What Are Benzodiazepines?

benzo addiction

Narconon Suncoast has been helping people get off dangerously addictive anti-anxiety drugs for years. The most commonly abused anti-anxiety medications fall into the category of benzodiazepines (also called benzos.)

What Common Drugs are Benzodiazepines?

The word “benzodiazepine” refers to a group of chemical compounds which do slow down or “depress” the central nervous system. When used correctly, benzodiazepines are prescribed to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizure disorders.

Common Brand Name Benzos:

Brand Names: Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Librium, Ativan, Rohypnol

Generic Names: alprazolam, diazepam, clonazepam, chlordiazepoxide, lorazepam, flunitrazepam

Street Names: Candy, Downers, Sleeping Pills, Tranks, Benzos, BZDs, Goofballs, Heavenly Blues, Qual, Robital, Stupefy, Valley Girl, Vs, Dead Flower Powers, Foofoo, Howards, Sleep Away, Z Bars, Bars, Zannies, White Girls, Footballs,Handlebars, Bicycle Parts, School Bus, Yellow Boys, and White Boys.

How are Benzos Abused?

Commonly, benzodiazepines are abused in a mixture with other depressants like opioid painkillers or with alcohol. This is extremely dangerous, as mixing drugs with other drugs or with alcohol can cause some pretty unpredictable reactions. In fact, 95% of people who go to the emergency room for benzodiazepine overdoses mixed the drug with something else.

Addicts who abuse benzos commonly swallow them, snort them, and sometimes inject them.

After a person has used benzodiazepines regularly, addiction and dependence can set in and the withdrawal from benzos can be extremely dangerous. Abrupt cessation of the drug can cause grand-mal seizures, psychotic reactions, anxiety, severe insomnia, and agoraphobia. When an individual is withdrawing from benzodiazepines, it’s important that they do so under direct medical supervision.


Signs and Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Abuse

Benzodiazepines have effects they intend to cause – depending on the drug. These usually include sedation, relaxation of an individual’s muscles, and medically induced amnesia. However, there are other side effects benzos can cause when abused.

  • Dizziness, weakness or unsteadiness
  • Intense sedation
  • Memory problems
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Impaired motor function
  • Headaches
  • Disorientation
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Depression
  • Fever
  • Inability to or difficult urination
  • Lowered pulse, blood pressure, breathing, and brain function
  • Chronic exhaustion
  • Sexual problems
  • Coma
  • Addiction

Benzodiazepine addiction is extremely common these days. As with any addiction, it is important for the user to seek out and go through a comprehensive rehabilitation program.


American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, SAMHSA.org, Justice.gov, RXList.com, DrugFreeWorld.org, CDC.gov, NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov