Commonly referred to as “Benzos” these drugs are prescribed tranquilizer medications used to treat insomnia and anxiety. Because of their sedating effects, they have a high potential for abuse, especially when used with other substances such as alcohol or opiates. Benzodiazepines, particularly those with a rapid onset of effects, are abused to produce a euphoric effect.
In spite of the risks of mixing drugs, Benzos are often combined with other substances raising the risk of unexpected interactions or deadly outcomes. In particular for teens and young adults, some Benzodiazepines have become popular party drugs where they are often combined with substances such as marijuana and/or alcohol. The abuse of prescription Benzodiazepines has grown at an alarming rate in the United States, contributing to thousands of emergency room visits and overdose deaths each year.
The opioid crisis dominates today’s headlines. And benzos often get lost in the noise. But after reviewing many years of collected data the message from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and CDC is clear:
“Mixing benzodiazepines and other drugs can be deadly.”