What Are Liquid Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines, also known as “benzos,” are a class of sedative-hypnotic drugs that are sold illicitly through the street drug market in various forms, including liquid, powder, and pills.
They increase the amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical in the brain, that can reduce excitability, or help promote calmness and relaxation.
Liquid Xanax, and other liquid designer benzodiazepines, are manufactured illegally. Some benzodiazepines sold on the street are also diverted from the regulated pharmaceutical market.
Are Liquid Benzodiazepines Prescription Drugs?
Yes. At least one benzodiazepine, liquid Xanax, is available as a prescription drug for certain mental health and medical conditions.
Medical uses for liquid Xanax may include:
- anxiety disorders
- sleep disorders
- panic disorder
- panic attacks
- alcohol withdrawal
Alprazolam intresonal, for instance, is the generic name for liquid Xanax. But liquid benzodiazepines are also manufactured illegally. Those are not regulated for safety by the FDA.
Which Benzos Are Sold In Liquid Form?
Many “designer benzodiazepines,” including benzos that are only marketed in certain countries, benzodiazepine metabolites, and structural analogs are sold on the street or online in liquid form.
Designer benzodiazepines (DBZs) are psychoactive substances that have the same chemical structure as legal BZDs, but with some potentially dangerous alterations.
Common examples of benzodiazepines include:
- Xanax (alprazolam)
- Ativan (lorazepam)
- Valium (diazepam)
- Librium (chlordiazepoxide)
- Klonopin (clonazepam)
- Restoril (temazepam)
Some benzodiazepines, including flualprazolam and flunitrazepam (a “roofie” drug), are not approved for any use in the United States, due to associated risks and dangers of their use.
What Do Liquid Benzodiazepines Do?
Liquid benzodiazepines, like those in other forms, bind to GABA receptors in the brain.
These anxiolytic drugs can cause drowsiness, sleepiness, and can also impair cognitive and motor functions in both moderate and higher doses.
Short-term side effects might include:
- poor balance
- impaired coordination
- impaired judgment
- memory loss
- low blood pressure
Liquid benzos are sometimes mixed into alcoholic beverages, other mixed drinks, food, liquid drops, and essential oils. They can also be injected into the body, like other drugs of abuse.
While liquid benzos are often sold as “Liquid Xanax,” these drugs can sometimes actually be other benzos, including those that are unregulated and not legally prescribed in the U.S.
Are Liquid Benzodiazepines Dangerous To Use?
Liquid benzodiazepines can pose several short-term risks and dangers when they are ingested accidentally (e.g. if a person is drugged) or intentionally.
Compared to classic benzodiazepines, designer benzodiazepines in particular have a higher risk of producing heavy sedation and amnesia in those who take them, according to researchers.
These drugs are also more likely to produce respiratory depression and death when taken with other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, such as alcohol and opioids.
Long-Term Risks Of Liquid Benzodiazepine Use
Liquid benzodiazepines can be physically and psychologically addictive. They can also cause drug dependence and withdrawal through long-term use or substance abuse.
Withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepines can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening if withdrawal isn’t closely monitored and treated by a healthcare provider.
Stopping a benzodiazepine too soon, or without tapering your dosage after a period of abuse, could cause life-threatening seizures and other medical complications.
Dangers Of Injecting Liquid Benzos
Injecting liquid benzodiazepines is associated with several added risks, including a higher risk of overdose and the transmission of bloodborne diseases like hepatitis and HIV.
When you are injecting drugs, it’s also more difficult to gauge just how much of a drug you are putting into your body.
Treatment For Benzodiazepine Abuse And Addiction
Using liquid benzodiazepines in ways other than as prescribed by a doctor can be a sign of drug abuse or a substance use disorder.
Treatment for substance abuse, including detox and therapy, may be recommended if you are misusing liquid benzos and are unable to stop your drug use on your own.
Find Treatment For Drug Abuse At Bedrock Recovery Center
At Bedrock Recovery Center, we offer detox and residential treatment for substance use disorders, including evidence-based treatments for benzodiazepine abuse.
Call our helpline today to learn more about our treatment programs and whether our drug addiction recovery center is right for you or a loved one.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — FDA requiring Boxed Warning updated to improve safe use of benzodiazepine drug class https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-requiring-boxed-warning-updated-improve-safe-use-benzodiazepine-drug-class
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: PubMedCentral — Designer Benzodiazepines: A Review of Toxicology and Public Health Risks https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8230725/
- UCLA Health — Potential Complications of IV Drug Use https://www.uclahealth.org/hospitals/resnick/patient-care/partial-hospitalization-and-intensive-outpatient-programs/adult-acute-partial-hospitalization-program/dual-diagnosis-intensive-outpatient-program/news-and-resources/potential-complications-iv-drug-use