to impossible. But please, don’t give up hope. There are many ways to approach this problem of how to taper Valium easily and safely. 

Tapering Schedule:  Correct Pacing is Important When Stopping Valium

Where any benzodiazepine is being tapered, the old adage, “slow is fast” certainly applies. There is no single or “canned” formula for discontinuation that will be right for everyone. A rule of thumb is to decrease dosage as slowly as needed to avoid the abrupt changes that can shock the system. For instance, cutting the dosage in half for a couple of days, and then in half again, may not sound fast at first glance. But to the very intricate workings of internal neurology, vital organs, and other systems in the body, such a series of steep cuts could profoundly shock the entire system and could considerably lengthen the process of trying to quit Valium, resulting in years of suffering.

The physical reactions that can occur when tapering Valium can be severe and it is best to avoid them with a slow and gentle step-down, with adequate support in place to assist the journey. The benefits however can be life-changing, resulting in increased cognitive and psychomotor function, most notably, in the elderly population.8,10,15

Preparing the Body for Getting Off Valium

At Alternative to Meds Center, there are some preparations that are done to prepare the body for these changes and to make stopping Valium as tolerable and comfortable as possible. One of these is toxicity testing and the removal of neurotoxins. Toxins can be stored in tissues from past chemical exposures, food additives, mold spores, dental amalgams, and other environmental sources. Such residues are detrimental to overall health and can compromise neurochemistry and its thousands of functions.12-14

remove neurotoxins to taper valiumVery often, lab testing that we do before beginning the Valium taper shows concerning levels of accumulated neurotoxins. These can be safely purged from the system. This obtains numerous advantages to the overall process of Valium cessation. First, it can relieve the excitatory influence that such chemical residues can have on the person’s neurochemistry. It has been shown in studies that neurotoxicity from mercury, lead, toxic mold spores, and other environmental sources are linked with insomnia, anxiety, depression, and other mimicked psychiatric symptoms.11-14 These exposures could have been the very reason or one of several contributory reasons that a Valium prescription was started in the first place. Likely you were never tested for these things prior to being prescribed Valium or other drugs.

Clients in the cleansing phase of their program typically report sleeping better and feeling calmer, brighter, and more clear-headed. Cleansing can involve various forms of chelation including using specific administrations that trap “chelate” the offending particles so they can be eliminated safely, as well as the use of colon hydrotherapy, therapeutic sauna, nebulized glutathione, mineral baths, and various other easy-to-tolerate, non-invasive protocols. These changes make a very good preliminary step as a gentle introduction to the remaining phases of the program. Please take some moments to review the holistic therapies offered at Alternative to Meds on our services overview pages.

Valium Tapering — Recommended Diet Modifications

valium tapering and weaningWhile at the center, clients are provided delicious meals and snacks prepared from clean, mostly organic, locally sourced foods. Stimulants such as caffeine, sugars, food preservatives, or other chemicals are omitted entirely. Adequate proteins, greens, fruits and vegetables, and at least one portion of fermented foods are supplied at each meal. Food-grade supplements that are tailored to each individual also provide the necessary raw materials that are essential to rebuilding neurochemistry and a healthy microbiome. A robust microbiome is a key factor in restoring and renewing the neurochemistry of the body since many of the so-called brain chemicals that are essential to health are produced in the intestines, derived from real food, and distributed from there. A well-functioning microbiome makes this process not only possible but highly efficient.

When the client is sleeping better, feeling calmer, and enjoying the results of much-stabilized neurochemistry, that would be the optimum time to begin tapering Valium. When these steps are done thoroughly and well, it ensures a much more comfortable Valium cessation process than would otherwise be possible. 

Holistic Methods for Comfort and to Ease Getting Off Valium

Trying to quit Valium can be fraught with a rather long list of potential reactions, which can be significantly softened by having the appropriate types of comfort therapies on hand. Diet modifications as outlined above, plus therapeutic massage, Reiki, soothing mineral baths, ionic foot baths, nebulized glutathione treatments, acupuncture, acupressure, and craniosacral massage, are some examples. When physically stable, CBT and other counseling genres are also highly recommended to provide long-lasting healing pathways.7,9

Trying to rush through Valium tapering may be disastrous, with long-lasting symptoms that can persist for years. Take the safe route. Go slowly and gradually and with adequate support along the way.3,4 

Getting to the Root Cause

valium addiction root causesWe have previously discussed the factor of neurotoxicity, and how resolving that can possibly resolve initial symptoms that could have led to beginning a prescription on benzodiazepines, to begin with. Another possible root cause for anxiety, depression, and other maladies can be found in nutritional deficiencies and even food or other allergies. Testing will reveal these.

Trauma or other issues can be excessively troubling to a person. There are many genres of counseling that can assist in resolving these in private sessions, or in a supportive peer-group setting. We also provide Life Coaching, which many clients have found profoundly life-changing and which continues to be a very popular mode of not only gaining control over an individual’s life but also restructuring or creating a new and more ideal living situation. Counseling in the main is found to be most productive when done at a point in the program where the person is calmer, thinking more clearly, sleeping better, and more relaxed in general.

