Benzodiazepines (benzos), common in drug abuse, are often referred to as “tranquilizers.” Xanax, Ativen, Valium and Klonopin are well-known benzos. They are central nervous system (CNS) depressants that have an effect on the brain similar to that of alcohol. It is extremely dangerous to drink alcohol or use other CNS depressants, such as opiates, while taking benzodiazepines.

Benzos are addictive with repeated large doses or prolonged smaller doses. Addiction can occur when therapeutic doses are taken over long periods. They are often abused for the purpose of getting “high,” since their effect is similar to drinking. Benzo intoxication can cause amnesia, hostility, irritability, disturbed dreams, and eventually lead to tolerance and physical dependence. Withdrawal can be severe — even life-threatening — and may require hospitalizationMORE>>>

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