Cirque Lodge > Blog > Addiction > Snorting Valium

What is Valium?

Valium (diazepam) is a type of potent benzodiazepine that is prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, panic disorders, muscle spasms, and seizures. It is also commonly used to manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms safely.

In 1963, the Food and Drug Administration approved Valium for medical use. Advertising campaigns focussed on marketing the drug to middle-class and middle-aged people to help deal with the growing stressors of everyday life. This quickly resulted in Valium becoming one of the most widely taken drugs of the 20th century.

Over time, medical professionals realized its addictive potential, with a growing number of people misusing it via nasal ingestion. It was here that the dangers of snorting Valium and its overdose potential became apparent.

What Happens When You Snort Valium?

Central nervous system depressants such as Valium work by impacting the function of the central nervous system. These molecules slow down the rate of interaction between nerve cells around the brain and body.

More specially, Valium increases the amount of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This chemical slows down brain activity, resulting in feelings of calm and sedation while increasing levels of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical involved in regulating many bodily functions, including mood, motivation, motor function, and reward-related learning.

Why Do People Snort Valium?

Why Do People Snort Valium?

When people abuse Valium, they commonly crush the oral pill into a powder and snort the drug (insufflation). Snorting Valium allows the substance to enter the bloodstream faster, and therefore the user feels its effects more rapidly and intensely. Valium readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and can bind to receptors throughout the body to enact effects in the neural system.

People may start to snort Valium for a number of reasons. These can include:

  • To treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  • Becoming addicted through a prescription
  • Self-medicate from a mental illness
  • Social confidence
  • Cope with stress
  • Catch up on sleep
  • Escape their issues

Effects of Snorting Valium

People snort Valium as a way to feel the drug's euphoric effects and calming qualities and to increase their confidence. However, there are a number of adverse side effects users can experience from snorting Valium. These include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness

The side effects of snorting Valium can become more severe and dangerous if an individual abuses the drug over a long-term period. Some of these include:

  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor coordination
  • Uncontrollable tremors
  • Troubled and frequent urination
  • Constipation
  • Reduced sex drive or ability
  • Depression

The Dangers of Snorting Valium

The Dangers of Snorting Valium

Drugs manufactured in pill form are not suitable for consumption via any other methods of ingestion. Snorting Valium takes its toll on the nasal passage, causing irreversible damage to this area. This results in problems such as:

  • Nose bleeds
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Damage to the septum and nasal passages
  • Ear pain
  • Face swelling and pain
  • Issues swallowing
  • Trouble speaking
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Throat damage

Another one of the dangers of snorting Valium is the chance of permanent brain damage. This drug abuse impacts a person's memory, judgment, attention, and coordination.

Can Snorting Valium Cause an Overdose?

Long-term use of Valium can also increase the chance of users developing an addiction and physical dependence. In these cases, individuals will take more and more of the substance as their tolerance increases, leading to an increased risk of a diazepam overdose.

Snorting diazepam hugely increases the risk of a Valium overdose compared to oral ingestion due to its faster-acting effects and not having to be as rapidly processed by the liver. This is also the case for polydrug use - using multiple drugs at once - with this increasing the number of negative consequences from drug taking and the risk of a fatality.

As the drug is a central nervous system depressant, taking it in large quantities results in slowed breathing and heart rate. If a person's breathing rate becomes too slow, this can result in an overdose with deadly outcomes. Signs of a Valium overdose includes:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Hiccups
  • Itching
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Lack of coordination and slurred speech
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Visual issues
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Low blood pressure and pulse rate
  • Tremors
  • Bluing lips
  • Labored, slowed, or stopped breathing
  • Hallucinations

Depressed cardiac function and respiratory rates can result in someone falling unconscious, going into a coma, or sometimes even dying. If you suspect yourself or someone you are with to be having an overdose, call the emergency services as soon as possible.

Valium Addiction

Valium Addiction

People underestimate the addiction potential of prescription drugs. However, misusing these medications has caused millions to develop an addiction.

When Valium is snorted, the user gets an intense surge of dopamine in their brain. This can lead to the development of a substance use disorder and dependency. Substance use disorders are powerful mental health conditions that take over the reward and decision-making centers of an individual's brain. People suffering from a Valium addiction will continuously take the drug despite its negative impact on their health, relationships, and career.

Signs that Someone is Addicted to Valium

It can be difficult to spot the signs of Valium abuse, though some to look out for are:

  • Abusing increasingly higher doses of the drug
  • Increased problems in their personal lives and career
  • Misusing Valium through snorting or smoking
  • Regular slurred speech or impaired coordination
  • Dilated pupils
  • Socially withdrawing
  • Losing interest in activities they used to enjoy
  • Combining Valium with other substances, such as alcohol or opioids
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Uncharacteristic sadness or irritability
  • Withdrawal symptoms, such as shaking

Valium Dependency

Snorting diazepam can lead to Valium dependence. When someone is dependent on Valium, they will experience numerous unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not regularly taken, or its dosage is decreased.

Withdrawal symptoms from Valium can range from being mildly uncomfortable to life-threatening. These include:

  • Intense drug cravings
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Sleeping issues
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Treatment for Valium Addiction

Medical Detoxification

Detoxification is the first step in overcoming a Valium addiction. During this stage, the drug will be flushed from the body under medical supervision to overcome the initial stage of physical dependence. Due to the potentially fatal consequences of Valium withdrawals, it is vital that a medical professional provides support and advice during this time.

A Valium detox program will allow for a safer and more comfortable recovery, providing around-the-clock support and care if needed. Depending on the individual's wants and the severity of addiction, a tapering schedule may be set up. This is where the dosage of the drug being taken is slowly reduced in order to minimize the risk of dangerous withdrawal symptoms.


A detox is the first stage of the recovery journey, though there is still a long way to go. Substance abuse is very complex and intricate, with many social and psychological factors contributing to this behavior. Long-term addiction treatment is essential to ensure future recovery from the disorder and prevent relapse.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is most commonly enrolled during addiction treatment programs. This kind of therapy helps people realize the substance abuse triggers and build coping mechanisms against them.

Contact Us

When someone is suffering from a Valium addiction, it can consume their lives and those of the people close to them. Dealing with a substance use disorder can be extremely overwhelming and scary, though you do not have to face it alone. Cirque Lodge is a exceptional addiction treatment center in Utah that can provide an enriching rehabilitation experience to help in overcoming a range of mental health issues and addictions.

We offer a range of substance abuse treatment programs that can be highly personalized for each individual's needs. Snorting Valium can result in numerous physical and mental issues. That's why our programs take a holistic approach during recovery. Our staff approaches each inpatient with compassion and expertise, offering around-the-clock medical supervision.

Located in the tranquil Rocky Mountains, our exceptional facility is one of the country's most trusted and advanced addiction treatment centers. Cirque Lodge provides inpatients with only the best evidence-based practices and state-of-the-art facilities. Contact Cirque Lodge today to start your journey to recovery.

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