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Valium Tapering (diazepam) | Your Best Path Forward

Last Updated on December 29, 2023 by Carol Gillette

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

You may have begun to feel you almost need divine luck finding medical professionals who have the expertise to design and deliver a well-managed Valium tapering program. No need to worry — you have found us.

Tapering from benzodiazepines like Valium without good planning can 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 to help you objectively consider whether tapering Valium may be a good choice for you. Further in the article, you can read about different therapies that can make getting off Valium many times easier than it could otherwise be for you or your loved one.

Alarming reports from an 11-year-long study published in JAMA 2022 revealed that taking benzodiazepines rather than alternative treatments for insomnia is now associated with a 44% higher risk of accidental overdose death, most pronounced in younger persons.16

A second issue of importance that has also recently reached mainstream media, is that “fake” or “designer” benzodiazepines have appeared on the street market. This practice became prominent during the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in hundreds of deaths. These drugs can be up to 10 times more toxic than the original but are often sold fraudulently and could be stamped with Valium or other logos.17,18

Perhaps you have begun researching the benzodiazepine tapering process for your own or a loved one’s safety, and we hope the following information helps.

Top 6 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.
  • Safety concerns

Commonly, a person is started on a benzodiazepine like Valium but is not given adequate information concerning stopping Valium. The person may 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 can mean 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

Important note: Do not attempt tapering Valium on your own. Seek professional help and guidance from licensed individuals familiar with the process and whom you trust.

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, and in so doing, may lengthen the overall process. 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. For some, this has resulted in years of suffering.

The physical reactions that tapering Valium causes can be severe. It is best to avoid them with by stepping down slowly and gradually. We recommend putting an adequate support system and plan in place to soften the process. However, with careful planning, the benefits can be life-changing. A proper taper can result in increased cognitive and psychomotor function. This provides better health overall and quite notably, in the elderly population.8,10,15

Preparing the Body for Getting Off Valium

remove neurotoxins to taper valiumAt Alternative to Meds Center, the body is well-prepared before these changes happen. This makes stopping Valium as tolerable and comfortable as possible. Before beginning the taper we do toxicity testing and start the removal of neurotoxins. The body stores toxins over time from past chemical exposures, food additives, mold spores, dental amalgams, and other environmental sources. Such residues accumulate and can cause detrimental effects on overall health. This toxic burden can compromise a person’s neurochemistry and impair its thousands of functions.12-14

Very often, lab testing that we do before beginning the Valium taper shows high levels of accumulated neurotoxins. These are safely purged from the system. First, the cleansing process can relieve the excitatory influence that such chemical residues can inflict on the person’s neurochemistry. Studies show that neurotoxicity from mercury, lead, toxic mold spores, and other environmental sources is linked with insomnia, anxiety, depression, and other mimicked psychiatric symptoms.11-14 These exposures could have been the very reason behind starting a Valium prescription in the first place. In all likelihood, you were never tested for these things prior to being prescribed Valium or other drugs.

The Importance of Cleansing

Clients in the cleansing phase of their program typically report sleeping better and feeling calmer, brighter, and more clear-headed. Various forms of chelation “chelate” (trap) the offending particles for safe elimination. Colon hydrotherapy, therapeutic sauna, nebulized glutathione, and mineral baths provide effective, non-invasive methods. These changes provide a gentle introduction to the remaining phases of the program. Please take some moments to review these holistic therapies offered at Alternative to Meds on our services overview pages.

Valium Tapering — Recommended Diet Modifications

valium tapering nutritionThe center provides delicious meals and snacks. The chef prepares gourmet creations from clean (chemical and preservative-free) mostly organic, locally sourced foods. The daily menu omits stimulants like caffeine, sugars, food preservatives, or other chemicals entirely. Each meal is designed to provide adequate proteins, greens, fruits, and vegetables. At least one portion of fermented foods is offered at each meal. The staff provide food-grade supplements tailored to each individual to provide the necessary raw materials that are essential to rehabilitating neurochemistry.

The program uses diet correction and supplements that are designed to regain 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 gut, derived from real food, and distributed from there. A well-functioning microbiome makes restoring wellness not only possible but highly efficient.

The best time to begin a taper is when the person is sleeping better, eating well, and stable. This can ensure a much more comfortable Valium cessation process than would otherwise be possible.

Holistic Methods for Comfort and to Ease Getting Off Valium

Quitting Valium may produce a rather long list of potential reactions. But proper therapeutics can reduce these reactions. Diet modifications as outlined above, plus therapeutic massage, Reiki, soothing mineral baths, ionic foot baths, nebulized glutathione treatments, acupuncture, acupressure, yoga, QiGong, and craniosacral massage, are some examples. When physically stable, CBT and other counseling genres can provide long-lasting relief of symptoms and distress.7,9

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

Getting to the Root Cause

talk therapies to find root causesWe have previously discussed how fixing neurotoxicity can possibly resolve initial symptoms. Often overlooked, nutritional deficiencies and allergies may trigger unwanted symptoms. Genetics can play a part as well. Testing will reveal these root causes.

Unresolved trauma can present a roadblock to healing and recovery. We provide many genres of counseling to assist, and a supportive peer-group program. We also provide practical tools like Life Coaching. Such therapies can produce profound life-changing effects. Perhaps this explains their popularity. Therapies like these help us to regain control, and restructure a new and more ideal living situation. Clients begin their counseling at a point in the program where they are calmer, thinking more clearly, and sleeping better.

Find Out More About Tapering Valium at Alternative to Meds Center

We invite you to contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our holistic programs. We aim to provide guidance and assurance, especially if you or a loved one has struggled with trying to quit Valium for some time. You may feel that prescription drugs have compromised your health and happiness. Ours is a safe and proven program that can help. We can describe in detail the methods we use to get off Valium safely, gently, and comfortably. The Alternative to Meds program has been offering inpatient care for nearly two decades, in a beautiful and welcoming 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]

16. Bushnell GAGerhard TKeyes KHasin DCerdá MOlfson M. Association of Benzodiazepine Treatment for Sleep Disorders With Drug Overdose Risk Among Young People. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(11):e2243215. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.43215 [cited 2023 May 22]

17. Brunetti, P., Giorgetti, R., Tagliabracci, A., Huestis, M. A., & Busardò, F. P. (2021). Designer Benzodiazepines: A Review of Toxicology and Public Health RisksPharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland)14(6), 560. [cited 2023 May 22]

18. Lo Faro AF, Berardinelli D, Cassano T, Dendramis G, Montanari E, Montana A, Berretta P, Zaami S, Busardò FP, Huestis MA. New Psychoactive Substances Intoxications and Fatalities during the COVID-19 Epidemic. Biology (Basel). 2023 Feb 8;12(2):273. doi: 10.3390/biology12020273. PMID: 36829550; PMCID: PMC9953068. [cited 2023 May 22]

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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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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