Benzodiazepines (pronounced ben-zoh-die-AZ-a-peens) are depressant drugs. Some people use benzodiazepines illegally to get high or to help with the ‘come down’ effects of stimulants such as amphetamines or cocaine.

Types of benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines, also known as minor tranquilizers, are most commonly prescribed by doctors to relieve stress and anxiety and to help people sleep. There are three types of benzodiazepines: long, intermediate and short acting. 

Short-acting benzodiazepines have stronger withdrawal or ‘come down’ effects and can be more addictive than long-acting ones. Some common generic names for  benzodiazepines are; diazepam, oxazepam, nitrazepam, temazepam, alprazolam.

Slang names Benzos, tranx, sleepers, downers, pills, xannies, serras (Serepax®), moggies (Mogadon®), normies (Normison®)


How are they used?

Benzodiazepines are usually swallowed. Some people may inject them.

Visible signs of potential benzodiazepines use:

  • Depression

  • Confusion

  • Feelings of isolation or euphoria

  • Impaired thinking and memory loss

  • Headache

  • Drowsiness, sleepiness and fatigue

  • Dry mouth

  • Over-sedation or sleep

  • Jitteriness and excitability

  • Mood swings and aggression

  • Slow, shallow breathing

  • Unconsciousness or coma

  • Slurred speech or stuttering

  • Double or blurred vision

  • Impaired coordination, dizziness and tremors

  • Nausea and loss of appetite

  • Diarrhoea or constipation

Please note the effects listed in this information do not automatically indicate that a person is under the influence of illicit drugs. This is only a guide to the possibility.