Benzodiazepines, or benzos, belong to a class of drugs that are often prescribed to treat seizures, mood disorders, anxiety, PTSD, and insomnia and are sometimes used to help with alcohol withdrawals. This type of drug works by making the brain less sensitive to stimulation by affecting the GABA receptors located in the brain. This will create a calming effect on both the mind and the body. Unfortunately, benzodiazepines have a very high risk for dependency, abuse, and addiction.
How is the Strength Measured of Benzodiazepines?
Like any other medication, prescription or otherwise, benzodiazepines are each individually designed for different levels of efficiency based on what they are being taken for and what their intended purpose is. The stronger the benzo, the faster it will begin to work and the more potent it. This would include benzos like Xanax or Ativan. The stronger ones will produce a calming and sedative-like effect. The potency is measured based on its effectiveness. So, the higher the potency, the stronger the drug. The lower the potency, the weaker the drug. For example, Ativan s considered one of the strongest benzodiazepines because it has a high potency and is a short-acting drug. It is typically used as an as-needed drug. It takes approximately 30 minutes to kick in and has a half-life of 24 hours.
Which Benzo is the Weakest?
It is important to say that while the stronger benzodiazepines are generally much more sought after for abuse than the weaker ones, benzos can be abused and risky. In addition, they are all considered dangerous substances because they are all rated as Schedule IV controlled substances. It can be difficult to determine which benzo is known as the weakest because many types fall under “weak” benzodiazepines. The kinds of benzos with a longer half-life are considered to be the weaker ones. They are longer acting, meaning they work over a long period and don’t create intense effects. The four benzos that fall under the weakest category include Librium (chlordiazepoxide), Transgene (clozapine), Valium (diazepam), and Flurazepam.
Psychological and Physical Side Effects of Benzos
All benzos, no matter the strength, come with a long list of side effects. The side effects are caused by the changes in the chemical makeup in the brain that the drug creates. Some of the psychological and physical side effects include:
- Difficulty with thinking straight
- Slurred and slowed speech
- Poor memoryBad judgment
- Mood changes and mood swings
- Decreased attention span
- Poor performance
- Decrease in social skills
- Drug craving
- Decreased enjoyment out of life
Benzo Abuse Treatment Program at Evoke Wellness at Cohasset
Even though these four benzos are considered the weakest, there is still a high number of people who abuse them for recreational use. If you or someone you love has developed abuse or addiction to any benzodiazepine, Evoke Wellness at Cohasset is here to help. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for those struggling with a substance abuse disorder. Benzo abuse of any kind is considered risky and should be treated in a facility with medical professionals and staff. With the help of our team of therapists, we offer one-on-one group therapy and many other specialized options to fit each person’s needs. Treatment requires a multi-layered approach for maximum success. Our admissions counselors and professionals are available around the clock. We are ready to help you get off benzos and get your life back on track.