Benzos are a common prescription sedative that produce powerful psychoactive effects at low doses. Benzodiazepine drugs that are common are pills like Valium, Xanax, Ativan, and Halcyon. Generally benzodiazepines are placed into three groups based on the particular molecule’s half life duration.

Benzodiazepine Half-life (range, h) Speed of Onset
Alprazolam 12–15 Intermediate
Chlordiazepoxide 10–30 Intermediate
Clonazepam 10–50 Slow
Diazepam 20–80 Fast
Lorazepam 10–20 Intermediate
Oxazepam 5–10 Slow
Prazepam 50–200 Slow

The intermediate onset benzos like Xanax can be particularly easy to overdose on. Benzodiazepine overdoses can be very abrupt because of this reason alone. Once a user experiences an overdose they are nearly incapacitated and unable to move from their location. As the drug level increases in the individuals blood their respiratory system is heavily depressed. After the respiratory system is depressed to a certain severity, they die from lack of oxygen.

During the past year over 100 million prescriptions have been filled for a benzodiazepine. This makes benzos very common among the general population and easily attainable. For this reason, benzodiazepines are a common and mildly popular drug. Benzos are prescribed to alleviate anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Addiction to benzodiazepines can form easily for it’s calming effects. While benzodiazepines have proven effective for short-term treatment, long term use can produce alarming side effects. Cognitive impairment is a side effect from prolonged benzodiazepine abuse and begins to hinder the judgement and critical thinking abilities of the user. Adverse effects have also been noted such as acute aggression and obscene behavioral inhibition.

Due to the high potential for lethal consequence in benzodiazepine abuse, it’s important to stop any potential addiction to this substance. Mass availability and perceivable social, recreational uses have made benzos a popular drug among young adults. To learn more about benzodiazepine addiction, treatment, and recovery please call the Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment Hotline.