Benzodiazepines, often called “benzos,” are a class of drugs mainly used for treating anxiety. Benzos are psychoactive drugs that work very much like depressants to lower brain activity, making them ideal for treating anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. There are many types of benzodiazepines. Some are stronger than others. The strength of benzos depends on their potency and half-life. The half-life of a drug is how long it takes for the body to metabolize it and excrete half of the drug dose. Read on to learn about some of the most potent benzodiazepines available.
Benzodiazepines List In Order Of Strength
It’s important to know the strength of benzodiazepines. More potent benzos are more likely to cause tolerance, dependence, and consequently, addiction compared to weaker ones. Here’s a list of benzodiazepines from weakest to strongest.
Low-potency and short-acting benzodiazepines (weakest benzos):
- Temazepam (Restoril)
- Oxazepam (Serax)
Low-potency and long-acting benzodiazepines (weak with a prolonged effect):
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Clorazepate (Tranxene)
- Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
- Flurazepam (Dalmane)
Medium-potency and medium-acting benzodiazepines:
- Clobazam (Onfi)
High-potency and short-acting benzodiazepines (strong with short effects):
- Triazolam (Halcion)
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
High-potency and long-acting benzodiazepines (strongest benzos):
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol)
Measuring Benzodiazepine Strength
Like most prescription drugs, benzodiazepines are manufactured at various levels and potency. For example, Klonopin is one of the most potent benzodiazepines, offering a maximum half-life of 30-40 hours, and it only takes 1 hour to get its desired effects.
The stronger a benzodiazepine, the faster you’ll feel its effects, and the more it will produce sedative-like effects. How long the drug remains in the system depends on the drug’s half-life and other measures like your metabolism, age, and gender.
In addition, to measure benzodiazepines strength, you need to know if they’re short-acting or long-acting:
Short-acting benzodiazepines: They have an immediate effect but don’t last long. These are often prescribed for insomnia or sleeping difficulties.
Long-acting benzodiazepines: They have a more prolonged effect, and people gradually experience their effects. These also stay in the system for an extended period of time. This is why long-acting benzos are recommended to treat anxiety and other mental health disorders.
Benzodiazepines taken in larger and more frequent doses can lead to dependence and addiction. People who misuse benzodiazepines may crush the pills to be snorted, smoked, or injected. No matter how they’re used, benzodiazepines are Schedule IV drugs with a high potential for misuse and abuse.
Risks and Dangers of Use
Benzodiazepine addiction is highly common among US adults. Roughly 12.5% of US adults use benzodiazepines, close to 30.5 million people. Among benzo users, about 17.1% misused them, and only 2% had benzodiazepine use disorders. Most people (46.3%) turn to benzodiazepines to relax or relieve tension, followed by 22.4% who use them to help sleep. Still, about 11.8% use them to get high, and 5.7% like to experiment with benzodiazepines.
However, like most addictions, those afflicted usually won’t talk or recognize a problem, so these numbers are rather conservative.
Benzodiazepine dependence can lead to addiction, as well as adverse health effects, including:
- Congenital disabilities when used while pregnant
- Irregular heartbeat
- Muscle weakness
- Memory problems
- Risky behavior
- Increased risk of suicide and suicidal ideation
- Withdrawal symptoms
Like any form of drug abuse, people who misuse benzodiazepines experience loss of quality of life. In many cases, the need for the drug becomes compulsive, and addiction can cause family, work, and relationship problems.
Prolonged benzodiazepine use can exacerbate the issues the drug is designed to treat. When someone with a benzodiazepine dependence tries to quit the drug, they often experience severe withdrawal symptoms that can last for weeks or months. Some of these symptoms include psychological ones, such as intense anxiety episodes, depression, and suicidal ideations (thoughts of suicide).
Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment
It’s important to note that only 20% of abusers receive benzodiazepines from their doctors. Most people who misuse benzos obtain them from friends and family members. If you are concerned about your or a loved one’s benzodiazepine use, we can help.
We offer personalized treatment programs that meet your needs and provide you with the right path to recovery. Choosing a rehab facility with dual diagnosis services may provide the best outcome because most people who abuse benzodiazepines also struggle with co-occurring anxiety or depression. Treating these conditions simultaneously is paramount for long-lasting recovery.
Connect with us today to learn more about our benzodiazepine addiction treatment options.