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Know what Benzodiazepines are.

How Benzos effect you

Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are pharmaceutical drugs prescribed by doctors to help alleviate symptoms of disorders like anxiety, panic attacks and epileptic seizures. The drug relieves mental stress by having the user experience a sort of euphoric feeling through the binding of special neurons that slows overactive brain functions and induces a prolonged sedation.

There are many types of benzodiazepines; some examples being Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, Valium and Librium. Abusers of the drug tend to use the street names downers, nerve pills, tranks, ladders, sticks, and most commonly benzos. Said abusers will mostly crush and snort the drug to increase the potency of the mental “high” leading to higher rates of overdose.


Signs & Symptoms

Benzodiazepine abuse in america | Addiction Treatment Helper

Signs of Benzodiazepine abuse

Addictions to the drug family Benzodiazepines can produce a variety of different behavioral signs that may alert someone. Those suffering from Substance Use Disorder related to Benzodiazepines may see changes in their mood which can lead to risky behavior and/or poor judgement. When using Benzodiazepines beyond the doctor prescribed dosage or abusing the drug can lead to poor choices. These are vast, but common choices said individuals may participate in can include asking friends, family and other people personally connected to the individual for their own benzodiazepines or combining their drugs with alcohol. Individuals may also be seen participating in “doctor shopping”, where one will visit many different doctors to get prescriptions for the drug in question. In this case being benzodiazepines. The addiction to benzodiazepines can be hard to beat with a common behavioral sign being the inability to cut back and relapsing back on to a possibly more severe addiction to benzodiazepines.

There are many types of Benzodiazepines under different names such as:


Benzodiazepines Overdose Signs

Overdose can occur like with most addiction and benzodiazepines are no exception. Since the drug produces an effect similar to sleeping pills, overdose symptoms may include

  • mental confusion
  • slurred speech
  • sluggish reflexes
  • trouble standing and being hard to awaken from the inebriated state.


More obvious signs can be clammy skin or bluish lips, but checking for more hidden signs like low blood pressure or weak or rapid pulse should be advised. In the case for an overdose in children they will appear drunk 90% of the time which can be easy to spot.

The effects that benzodiazepines have on the body can range from minor impairments to, at worst, fatal symptoms.

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Effects on the Body

The effects that benzodiazepines have on the body can range from minor impairments too, at worst, fatal symptoms. Those who misuse benzodiazepines may suffer from drowsiness, irritability, and confusion, where the user may find themselves emotionally sensitive to most stimuli or find themselves mentally lost doing activities. Repeat misuse of Benzodiazepines can find themselves experiencing retrograde amnesia and impaired coordination. Impairments can include trembling, grogginess and problems maintaining their vision. At worst the effects could lead to Benzodiazepines overdose or the depression of the respiratory system. This happens normally when frequent abusers try and take high dosages when they build a resistance to Benzodiazepines or when they try to achieve greater effects with the drug. Other times it is when they mix Benzodiazepines with other CNS depressants like alcohol or opioids.

The length of time the drug can stay in the system of a person can vary depending on if the person abuses the drug or not. For those who misuse Benzodiazepines, the drug will stay in the system indefinitely until the user gets off the drug. The length of time after the fact will be an extended version of the time frames for normal users of the drug. For said normal users the drug will be detectable in the blood for 24 hours after use, in the saliva for up to two and a half days, in the urine for up to 10 days, and in the hair for up to 90 days.   


National Statistics


of americans

have benzos in their medicine cabinets

5.2 Million


have abused benzodiazepines


of people

Who abused benzos became addicted.


Effects on America

All types of people use prescription drugs, whether for intended use or for abuse. In 2010 nearly 38,329 overdoses occurred in the U.S. and 60% were prescription drugs. In 2018, there were 67,367 drug overdose deaths in the United States. That’s a major increase. Throughout the year more than 50 million prescriptions are written for people in the U.S., but not all of them are abusers of the drug. Despite 11-15% of people having benzos in their medicine cabinets, using data from a national survey, investigators were able to determine that about 12.5% of adults used benzodiazepines and that only 2.1% of those misused them. 

The numbers equate to about 5.2 million U.S. adults that have misused benzos at least once. Among those people 46.3% reported misusing the drug to relax. People who wanted to experiment with the drug came out to 5.7% while those who became addicted on the drug equated to 11.8%. 22.4% of people had reported that they used the drug to help them sleep and 10.5% stated that they needed help handling their emotions as their reason for abuse. The smallest numbers came from those who were trying to increase or decrease the effects of other drugs which came out to 1.5% and all other types of uses came out to 1.8%.

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