Wanna be sedated? A prescription drug in the benzodiazepine family is how many college students achieve this particular goal. Benzodiazepines are depressants, a group of drugs which relieve anxiety and can induce sleep. Two of the most well known drugs in this group are Xanax,or alprazalam and Valium, or diazapem. You may also have heard these drugs referred to as downers, benzos, or tanks. These drugs can be legally prescribed, and are usually taken to combat insomnia, to promote relaxation, or to ease anxiety. These drugs are taken recreationally for similar reasons. Users also take benzodiazepines to come down from the high of a stimulant, like cocaine. Benzodiazepines are available in short-acting versions designed for use at night, like temazapem, also called Restoril, and in long-acting versions for day, like Xanax or Valium. The drug Rohypnol, which is sometimes referred to as a roofie, is a powerful member of the benzodiazepine family. Although Rohypnal is not even legal for prescription use in the U.S., roofies can be acquired illegally, and are often used as a date rape drug. After they are consumed, these drugs act on the central nervous system, increasing production of the neurotransmitter GABA, which leads to slowed brain function. Most benzodiazepines act quickly on your system, and while the effects of some will last for just an hour or two, others can have an impact that lasts considerably longer. This class of drugs can be addictive over time, and an overdose can lead to confusion, sleepiness, or even a coma. People who use benzodiazepines over long periods of time can experience amnesia, hostility, and disturbing dreams. For these reasons, all benzodiazepines require a doctor's prescription for use, and should be taken cautiously without a physician's supervision.
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Last Updated:December 20, 2012