What are Benzodiazepines (ben·zow·dai·a·zuh·peen)?
Benzodiazepines are known as psychoactive drugs. Often referred to as benzos, these are drugs such as alprazolam, chlordiazepoxide, lorazepam, clonazepam and diazepam are all classed as Benzodiazepines. Street names are blue V, Xannies, Candy, Downers, Sleeping Pills and Tranks. Brand names for Benzodiazepines include Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Klonopin. The drug Xanax or alprazolam is probably the most famous of the benzodiazepines and it is an anti-anxiety medication used for treating anxiety and panic disorders.
Benzodiazepines are for treating anxiety. Medically, benzodiazepines are prescribed for anxiety, panic, seizures, insomnia, muscle relaxation, depression, and general anesthesia. This drug can relieve symptoms of anxiety and relieve panic attacks. Benzodiazepines have hypnotic, muscle-relaxant, and anticonvulsant properties. The peak of benzodiazepines use was around 1975 when benzodiazepines were widely touted as a wonder drug for anything from chronic anxiety to mild stress. In fact, in that year alone, about 103 million prescriptions were issued for them in the U.S.
Recreationally, benzodiazepines have toxic effects and have widespread availability. Often used as a date rape drug, benzodiazepines can markedly impair and even abolish functions that normally allow a person to resist or even want to resist sexual aggression or assault. Celebrities often have benzodiazepine abuse issues that sometimes cause death, often in combination with other drugs of abuse. Anna Nicole Smith in 20017, Whitney Houston in 2012, and Michael Jackson in 2008 all died with benzos and other drugs in their systems.
Benzodiazepine abusers enjoy the magnification of intoxicant effects of combinations of benzodiazepine with alcohol, cocaine, opiates and other prescribed drugs or illegal drugs. A cocaine abuser might also use benzodiazepines to lower the risk of crashing after cocaine wears off.
Effects of Benzodiazepines
Looking to diffuse stress and its physical and emotional side effects, users look to benzodiazepines and the potential for abuse and long-term use increases. The drug slows down nerve activity in the brain and the rest of the central nervous system. Abusers look for a high in addition to the calm and relaxed sensations individuals feel when taking benzodiazepines.
Benzodiazepines Short-Term Effects
- Fatigue, drowsiness, lethargy
- Mental confusion, headaches, depression
- Motor coordination impairment
- Blurred vision, memory issues
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Lowering of heart rate, core body temperature, blood pressure, and respiration.
Benzodiazepines Long-Term Effects
- Potential for becoming psychologically and physically dependent
- Negative effects on memory, sensory perceptions, processing speed, and learning abilities
- Severe withdrawal symptoms
- Brain damage
Drug Test for Benzodiazepines
Since the early 1980s, drug testing programs have expanded across the United States. A drug test for benzodiazepines is not included in the standard 5-panel drug test primarily used by employers. This 5-panel drug test includes marijuana, cocaine, amphetamine / methamphetamine, opiates, and PCP. The standard 5-panel drug test does not include a test for benzodiazepines. Another common drug test utilized is the 10-panel drug test with expanded opiates which includes: AMP-Amphetamines (MAMP-Methamphetamine, MDMA-Ecstasy), COC-Cocaine, PCP-Phencyclidine, THC-Marijuana, BZO-Benzodiazepines, BAR-Benzodiazepines, MTD-Methadone, PPX-Propoxyphene, Meth-Methaqualone, OPI-Opiates (including heroin, codeine, and morphine) and expanded Opiates which adds Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Oxycodone and Oxymorphone. The standard 10-panel drug test with expanded opiates does provide a drug test for benzodiazepines. Most other drug test panels with 10 or more drugs will include benzodiazepines in panels such as 12 panel, 14 panel or health care professional panel.
A drug test for benzodiazepines should be performed by a professional service using a laboratory certified by the Federal government. Initial screening and confirmation testing should be included. We do see benzodiazepines testing being available with some oral fluid or saliva drug tests. Beware of an instant rapid drug test for benzodiazepines that may show a false positive result for benzodiazepines. Most of the instant, rapid or point of collection (POCT) test products on the market today, do have a drug test for benzodiazepines but lab testing is always a best practice.
How long benzodiazepines stay in your system is not the same for each user. Body weight, frequency of use, and potency of the drug are all factors. With urine drug tests, we typically can see use within 2 to 3 days while hair drug testing for benzodiazepines will show the drug for up to 90 days.
Benzodiazepines drug testing can be done using urine, oral fluid, hair or blood. Each shows a different look back period with oral fluid the shortest and hair the longest. Our laboratories at National Drug Screening can perform a hair test for benzodiazepines or a urine test for benzodiazepines. Urine and hair drug testing are the most common screening tests for benzodiazepines. A blood test is invasive and very expensive so not used very often. The hair drug test for benzodiazepines is used to show use going back up to 90 days. If you want to know how to pass a benzodiazepines drug test, it is best to stop using the drug. You can then always get a benzodiazepines drug test to make sure you are now clean.
If you need to order a hair test for benzodiazepines, you want to order the Hair Drug Test 9 Panel.
If you want to order a urine test for benzodiazepines, you want to order the 10 Panel with Expanded Opiates Urine Drug Test.