About Drugs

  • Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines prescribed depressants

What Are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines prescribed depressants are the central nervous systems most prescribed depressants. They are among the most commonly prescribed in the U.S. today. There are over 15 types of benzodiazepine medications on the market, available to treat a wide range of physical and psychological maladies.

Benzodiazepines are anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), antispasmodic (muscle relaxant), anticonvulsant (prevents epileptic seizures), and sedative-hypnotic (sleep-inducing).

The most popularly prescribed benzodiazepines include Valium© (diazepam), Xanax© (alprazolam), Ativan© (lorazepam), and Librium© (chlordiazepoxide). Though not legally prescribed, the benzodiazepine Rohypnol© (flunitrazepam) is well known for its notorious reputation as a date-rape drug.

Physiology ovus medical benzos

The human brain has a key neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This GABA inhibits motor neurons, so if there is a GABA present, neuronal activity slows down or stops altogether. Benzodiazepines enhance GABA activity, effectively slowing nerve impulses throughout the body.

While dosage and absorption time varies among the different types of benzodiazepines, they all trigger the same physical effects. There are short-acting and long-acting benzodiazepines. A physician will choose either of the types (short-acting or long-acting) depending on what condition it is being prescribed for.

Screening Cutoff and Detection Time of Benzodiazepines prescribed depressants

In drug testing, the cutoff level separates a negative and a positive test result. The cutoff levels are set at that point, where drug detection happens with the smallest probability for false positives. It is imperative to note that a negative sample does not automatically mean that it does not contain any drug – it only indicates that it may contain a drug at such a low concentration that it is below the established cutoff.

  • Specimen Concentration Detection Time
  • Urine Drug Test 300 ng/ml 3-7 days
  • Saliva Drug Test 50 ng/ml Up to 48 hours


Benzodiazepine is a depressant. Depressants slow down the activity of the central nervous system. These drugs are also called downers for the “relaxation” induce. Depressants relieve stress and anger and often cause drowsiness or sleepiness.


Depressants include the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Rohypnol (flunitrazepam)
  • GHB
  • Methaqualone
  • Tranquilizers

Forms and Routes of Administration

Benzodiazepines prescribed depressants come in the following forms and administered accordingly:

  • Oral – These drugs most commonly come in the form of tablets or capsules for oral administration.
  • Injection – They also come in liquid form (Valium, Ativan, Librium) to be injected either intramuscularly or intravenously. Versed© (midazolam) is made exclusively as IV.
  • Sublingual – Ativan comes in 0.5mg, 1mg, and 2mg sublingual tablets to be dissolved under the tongue.


Use of Benzodiazepine

  • Medical/Therapeutic Uses for Benzodiazepines prescribed depressants
  • Treatment of anxiety disorders
  • Management of convulsive disorders
  • Treatment of insomnia, night terrors, and other sleep disorders
  • Treatment of mild or moderate depression and mood disorders
  • Treatment of involuntary movement disorders like restless leg syndrome, dystonia, and dyskinesia
  • Treatment of symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol and other substances like delirium, anxiety, hyperpyrexia, and seizures.

Recreational Uses for Benzodiazepine

Non-medical use of benzos often begins when people feel worried or anxious, and they want to be able to relax. They swipe a pill or two from a family member’s prescription left lying around in the house, thinking it would be harmless to use it just that one time. The next time they are stressed, they will simply take another pill just to get through the moment of anxiety. Some people use them every other time they have difficulty sleeping until it becomes a habit. A more sinister non-medical use of benzos is for preying on unsuspecting victims, as is the case for Rohypnol (flunitrazepam), notoriously known for being a date-rape drug.

Short-Term Benzodiazepines Side Effects

Short-term side effects vary depending on the dose. At low to moderate doses, a user may experience the following side effects:

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Altered vision
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness, lethargy, fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Impaired motor coordination
  • Impaired thinking and memory
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Respiratory depression
  • Slurred speech, stuttering
  • Tremors
  • Vertigo

At much higher doses, extreme drowsiness occurs, and on top of the low-dose side effects, users may also experience the following:

  • Euphoria
  • Hostile and erratic behavior
  • Mood swings
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Long-Term Benzodiazepines Side Effects

Each of the different kinds of benzo meds gets eliminated from the body at varying rates. Some take a while, so taking multiple doses over long periods can cause them to accumulate in the fatty tissues. This leads to a condition called over-sedation, the symptoms of which do not manifest right away, taking at least a few days.

  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Impaired thinking
  • Impaired memory
  • Impaired judgment
  • Muscle weakness, lack of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Benzodiazepine Addiction
  • Drug Addiction

Physiological and psychological dependence can result from benzodiazepine misuse depending on the drug’s potency, its dosage, and the length of time it is taken. For example, alprazolam is highly potent, and if taken at high doses, dependence can develop in as short as 2 months. With certain other benzos, tolerance occurs at around 6 months of use.

Can I Purchase a Single Use Drug Test for Benzodiazepine?

Ovus Medical offers BZO (Benzodiazepine) urine drug testing strips.
Fast, easy, and convenient to use.

  • The Benzodiazepine test strips provide quick results within five minutes.
  • Our Benzodiazepine testing strips possess a cutoff level of 300 ng/ml.
  • Detection time: 2 – 5 Days



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