What are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are widely prescribed for various conditions, particularly insomnia, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and even alcohol withdrawal. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) , Benzodiazepines act on specific receptors in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABA-A) receptors. Benzodiazepines attach to these receptors and make the nerves in the brain less sensitive to stimulation, which has a calming effect. Benzodiazepines slow down the central nervous system and may cause sleepiness and a relaxed mood.
Are Benzodiazepines Addictive?
Benzodiazepines are controlled in Schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act  because of the risk of dependence. Benzodiazepines: they can rapidly create a chemical dependence and tolerance in users, even with responsible usage.
Although benzodiazepines may excel in providing quick relief for isolated or infrequent treatment, it is essential to approach their use with caution. To minimize risks, experts strongly advocate close medical supervision when administering these medications.
Nonetheless, Benzo addiction is more common than you may realize. The drugs are available for sale on the street. Taking too much of these drugs, see the benzodiazepines list below, can be dangerous, and mixing it with alcohol or other substances can be fatal. Left untreated, abusing these drugs can negatively impact your relationships, career, and physical and emotional health. Dependence can develop in as little as a month of use.
If you or your loved one is struggling with benzodiazepine abuse or addiction, the first step for recovery can begin with a benzodiazepine detox supervised by We Level Up Treatment Center pros. We’re trained and know how to make withdrawal more comfortable and safe. Call 24/7 to get a free evaluation.
The Top 5 Benzodiazepines List
A wide array of Benzodiazepines of various strengths is designed for both short and long-term therapies.
Benzodiazepines are widely prescribed. The top five popular drugs, in the benzodiazepines list are:
- Alprazolam (Xanax).
- Clonazepam (Klonopin).
- Diazepam (Valium).
- Temazepam (Restoril).
- Lorazepam (Ativan).
The benzodiazepines list drugs are among the top 100 most commonly prescribed medications, which also makes them among the most widely abused prescription drugs. The benzodiazepines list drugs are available in prescription pills, syrup, and injectable preparations. When misused, benzos can be taken orally, crushed, and snorted.
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Benzodiazepines List Short-term Medications
From aiding in sleeplessness, soothing anxiety, and restlessness to inducing sleepiness for surgery, some benzodiazepines are prescribed for short-term use. But be warned: their effectiveness may wane quickly, and long-term use isn’t recommended. Yet, beware of their addictive potential.
Explore the potential of the short-term benzodiazepines list, including:
- Etizolam (ProSom®)
- Flurazepam (Dalmane®)
- Temazepam (Restoril®)
- Triazolam (Halcion®)
- Midazolam (Versed®)
Benefits of Long-Term Benzodiazepines: Enhanced Safety and Effectiveness
Powerful benzodiazepine medications not only stay in your system longer but also provide extended periods of effectiveness. They are a trusted solution for managing daily anxiety, combating severe insomnia, and even as anticonvulsants.
While some of these medications have off-label uses, they still carry the same risks and side effects as their on-label counterparts. Even if a benzodiazepine is deemed safe for long-term use under medical supervision, it should not be used recreationally or without proper guidance.
Like any medication, benzodiazepines come with inherent risks. Your doctors are the best equipped to assess and manage these risks effectively, ensuring your safety.
The long-term benzodiazepines list includes:
- alprazolam (Xanax®)
- chlordiazepoxide (Librium®)
- clorazepate (Tranxene®)
- diazepam (Valium®)
- halazepam (Paxipam®)
- lorazepam (Ativan®)
- oxazepam (Serax®)
- prazepam (Centrax®)
- quazepam (Doral®)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin®)
Don’t let anxiety and insomnia hold you back – find relief with the proper medical guidance.
Popular Benzodiazepines List Steet Names
The benzodiazepines list street names include:
- Nerve Pills.
Benzodiazepines List of Substance Interactions
Combining the benzodiazepines listed below with alcohol is very dangerous. Someone who drinks alcohol while taking this medicine will feel the effects of alcohol faster. It’s not safe to drink alcohol or take other drugs that have similar effects on the central nervous system (CNS) at the same time because these substances or drugs interact with oral benzodiazepines by causing additional respiratory and central nervous system depression. Respiratory depression can lead to breathing that’s inadequate for supplying oxygen to the body. This can cause death. Examples of these drugs and products that increase sedative side effects or the risk of respiratory depression from benzodiazepines include:
Painkillers called opioids also cause respiratory depression, for example:
- Fentanyl (Duragesic)
- Morphine (MScontin)
- Hydrocodone (Zohydro ER)
- Oxycodone (Oxycontin)
- Acetaminophen/hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco, Lorcet)
Sedatives (for example, insomnia medicine) and other medicines that cause sedation, for example:
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Benzo Drugs List of Addiction Symptoms and Side Effects
When someone becomes addicted to benzos, it is usually because of the relaxing euphoria, or high, connected with consuming large quantities of these prescription drugs. Sedatives are generally very habit-forming. Those who take benzos, whether as prescribed or for nonmedical reasons, can encounter different side effects. However, individuals who struggle with benzodiazepine addiction or abuse are more likely to experience side effects, especially at higher doses.
