Benzodiazepine Use Disorder
What are Benzodiazepines?
Overview: Benzodiazepines are depressants that produce sedation, induce sleep, relieve anxiety and muscle spasms, and prevent seizures.
Street names: Benzos, Downers
Looks like: The most common benzodiazepines are the prescription drugs Valium®, Xanax®, Halcion®, Ativan®, and Klonopin®. Tolerance can develop, althoughat variable rates and to different degrees. Shorter-acting benzodiazepines used to manage insomnia include estazolazolam (ProSom®), flurazepam (Dalmane®), temazepam (Restoril®), and triazolam (Halcion®). idazolam (Versed®), a short-acting benzodiazepine, is utilized for sedation, anxiety, and amnesia in critical care settings and prior to anesthesia. It is available in the United States as an injectable preparation and as a syrup (primarily for pediatric patients). Benzodiazepines with a longer duration of action are utilized to treat insomnia in patients with daytime anxiety. These benzodiazepines include alprazolam (Xanax®), chlordiazepoxide (Librium®), clorazepate (Tranxene®), diazepam (Valium®), halazepam (Paxipam®), lorzepam (Ativan®), oxazepam (Serax®), prazepam (Centrax®), and quazepam (Doral®), Clonazepam (Klonopin®), diazepam, and clorazepate are used as anticonvulsants.
Methods of Abuse: Abuse is frequently associated with adolescents and young adults who take the drug orally or crush it up and snort it to get high. Abuse is particularly high among heroin and and cocaine abusers.
Affect on Mind: Benzodiazepines are associated with amnesia, hostility, irritability, and vivid or distrubing dreams.
Affect on Body: Benzodiazepines slow down the central nervous system and may cause sleepiness.
Drugs Causing Similar Effects: Alcohol, barbiturates, sleeping pills, and GHB
Overdose Effects: Effects of overdose include shallow respiration, clammy skin, dilated pupils, weak and rapid pulse, coma, and possible death.
*Above information and image below courtesy of the Drug Enforcement Administration (www.dea.gov)