Benzos, downers, tranks, bars, vals, sleepers, pills, xannies, serras, moggies, normies.

Benzos are sedative drugs. They are prescribed for people to treat anxiety or for people who are having difficulties sleeping.

Benzos are also available online and on the street. Some people use benzos after a big night out to help them come down and sleep after taking stimulants like ice or cocaine.

Benzos suppress the nervous system to help create a relaxed and calm feeling. They also can reduce normal functions such as breathing and heart rate until they eventually stop, resulting in brain damage or death.

If you are injecting, please follow safe injecting procedures to reduce your risk of infection:

  • Always use new sterile injecting equipment
  • Find a clean space to mix up on or you can use the paper bag that your fits came in to create a clean surface
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after injecting
  • Don’t forget to clean your injecting site too
  • If you don’t have soap and water, you can use swabs to clean your skin
  • Don’t share any injecting equipment
  • Don’t lick the needle as there are bacteria in your mouth that can cause fungal infections if injected
  • Use sterile pill filters (wheel filters) to try to get rid of contaminants
  • Sterile water ampoules are the safest option
  • Try not to use commercially bottled water for injecting, especially if you have drunk from the bottle. There are germs in our mouths that are harmless when swallowed but if injected can cause serious illness.

Signs of a benzo overdose:

  • Over-sedation or sleep
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Unconsciousness or coma
  • Jitteriness and excitability
  • Mood swings and aggression

Half-life

The half-life of a drug refers to how long it stays active in your system. Benzos can stay active for a long period of time—even up to a few days. How long they stay active in your system depends on whether it’s a long-, medium- or short-acting type of benzo. If you buy benzos on the street or online, you have no way of knowing the half-life (how long the drug will stay active in your system).

Although you might feel like the effects of the benzo have worn off, it’s likely that they are still active and causing your breathing and heart rate to slow down.

The risk of overdosing increases if you have too many different drugs in your system. Because of the half-life, even if you take other drugs one or more days after taking benzos, you could still be at risk of an overdose.

Mixing benzos with other drugs, especially with depressant drugs such as alcohol, opioids, pregabalin (lyrica) or GHB, will increase the chance of overdose and even death.

Prescribed and street benzos

Street benzos are unpredictable and can be dangerously potent. You never know what exactly is in street benzos. You can never be sure what they are cut with, how strong they are or how long they will stay active in your system.

Prescribed benzos, or what seem to be legit benzos, are not necessarily safe. Even if they look legit, you can never know what substances are in the pill.

It is always risky to take benzos that haven’t been prescribed for you. It’s important to know their half-life and consider what other drugs could still be active in your body; however, with street benzos there is no reliable way of knowing the half-life. This may cause you to experience an overdose if you use other depressants in the days after using a street benzo.

Pressed benzos and benzo analogues

Pressed benzos are liquid or powdered benzos that have been cut and then pressed into a pill and sold on the street. The quality varies and they are likely to contain benzo analogues, which are drug compounds with a very different molecular makeup to legitimate benzos but that have a similar effect. They are generally much stronger than prescription benzos and therefore more dangerous.

It’s important to remember that benzo analogues are untested, which means their strength is unknown and can be dangerous.

Benzos come as tablets or capsules, which are most commonly swallowed, but can also be shafted (up ya bum). Some people crush benzo tablets to inject them. They can also be snorted or injected intravenously or intra-muscularly.

To avoid vein damage, only inject with a benzo solution made for injection or use a pill filter when mixing up.

Common benzodiazepines

DRUG HALF-LIFE BRAND
Diazepam Long-acting Valium
Flunitrazepam Long-acting Rohypnol
Nitrazepam Medium-acting Mogadon
Oxazepam Short-acting Serapax
Temazepam Short-acting Normison
Alprazolam Short-acting Xanax

If you see a mate experiencing one or more of the signs of a benzo overdose, call 000 right away. Do not hesitate.

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