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of someone struggling with benzo addiction can be confusing. Nevertheless, there are a variety of symptoms that can reveal that someone is misusing these drugs. It’s essential to take notice of the signs before the symptoms become life-threatening.
Benzodiazepines List of Physical Symptoms
- Respiratory Depression
- Slowed heart rate
- Slurred speech
- Extreme fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Slower reflexes
- Impaired coordination
- Pale, cold skin
Benzodiazepines List of Psychological Symptoms
- Mood swings
- Cognitive dysfunction
- Suicidal thoughts
Benzo List of Signs of Overdose
The most significant danger of using benzodiazepines and a reason to get into a benzodiazepine detox program is overdosing. With a capacity for developing a tolerance, the longer someone takes benzodiazepines, the higher dosage they will need to take to obtain the desired effect. As a result, the greater the risk of overdosing. Moreover, benzos being a sedative can cause breathing to slow. Therefore, less oxygen enters the lungs to the brain and the rest of the body. Overdose can cause the breathing to slow down to the point of being fatal.
Deadly overdoses in addicted persons often involve the combination of alcohol and benzodiazepines, with or without opiates. Moreover, pharmacokinetic drug interactions may happen. For example, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may increase diazepam (Valium) blood levels, and nefazodone (Serzone) may increase alprazolam (Xanax) levels through hepatic enzyme inhibition, leading to increased sedative-hypnotic effects or side effects.
Signs of overdose from these drugs may include blue fingernails, double vision, slurred speech, impaired coordination, and slowed or stopped breathing, among others. An overdose is a medical emergency. If an overdose is suspected, contact emergency medical support services immediately.
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Benzodiazepine List of Commonly Available Prescribed Drugs in the U.S.
Generic Name: alprazolam
Brand Name: Niravam, Xanax, Xanax XR
Common Uses: anxiety, panic disorders
Xanax (alprazolam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine medication. That means it brings about a significant change in the brain in a short period. As a result, it is one of the most addictive benzodiazepine medications on the market today. The risks are higher in people who take the doses of 4 mg/day for longer than 12 weeks, however, anyone who abuses the drug could be at risk for addiction .
Common short-term side effects of Xanax include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Slurred speech
- Impaired memory
- Low blood pressure
- Slowed breathing
Generic Name: chlordiazepoxide
Brand Name: Librax
Common Uses; anxiety, alcohol withdrawal
Librax is a medication typically for the treatment of anxiety disorders. However, this medication can be habit-forming and presents a risk of addiction and abuse. Misuse of Librax happens when used in larger doses, more often, or for longer courses than directed by a doctor .
Common side effects may include:
- Severe drowsiness
- Dark urine
- Unusual changes in mood or behavior
- Problems with balance or muscle movement
- Confusion, excitement, anger, or feeling restless
- Thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself
- Fever, chills
- Upper stomach pain
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
Generic Name: diazepam
Brand Name: Valium
Common Uses: anxiety, sedation, alcohol withdrawal, muscle spasm, seizure
Valium is the brand name for diazepam, which is used to treat seizures and muscle spasms. When prescribed, it’s meant to be taken daily. However, people who start taking more Valium than recommended are at risk of addiction. Valium is especially dangerous when mixed with other central nervous system depressants like alcohol.
Side effects of Valium abuse include:
- Blurred vision
- Skin rash
- Irregular heartbeat
- Slowed breathing
Generic Name: clonazepam
Brand Name: Klonopin
Common Uses: seizure, panic disorder, neuralgia (nerve pain)
Klonopin has a high potential for abuse and addiction – even when prescribed to treat a medical condition. It is long-acting benzo. Consequently, it takes longer to feel its full effects. Once it leaves the body, a person can experience severe and potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
When someone abuses Klonopin or takes doses that are too high or uses it for long periods, they may exhibit symptoms such as:
- Impaired cognition
- Slow reaction time
- Impaired judgment
- Reduced libido
Generic Name: clobazam
Brand Name: Onfi
Common Uses: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, adjunct (seizures)
Clobazam is a benzodiazepine that is used in combination with other medications to treat seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a severe form of childhood epilepsy that also causes behavior and developmental problems.
Common side effects may include:
- Drowsiness, lack of energy
Generic Name: clorazepate
Brand Name: Tranxene T-Tab
Common Uses: anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, partial seizures.