Find Out More About Alternative to Meds Center

Please contact us and let us answer any questions you may have about our holistic programs, especially if you or a loved one has been trying to quit Valium without the proper oversight and guidance that may be needed for a successful journey. Your health and happiness may be compromised by prescription drugs, but there is a safe and proven program that can help. We invite you to contact us and learn many more details about the methods we employ for how to get off Valium safely, gently, and efficiently. The Alternative to Meds program has been offering inpatient care for a decade and a half now, housed in its beautiful and comfortable facility. Our program can provide you or your loved one a perfect setting for Valium tapering and authentic, lasting health recovery.

1. Fuller MA, Perry PJ, et al., Helping Patients Taper from Benzodiazepines [2015] [cited 2022 June 10]

2. FDA drug label Valium (diazepam) tablets [approval 1977, revised 2008] [cited 2022 June 10]

3. Framer A. What I have learnt from helping thousands of people taper off antidepressants and other psychotropic medicationsTher Adv Psychopharmacol. 2021;11:2045125321991274. Published 2021 Mar 16. doi:10.1177/2045125321991274 [cited 2022 June 10]

4. Fixsen AM, Ridge D. Stories of Hell and Healing: Internet Users’ Construction of Benzodiazepine Distress and Withdrawal. Qual Health Res. 2017 Nov;27(13):2030-2041. doi: 10.1177/1049732317728053. Epub 2017 Sep 9. PMID: 28891380. [cited 2022 June 10]

5. Authier N, Balayssac D, Sautereau M, Zangarelli A, Courty P, Somogyi AA, Vennat B, Llorca PM, Eschalier A. Benzodiazepine dependence: focus on withdrawal syndrome. Ann Pharm Fr. 2009 Nov;67(6):408-13. doi: 10.1016/j.pharma.2009.07.001. Epub 2009 Sep 18. PMID: 19900604. [cited 2022 June 10]

6. Ashton H. The diagnosis and management of benzodiazepine dependence. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2005 May;18(3):249-55. doi: 10.1097/01.yco.0000165594.60434.84. PMID: 16639148. [cited 2022 June 10]

7. Barker MJ, Greenwood KM, Jackson M, Crowe SF. Persistence of cognitive effects after withdrawal from long-term benzodiazepine use: a meta-analysis. Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2004 Apr;19(3):437-54. doi: 10.1016/S0887-6177(03)00096-9. PMID: 15033227. [cited 2022 June 10]

8. Stewart SA. The effects of benzodiazepines on cognition. J Clin Psychiatry. 2005;66 Suppl 2:9-13. PMID: 15762814. [cited 2022 June 10]

9. Gosselin P, Ladouceur R, Morin CM, Dugas MJ, Baillargeon L. Benzodiazepine discontinuation among adults with GAD: A randomized trial of cognitive-behavioral therapy. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2006 Oct;74(5):908-19. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.74.5.908. PMID: 17032095. [cited 2022 June 10]

10. Seldenrijk A, Vis R, Henstra M, Ho Pian K, van Grootheest D, Salomons T, Overmeire F, de Boer M, Scheers T, Doornebal-Bakker R, Ruhé HG, Vinkers CH. Aandacht voor bijwerkingen van benzodiazepinen is belangrijk: een systematisch overzicht [Systematic review of the side effects of benzodiazepines]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2017;161:D1052. Dutch. PMID: 29076441. [cited 2022 June 10]

11. Kawada T, Katsumata M, Suzuki H, Li Q, Inagaki H, Nakadai A, Shimizu T, Hirata K, Hirata Y. Insomnia as a sequela of sarin toxicity several years after exposure in Tokyo subway trains. Percept Mot Skills. 2005 Jun;100(3 Pt 2):1121-6. doi: 10.2466/pms.100.3c.1121-1126. PMID: 16158698. [cited 2022 June 10.

12. Empting LD. Neurologic and neuropsychiatric syndrome features of mold and mycotoxin exposure. Toxicol Ind Health. 2009 Oct-Nov;25(9-10):577-81. doi: 10.1177/0748233709348393. PMID: 19854819. [cited 2022 June 10]

13. Hahn LJ, Kloiber R, Leininger RW, Vimy MJ, Lorscheider FL. Whole-body imaging of the distribution of mercury released from dental fillings into monkey tissues. FASEB J. 1990 Nov;4(14):3256-60. doi: 10.1096/fasebj.4.14.2227216. PMID: 2227216. [cited 2022 June 10]

14. Cassleman KL, Dorrance KA, Todd AC. Neuropsychiatric Implications of Chronic Lead Exposure. Mil Med. 2020 Jun 8;185(5-6):e914-e918. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usz362. PMID: 31670374. [cited 2022 June 10]

15.  Lader M, Tylee A, Donoghue J. Withdrawing benzodiazepines in primary care. CNS Drugs. 2009;23(1):19-34. doi: 10.2165/0023210-200923010-00002. PMID: 19062773. [cited 2023 Jan 17]

Originally Published Nov 5, 2019 by Lyle Murphy

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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Valium Tapering (diazepam)
Medical Disclaimer:
Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

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