2.4.4 Diazepam

Diazepam #

Common Nomenclature Diazepam
Street & Reference Names Valium; Vs; Diastat; AcuDial; Zetran
Reference Dosage Light 2.5mg+; Common 5mg+; Heavy 15mg+ [TripSit]
Anticipated: Onset / Duration 1 Hour / 1 Day
Maximum Dose Experienced 15mg
Form Pill
RoA Oral
Source / Jurisdiction Prescription / UK


Diazepam was first launched in 1963, and has long been one of the most prescribed medicines in the world. Since its patent expired in 1985, it has been marketed under literally hundreds of brand names.

I was prescribed diazepam in my youth, under the name valium, and always found that it created drowsiness, without really alleviating the underlying anxieties, at least in a significant or meaningful way. On the basis of this, my expectations on re-testing it for this book are not high.

As I am entirely clean of benzodiazepines, with no tolerance, I elect to dose at 15mg, a figure which seems to be broadly recommended by a majority of apparently sensible Internet forum posters. This is also within the common range according to the online harm reduction communities. Given the fairly lengthy half-life of this drug, this is as far as I really wish to venture.

My physical condition is good, although I am rather anxious today due to domestic events which are outside my control. I am consuming on an empty stomach.

T+0:00 I break one of my two 10mg diazepam pills in half. I swallow one and a half with a glass of water, and bin the remaining half. [5:15pm].

T+0:15. I anticipated an onset of about an hour, yet my mind is already floating with a strange dreamy high, which ebbs and flows in waves. I am clearly under the influence of this drug, and it is a pleasing heady experience, making it difficult to focus or concentrate. The anxiety I was fretting with earlier has now dissipated.

Bodily, there is a mild numbness, which again, isn’t unpleasant. I feel a little detached, but in a positive sense. Thus far, this is gentle and kind.

I wonder how far this will go, and hope that it will last, so that I can come to terms with it a little more and perhaps bask in it at my leisure.

Ding dong! Horror of horrors: the doorbell rings. I see through the window that it is a neighbour dropping something off the for the charity shop. I’ll be back….

The crisis is over. It was difficult to hide my status but I managed, I think. I doubt that I would have pulled it off had she engaged in a conversation.

I am finding this live report increasingly difficult to write. Walking around is also a bit weird. I feel a drunken type of intoxication, but not with any of the rough or negative aspects. I am just not fully tuned in to my surroundings: I am slightly off kilter, but it is a very mild and gentle offset.

T+0:30 I feel that I am becoming more accustomed to this. My body is comfortable as I meander but I am careful not to sway excessively or walk into a wall, or generally act as a drunk. It’s all very gentle but I am aware that at least to some degree I am socially debilitated. Avoiding sustained contact with people whilst in this condition seems to be a good idea.

I put my head down onto the desk and realise that I could drift off to sleep. I fight it and stand up to encounter the strangeness again. I am content and all anxiety remains absent.

T+0:45 I am now adapting to this strange and off-key type of serene inebriation. There are occasional challenges, like negotiating the walk upstairs, but I can float around semi-functionally, enjoying this dreamy sheen on perception. I feel sedated but with some interesting aspects present. I am not significantly tired, but rather, a little dazed with a hypnotic edge.

It is really quite pleasant. The ataractic effects have softened my real life dramas and to some degree they now seem external to my current bubble.

T+1:00 Sadly, I am coming-down from the heady driven weirdness of earlier, and morphing into a traditional type of zoned-out phase, which is relaxed in nature but more akin to normality. I no longer have a problem walking or moving around and physically I am increasingly capable.

There is no urge to work, so drive has been diminished. The anxiety hasn’t returned, at least as yet.

T+2:00 In terms of functionality I am back to base. I am composed and chilled, and all stress is absent. This now feels like a regular medicated sedation.

T+4:00 Over the last two hours a real-life domestic drama suddenly bore down upon me from nowhere, through no fault of my own. I managed to navigate it with common sense and relative calm. This broadly sums up where I am with the experience at present: I am sedated and tranquil, but functional. I am tiring a little.

The overall experience was reasonably positive. The first hour was one of strange euphoric type headiness, during which functionality was impaired. Physical movement was tricky but fun and intense social interaction would not have been easy. It was extremely enjoyable.

It then settled into a more classic tranquillised sedation, with calming and anxiolytic properties, but without undue drowsiness. However, after four hours or so I did begin to tire, so much so that I retired to bed an hour later. The night’s sleep was, as might be expected, a good one, and I awoke a little subdued but generally fine.

Finally, it would be remiss not to end with a word of caution. Benzodiazepine tolerance is real, as is addiction. Even the most elementary Internet research uncovers stories of struggle and tragedy. From here I will therefore abstain from this class of drug for a considerable period.

There are currently over 500 brands of diazepam on the market

There are currently over 500 brands of diazepam on the market