Prescription Painkiller Information - Benzodiazepines

The prescription painkiller benzodiazepine is categorized in the family of depressants and is used therapeutically to produce sedation, induce sleep, relieve anxiety and muscle spasms, and to prevent seizures.

 In general, the prescription painkiller benzodiazepine acts as hypnotics in high doses, anxiolytics in moderate doses, and sedatives in low doses. Of the drugs marketed in the United States that affect central nervous system function, the prescription painkiller benzodiazepine is among the most widely prescribed medications.

Benzodiazepine Classification
Benzodiazepines are classified in the CSA as depressants. Repeated use of large doses or; in some cases, daily use of therapeutic doses of prescription painkiller benzodiazepines is associated with amnesia, hostility, irritability, and vivid or disturbing dreams, as well as tolerance and physical dependence. The withdrawal syndrome is similar to that of alcohol and may require hospitalization.

Drug Abuse - Benzodiazepines
Individuals who abuses the drug benzodiazepines often maintain their drug supply by getting prescriptions from several doctors, forging prescriptions, or buying diverted pharmaceutical products on the illicit market. Drug abuse of prescription painkiller benzodiazepines are frequently associated with adolescents and young adults who take benzodiazepines to obtain a "high." This intoxicated state results in reduced inhibition and impaired judgment. Concurrent use of alcohol or other depressant with benzodiazepines can be life threatening. Abuse of benzodiazepines is particularly high among heroin and cocaine abusers. A large percentage of people entering treatment for narcotic or cocaine addiction also report abusing benzodiazepines. Alprazolam and diazepam are the two most frequently encountered benzodiazepines on the illicit market.

Drug Abuse - Rohypnol

Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol®) is a prescription painkiller benzodiazepine that is not manufactured or legally marketed in the United States, but is smuggled in by traffickers. In the mid-1990s, flunitrazepam was extensively trafficked in Florida and Texas. Known as "rophies," "roofies," and "roach," flunitrazepam gained popularity among younger individuals as a "party" drug. It has also been utilized as a "date rape" drug. In this context, flunitrazepam is placed in the alcoholic drink of an unsuspecting victim to incapacitate them and prevent resistance from sexual assault. The victim is frequently unaware of what has happened to them and often does not report the incident to authorities. A number of actions by the manufacturer of this drug and by government agencies have resulted in reducing the availability and abuse of flunitrazepam in the United States.