"reducing alcohol and drug related harm in our communities"
Key Information




benzodiazepinesSCIENTIFIC TERM:






Moggies, Vallies, Jellies, Eggs, blues, yellows, nicknames based around brand names




Users will feel relaxed and often drowsy.  They will experience a reduction in stress/anxiety and will often become forgetful, clumsy and confused.




Usually oral use, sometimes injected. Benzodiazepines usually come as a tablet or capsule that is swallowed. They are the most commonly prescribed drugs and include well-known names such as Valium, Ativan and Temazepam. They are prescribed to twice as many women as men. Street use has grown with people taking tablets sometimes in combination with other drugs. Some people began injecting Temazepam as a substitute for Heroin.


HEALTH RISKS (long term) which includes withdrawal & tolerance:


Long-term use can result in users suffering from depression.  There is also a significant risk of overdose if benzodiazepines are mixed with other depressant drugs (e.g. heroin or alcohol). If these drugs are used over an extended period (several months) they cease to be effective at promoting sleep and reducing anxiety and may then cause insomnia, anxiety, tremors and even convulsions. If benzodiazepines are injected, the tablets are usually crushed first and then made into a solution.  Some will not dissolve easily and there can be an increased risk of injection site injuries such as abscesses. Tolerance develops fairly rapidly and withdrawal from benzodiazepines should only be done under medical supervision as severe benzodiazepine withdrawal can be dangerous/fatal.  




Most benzodiazepines are class ‘C’ drugs which it is not an offence to possess. Temazepam however has been reclassified as a Schedule 3 drug under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations and it is an offence to possess it unless it has been prescribed for you.

  1. The first Benzodiazepine, Chlordiazepoxide (Librium) was discovered serendipitously in 1954 by the Austrian scientist Leo Sternbach (1908–2005), working for the pharmaceutical company Hoffmann–La Roche. 
  2. Benzodiazepines produce a range of effects from depressing to stimulating the central nervous system via modulating the GABA receptor, the most prevalent inhibitory receptor within the brain. 
  3. Benzodiazepines possess anti-anxiety properties and can be useful for the short-term treatment of severe anxiety. 
  4. Like many drugs, taking Benzodiazepines can cause side effects in some people, often described like a hang-over effect, by feeling effects of the drug the next day. 
  5. They work by slowing down activity in the brain and should be taken at night. 
  6. Long term use is to be avoided as larger doses are needed to create the same affect. 
  7. Fatalities caused by overdose are rare but possible, especially when combined with Alcohol. 
  8. Addiction is rare, but possible. More common is occasional abuse that can cause symptoms similar to Alcohol such as dangerous driving, poor behaviour and memory blackouts. 
  9. They are used in anesthesia, such as before medical procedures, and as sleeping pills. They also are valuable to stop convulsions and to treat Alcohol withdrawal. 
  10. Most recreational users of Benzodiazepines are young men. 
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