Benzodiazepines - a heads up
Benzos have been around for a long time. They are fairly commonly prescribed and also used illegally.
Benzos is a short name for Benzodiazepines (pronounced ben-zoh-die-az-a-peens). Benzos aren’t one drug but actually a whole heap. Benzos are depressant drugs which mean they slow your body’s reaction to things. They're also called diaz, tranx, sleepers, downers, serras (Serepax), moggies (Mogadon), normies (Normison) tranquillisers.
Benzo are legal if they are prescribed by a doctor for you (usually for anxiety or sleeping problems) but not legal if you use someone else’s or buy them off the street. They mostly come as tablets and capsules but can be prescribed as liquid for injection or suppositories (tablets inserted up your bum). Benzos are usually swallowed but some people do inject them.
Benzos give a sense of calmness, relaxation and sleepiness but too much can result in slow breathing, cold and clammy skin, bluish lips, or an inability to be roused or woken. An ambulance should be called if any of these symptoms occur. Being dependent on Benzos can mean really strong withdrawal symptoms such as vomiting, anxiety and depression and even seizures.
If you use benzos then if nothing else, make sure you know these ways to be as safe as possible.
- Don’t mix Benzos with other drugs especially other depressants like alcohol or heroin.
- Know what you’re taking. There is a huge difference between different types of benzos and how long the effects of each last.
- Try to avoid injecting but if you do, use safe injecting practices and get special advice for injecting pills
- Call an ambulance if an overdose is suspected
Want more? This info is the bare minimum to give you the heads up. This fact sheet from the ADF has heaps more info.