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What is Valium?

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

Valium is a popular benzodiazepine drug. Benzodiazepines are a prescribed sedative drug used to treat anxiety and aid sleep.

Valium was first discovered in 1963 by Leo Sternbach, who worked for the pharmaceutical company Hoffman-La Roche. When Valium was first discovered, it was seen to be safer and more effective than the previous sedative drugs used.

Valium was a commonly prescribed drug right up until the 1980s, when the addictive nature and negative side effects began to get recognised. The drug was said to be “more addictive to withdraw people from than Heroin.”

Valium is safe when prescribed and used following the correct dosage but often only prescribed for short periods of time. The NHS is now prescribed to only prescribe Valium for up to 4 weeks max due to its addictive qualities.

Valium and The Law

If prescribed Valium by a doctor and you are found in possession, it is not an offence, and you are not breaking any laws. It is illegal for people to be in possession of Valium without having had them prescribed by a doctor. Valium is a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Is Street Valium the same as the Valium prescribed by doctors?

In recent years there has been an increase in Street Valium use and its availability. This is illegal and stronger than the drug prescribed by doctors as it’s man-made.

Scotland has seen a massive rise in drug deaths which are being linked to Street Valium. With Street Valium being made in someone’s garage, it’s hardly surprising the dosage can vary from pill to pill, and the pills are potentially lethal.

This blog will look at some facts on Valium but keep your eyes peeled for a later blog post on Street Valium.

Street names/Nicknames

Diazepam, Vallies, blues, yellows, whites, roofies, benzos, downers.

How is it used?

NHS guidance states, “Benzodiazepines (such as Valium) should be used at the lowest effective dose for as short a duration as possible”.

Valium comes in tablet form, and there are 3 different strengths which are indicated by the colour.

Blue valium is rarely prescribed, so many of the blue tablets we see are Street Valium which we know is much stronger than the 10mg Valium prescribed by your doctor.