This drug can slow or stop your breathing, especially if you have recently used an opioid medication, alcohol, or other drugs that can slow your breathing. Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking clorazepate. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.
Common side effects may include:
- Dizziness and Drowsiness
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Upset stomach
Generic Name: lorazepam
Brand Name: Ativan
Common Uses: anxiety, insomnia (short-term use), seizures, sedation.
Ativan is a medication for anxiety disorders, depression, and panic attacks. However, it is only for short-term use. Due to its highly addictive property, Ativan should only be used under the supervision of a doctor.
Most severe side effects associated with Ativan use occur with high doses or when the drug is mixed with alcohol.
Side effects include:
- Respiratory depression
- Excessive sedation
- Memory impairment
- Loss of consciousness
Generic Name: temazepam
Brand Name: Restoril
Common Uses: insomnia (short-term use)
Temazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with sleep problems (insomnia). This drug works by slowing down the central nervous system (brain), causing drowsiness which helps patients fall asleep.
Side effects of Valium abuse include:
- Swelling of the face, lips, and tongue
- Feeling nervous
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List Benzodiazepines Withdrawal Symptoms
The withdrawal symptoms of benzos are emotionally and physically uncomfortable. Moreover, it can even be life-threatening if the user stops “cold turkey.” Users with a history of taking higher doses or taking the substance for a long time have the worst withdrawal symptoms.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms are highly variable and often come and go. They may range in severity and frequency throughout all phases of the withdrawal process. In an unmanaged situation, benzodiazepine withdrawal becomes much more severe.
Withdrawal Symptoms, Severity, Duration, and Treatment for Detoxing Off Benzodiazepines
Detoxing off benzodiazepines can cause a variety of withdrawal symptoms, which vary in severity and duration depending on several factors, including the specific benzodiazepine being used, the dosage, the length of time it was taken, and the individual’s metabolism.
Here is a table outlining some common withdrawal symptoms, their severity, duration, and possible treatment options:
|Anxiety||Mild to severe||1-4 weeks||Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, relaxation techniques|
|Insomnia||Mild to severe||1-4 weeks||Benzodiazepine taper schedule, hypnotics, sleep hygiene|
|Irritability||Mild to severe||1-4 weeks||Antidepressants, mood stabilizers, relaxation techniques|
|Depression||Mild to severe||1-4 weeks||Antidepressants, mood stabilizers, psychotherapy|
|Headaches||Mild to severe||1-4 weeks||Over-the-counter pain relievers, relaxation techniques|
|Muscle aches and pains||Mild to severe||1-4 weeks||Over-the-counter pain relievers, muscle relaxants, heat therapy|
|Fatigue||Mild to severe||1-4 weeks||Exercise, healthy diet, sleep hygiene|
|Nausea and vomiting||Mild to severe||1-4 weeks||Anti-emetics, dietary changes|
|Diarrhea||Mild to severe||1-4 weeks||Dietary changes, antidiarrheal medications|
|Tremors||Mild to severe||1-4 weeks||Beta-blockers, anti-anxiety medications|
|Seizures (rare)||Severe||Immediate medical attention||Anticonvulsant medications, hospitalization|
Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be severe and escalate quickly. Where you select to withdraw on your own, without medical assistance, it is paramount to have a support system to supervise your well-being and ensure your safety throughout the process.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal can make it challenging to maintain a healthy diet and stay hydrated, especially if you are still experiencing severe symptoms.
Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance pose significant risks during benzodiazepine withdrawal. It is vital to consume ample fluids, particularly drinks containing electrolytes such as supplement drinks, Gatorade, and fruit juice (preferably not concentrate). Gelatin, rice, and cereals are more straightforward to consume and provide additional calories during detoxification.
when relying on friends or family for assistance during detoxification, educating them about the symptoms you are likely to experience is crucial. In that case, discuss the proper foods and beverages you need and when to seek emergency help by calling 911.
Benzodiazepines List Rebound Symptoms
The most common benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms, often called “rebound” symptoms, usually show within one to four days of discontinuing use, depending on the benzo used, the amount of use, and the repetition of use. This may include anxiety, insomnia, and stress. As the body regulates through the benzodiazepine detox process, these symptoms will likely subside or reduce .
Find the Right Treatment Plan at We Level Up NJ
Individuals who struggle with benzos abuse and addiction, whether the addiction is to benzos alone or as part of a pattern of polydrug abuse, need professional help. If a person attempts to withdraw from benzos without medical assistance, they could experience life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. They are also more likely to relapse without medical and social support, and that can also be physically dangerous.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to the benzodiazepines list cited, get the help you need and deserve. We Level Up NJ offers a safe and medically-assisted Benzo withdrawal and addiction rehab program. Contact our team at We Level Up today!
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