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Community Addiction Recovery Services (CAReS)

Street Valium (Etizolam)

What is it and what does it look like?

'Street valium' is a benzodiazepine-type tablet which may be known as: blues, vallies, benzos, scoobies and diazepam.

They are often white or blue in colour and depending on quality may have a fuzzy or smooth texture.

Users may think they are taking diazepam however, it is more likely to be a more potent benzodiazepine such as Etizolam.

So...what is Etizolam?

  • Etizolam works very quickly with side effects lasting several hours
  • It is approximately 10 times stronger than diazepam
  • Using tablets daily can have serious consequences to physical and mental wellbeing
  • Frequent use can lead to anxiety, depression and sleep problems
  • Using these tablets in high quantity or mixed with alcohol increases the risk of overdose and death

In 2018 statistics from the Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) revealed that Etizolam was the cause of the majority of Drug Related deaths. Etizolam continues to be a major contributor to deaths in Lanarkshire.

Physical effects

  • Decreased energy, heart rate and appetite
  • Blurred vision, small pupils and involuntary eye closure
  • Impaired co-ordination and relaxed muscles
  • Headaches, dry mouth, nausea and vomiting
  • Sleepiness, yawning and in prolonged use - insomnia

Mental effects

  • Mental confusion and short-term memory loss
  • Low mood and anxiety
  • Lowered inhibitions and sedative effect


With prolonged use withdrawals can be severe such as headaches, seizures, nausea, extreme anxiety, depression, paranoia and delusions.

Stopping after longer term use requires a steady reduction and support.

Stopping suddenly can be fatal.

Harm reduction

Avoid mixing benzodiazepines with alcohol, prescription drugs and/or depressants/downers such as heroin and methadone.

Naloxone will not reverse the effects of Benzodiazepines. However it will reverse the effects of opiates such as a methadone and heroin if they have been taken at time of overdose.

If you see someone seriously affected after a high dose e.g. blue lips, loss of consciousness, slow grasping noisy breathing, call 999 and tell the paramedics what they have taken.

Sleep on your side to avoid choking in your sleep if you vomit.

Strength can vary, even between pills from the same batch or pills that look the same, start with a small test dose.

Withdrawal symptoms can happen even after short periods of use. Avoid taking every day and take regular breaks from use.

Do not take alone.


We would advise anyone experiencing issues from Etizolam (street Valium) or other similar substances to seek medical support via their GP, Addiction Team or NHS 24.

If an overdose occurs call 999 or attend Accident and Emergency.

Talk to your named nurse if you have any queries or need further support.

Related content

  1. CAReS
  2. Street Valium (Etizolam)
  3. Further help and support