Benzodiazepines, Dependence and the Importance of Testing

The Drop Team

Benzodiazepines are prescribed for anxiety and sleep disorders but they are also a commonly used recreational drug, often to counter the effects of a come down and for their anxiety reducing effects. The most common benzos used by recreational users in the UK are diazepam (Valium) and Xanax (Alprazolam).

The main issues for people who use benzos that are not prescribed to them are that benzos are highly addictive and that they are often ‘mis-sold’, meaning that the drug you receive is often not the one you intended by buy. This blog will discuss these issues and how to minimise the risks.


Dependence

If you notice that you’re taking benzo more often or at a higher dose, the thought of not having benzos fills you with anxiety or if you experience withdrawal symptoms such as the shakes, feeling agitated, headaches, sweats or psychosis (amongst others), it’s possible you may be dependent on benzos. If you think you might be dependent, here’s what to do:

Contaminated Supply

Benzos are regularly ‘mis-sold’, meaning that the drugs a person receives is not what they intended to buy. In the past few weeks there have been a huge number of reports of this happening from all across the UK. If you’re buying benzos, follow these steps to keep yourself safe:


**Bristol Alert**

The Drop sent a sample to WEDINOS for testing after a user in Bristol reported strange and unexpectedly strong effects (extreme muscle relaxation, slurred speech, memory loss, blackout, strong rebound anxiety) from taking one pill branded as 10mg ‘Neliz’ diazepam. When we received the result on 7/7/2020 it actually turned out to be flualprazolam, a benzo that has only been in circulation since 2017. There’s limited information about flualprazolam but the consensus seems to be that its effects are similar to alprazolam but more potent and unpredictable. If you come across this substance, proceed with caution.


If you use benzos or other drugs, use the buttons below to read our harm reduction advice, find out more about The Drop or contact us.

3 minute read

Related to this article

Dust Off Your Dancing Shoes - Clubs & Festivals Are Back!

The Drop

Dust Off Your Dancing Shoes - Clubs & Festivals Are Back!

For most of you, it’s been over a year since you last let loose on a dancefloor which means you might be a bit out of prac...

Mental Health Awareness Week: Clubs & Festivals

The Drop

Mental Health Awareness Week: Clubs & Festivals

The prospect of clubs & festivals re-opening is an exciting thought, but for some it might be a bit more complicated. Af...

Set and Setting when taking psychedelics

The Drop

Set and Setting when taking psychedelics

The 19th of April is Bicycle Day which celebrates the day that Albert Hoffmann, a Swiss chemist, experienced the first full ...