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Benzodiazepines are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in America today. Valium and Klonopin are two common types of benzodiazepines that are used for similar purposes medically. Both of these drugs are also frequently abused and can be highly addictive. Here’s what you need to know about the differences between Valium and Klonopin.

Valium vs. Klonopin: What’s the Difference?

Valium and Klonopin are both benzodiazepines that are used to treat anxiety and certain types of seizures. While these two drugs have similar side effects of abuse and withdrawal symptoms, Klonopin can also be used to treat panic disorder and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

valium pillsWhat Is Valium?

Valium is the brand name for the drug diazepam.1 It is a long-acting benzodiazepine, which means it stays in the body for a longer period of time than short-acting benzodiazepines like Halcion. Valium is often used to treat anxiety, seizures, muscle spasms, and uncomfortable symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. It can also be used for sedation during surgery. It works by diminishing the hyperactivity in the brain to provide feelings of calmness and euphoria, especially in high doses.

Valium is prescribed in pill form and is usually taken one to four times daily, depending on the person. Because its effects last longer than some other benzodiazepines, people who use Valium medically can take fewer doses per day to get relief.

Like many other benzodiazepines, Valium can be addictive, especially if you take it for a long period of time. Over time, it becomes more difficult for the brain to function without Valium and you may not even realize you’re addicted. Often, people just feel like they need Valium to feel normal.

Although Valium is intended to be taken regularly, taking larger or more frequent doses can cause addiction. Additionally, taking Valium for longer than four months can greatly increase your risk of addiction.

People that abuse Valium often use it with other prescription drugs and alcohol. However, it’s extremely dangerous to take Valium with other depressants like prescription opioids because their effects are intensified. Overdose is common in these instances.

Valium is classified by the DEA as a Schedule IV drug, which means it has a low potential for abuse and dependence.2 However when it is misused in ways other than it was prescribed or combined with alcohol and other drugs, Valium can be highly addictive.

Common slang terms or street names for Valium include:

  • Vs
  • Yellow Vs
  • Blue Vs
  • Benzos
  • Tranks

How Long Does Valium Stay in Your System?

Valium stays in your system for about 10 days. Although this will vary depending on certain individual factors and variables, Valium use can be detected with several different types of drug tests. The chart below contains approximate drug test detection times for Valium.

Approximate Drug Test Detection Times for Valium

Urine testDetectable for 1-6 weeks
Blood testDetectable for 6-48 hours
Saliva testDetectable for 1-10 days
Hair follicle testDetectable for up to 90 days

Source: https://www.verywellmind.com/how-long-does-valium-stay-in-your-system-80344

Signs and Symptoms of Valium Addiction

People are much less likely to abuse Valium to get high. Instead, most people who are addicted misuse it to feel normal. If someone is addicted to Valium, he or she may display some of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Lying to a doctor to get a prescription for Valium
  • Seeing multiple doctors to build up a supply of Valium
  • Taking larger or more frequent doses of Valium than is necessary
  • Having cravings for Valium
  • Losing interest in regular hobbies and activities
  • Hiding Valium pills or lying about Valium use
  • Isolating oneself from friends and family
  • Experiencing negative and/or harmful consequences of Valium use but being unable to stop

Valium Withdrawal Symptoms

If you are addicted to Valium, you may experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly try to stop. Valium withdrawal symptoms typically include:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Headache
  • Muscle spasms
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Stomach cramps
  • Delirium
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Seizures3,4

How long Valium withdrawal lasts and how severe the symptoms are will depend on several different factors, like how much you used each time, how long you’ve been using it, if you abuse Valium with other drugs or alcohol, whether you tapered or quit cold turkey, and your method of abusing Valium. Any medical issues, co-occurring disorders, and unique biological factors will also influence the duration and intensity of Valium withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal from any benzodiazepine like Valium can be dangerous and life-threatening without medical assistance but medical detox can treat and reduce severe withdrawal symptoms for a more comfortable detox experience.

After a medical detox program, some people may also need to continue treatment with a residential drug rehab program or an outpatient drug rehab program. Depending on the severity of the addiction and post-acute withdrawal symptoms, a person’s need for various types of treatment will vary.

klonopin pillsWhat Is Klonopin?

Klonopin is an intermediate-acting benzodiazepine and the brand name for the drug clonazepam.5 It is used to treat certain types of seizures, anxiety, panic disorder, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. It works by blocking certain receptors in the brain to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress and promoting feelings of calmness. It can also produce strong feelings of euphoria when it is taken in large doses.

Klonopin is consumed orally as a tablet and may be prescribed for consumption up to three times a day, depending on the person and the circumstances. If you misuse it and become addicted, your brain will be unable to cope with feelings of anxiousness without it. As a result, you will feel like you need Klonopin to function normally.

Like Valium, Klonopin is classified by the DEA as a Schedule IV drug and it is intended for short-term use. Chronic, long-term use or misuse of the drug can increase your risk of addiction.

