Abuse of Benzodiazepines/Sedative-Hypnotics
- Alcohol withdrawal
- Seizure control
- Muscle relaxation
- Inducing amnesia for uncomfortable procedures
- Given before an anesthetic (such as before surgery)
Benzodiazepines are often prescribed as a tablet or capsule; some benzodiazepines are available in oral solution or injectable form. Abusers will take the medications orally; however, they may also be crushed/opened and snorted.
Most prescription benzodiazepines are Schedule 4 controlled substances.
Benzodiazepines can produce drowsiness and euphoria and are:
used in conjunction with other drugs like cocaine to lessen side effects like agitation, or
to increase the euphoric effects of drugs like methadone.
Benzodiazepines also cause:
Benzodiazepines are frequently mixed with alcohol or used in the commission of a rape because of the possibility of memory loss and their sedative properties.
Carisoprodol (Soma®) - Skeletal muscle relaxant with sedative-hypnotic effects. Also, marketed in combination with aspirin and codeine.
Commonly abused in conjunction with opioids resulting in toxic effect.
Prescription Medication Sources
Neighbors, Schools, Dealers
Prescribers leaving prescription blanks accessible
Thefts from pharmacies
Commonly Abused Medication
- Alprazolam (Xanax®)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin®)
- Diazepam (Valium®)
- Lorazepam (Ativan®)
- Temazepam (Restoril®)