Slang terms and street names for Klonopin include:

  • Benzos
  • Downers
  • K-pins
  • Tranks

How Long Does Klonopin Stay in Your System?

Benzodiazepines like Klonopin can stay in your system for up to 10 days.6 In some cases, Klonopin may not show up on a urine test or the test may be able to show that the drug is present, but not the amount. This also depends on several individual factors like age, body mass/fat, hydration, and any medical problems you may have. The amount of Klonopin you took each time, how you used it, how long you used it, and your method of quitting (taper or cold turkey) will also play a role in the duration and severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Klonopin can be detected in the body with several different types of drug tests. The chart below provides approximate drug test detection times for Klonopin, although these may vary from person to person.

Approximate Drug Test Detection Times for Klonopin

Urine testDetectable for up to 3 weeks after the last dose
Saliva testDetectable for 5-6 days after the last dose
Hair follicle testDetectable for up to 90 days after the last dose

Sources:  https://www.mayocliniclabs.com/test-info/drug-book/benzodiazepines.html, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25549207, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12845398

Signs and Symptoms of Klonopin Addiction

If someone is addicted to Klonopin, he or she may display some visible behaviors. Common signs and symptoms of Klonopin addiction may include:

  • Craving Klonopin and needing it to feel normal
  • Going to several different doctors to get multiple prescriptions for Klonopin
  • Lying about symptoms to get a prescription for Klonopin
  • Taking larger doses of Klonopin than is medically necessary
  • Taking more frequent doses of Klonopin than prescribed
  • Lacking interest in hobbies, activities, and daily responsibilities
  • Hiding Klonopin pills or lying about using Klonopin
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Trying to stop using Klonopin but being unable to

Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms

If you are addicted to Klonopin and you suddenly try to stop using, you’ll most likely experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be highly uncomfortable which makes it hard to quit once your addicted. Common Klonopin withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Insomnia/inability to fall asleep
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety/panic attacks
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Palpitations
  • Joint stiffness and/or muscle pain
  • Changes in perception
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Psychosis7

Just as it’s important to seek medical care when detoxing from Valium, the same is true of Klonopin. Both drugs are benzodiazepines that can cause produce or even deadly withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the severity of your addiction, you may need a professional detox program to safely stop using Klonopin.

Valium Uses vs. Klonopin Uses

Valium and Klonopin are both used to treat similar medical issues, although there are a few differences between the uses of the two drugs.

Valium is used to treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Certain types of seizures
  • Alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  • Muscle spasms in some neurological diseases
  • Sedation during surgery8
Klonopin is used to treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Certain types of seizures
  • Panic disorder
  • Lennox-Gastaut syndrome9

Valium vs. Klonopin: Addiction and Dependence

Many people get a false sense of security when they use drugs like Valium and Klonopin because they are prescription drugs that are prescribed by doctors. However, just because they are prescribed by doctors doesn’t mean they are risk-free. Misusing Valium or Klonopin in any way or taking it longer or more frequently than necessary can cause tolerance, dependence, and addiction. Both Valium and Klonopin are controlled substances and should only be used under the direct supervision of a doctor.

Valium vs. Klonopin: Side Effects of Abuse

Side Effects of Valium AbuseSide Effects of Klonopin Abuse
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired coordination
  • Difficulty thinking
  • Depression
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Slow reflexes
  • Muscle weakness
  • Stuttering
  • Lethargy
  • Heavy limbs
  • Irritability10
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired coordination
  • Difficulty thinking
  • Depression
  • Decreased motor activity
  • Sleepiness/dizziness
  • Memory loss
  • Upset stomach
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Suicidal thoughts7

Get Valium Addiction Treatment or Klonopin Addiction Treatment Today

Valium addiction and Klonopin addiction are both serious physical and psychological problems that require treatment for a full recovery. If left untreated, addiction to benzodiazepines like these can cause serious physical harm as well as personal issues like financial problems, criminal charges, difficulties at work or school, and problems in relationships. Fortunately, you don’t have to face addiction alone.

If you or a loved one is abusing Valium or Klonopin and you need help quitting, the caring professionals at Briarwood Detox Center are here to help you. We can provide a benzodiazepine detox program that is tailored to your needs and personal preferences for privacy and comfort. All you have to do is call. Contact a representative at Briarwood Detox Center today to get started. We accept most forms of insurance and can help you explore alternative payment options such as an EAP or HSA if you do not have insurance.

 

References:

  1. https://www.drugs.com/valium.html
  2. https://www.dea.gov/drug-scheduling
  3. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/013263s094lbl.pdf
  4. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0401/p2121.html
  5. https://www.drugs.com/klonopin.html
  6. https://online.epocrates.com/drugs/18207/clonazepam/Pharmacology
  7. https://www.drugfree.com/drug-guide/klonopin-abuse/
  8. https://www.medicinenet.com/diazepam/article.htm
  9. https://www.medicinenet.com/clonazepam/article.htm
  10. https://www.drugfree.com/drug-guide/valium-abuse/
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