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Benzodiazepines

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Are benzodiazepines a problem for you?
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What are benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are a group of drugs called minor tranquillisers, often known as benzos. These drugs are prescribed by a doctor to help people with anxiety or sleep problems. There are about 30 different types (generic names) of benzodiazepines. Each one of these generic drugs may be sold under several different brand names – all the same drug, but made by different companies.

Download the benzodiazepines fact sheet


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Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines

(C9H8N2)

They come in the form of tablets or capsules and some are available for intravenous use in hospital settings. These are a very dangerous group of drugs when taken in high doses and/or mixed with other drugs and can cause an overdose or death.

Immediate effects can include

  • cannot judge distances or movement properly
  • feel relaxed / reduced anxiety
  • feel drowsy, sleepy or tired
  • cannot remember things from just a short time ago

Effects depend on...

What benzodiazepines do to you depends on how many tablets and what dose you take, how often and how long you have been taking them, your height and weight, whether you use benzodiazepines on their own or with other drugs and the method of use. 

The effects can also depend on your general health, your mood and your past experience with benzodiazepines. 

  • have no energy
  • become confused or dizzy
  • feel really good
  • have mood swings
  • slur your words or stutter
  • have blurred or double vision
  • do risky things

How benzodiazepines affect your body

Tap a body part to learn more of the effects benzodiazepines places on your body.

Long term effects can include

  • have headaches
  • have dreams that make you feel bad
  • experience fatigue or drowsiness
  • lose interest in sex, or your body won't work properly during sex
  • have no energy or interest in doing every day activities
  • be cranky
  • feel sick in the stomach
  • get skin rashes
  • be more hungry and put on weight
  • have menstrual problems (women)
  • be depressed
  • experience unpleasant withdrawal effects

General information

Are Benzodiazepines a problem for you?

See full support list
  • Whether you are having issues with alcohol or other drugs, are concerned about someone else’s alcohol or other drug use, or just have general questions about alcohol or other drugs, you can call ADIS any time of the day or week for support, information, counselling and referral to services in NSW.

    ADIS Web Chat is also available from Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm (including public holidays).

    24 hour support line

    1800 250 015

    More about Alcohol Drug Information Service (ADIS) NSW
  • The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change lives in many different ways, to support the community we have developed a range of alcohol and other drug specific resources to help you with accessing services and support you with any stress and anxiety you may be experiencing. We will continue to update this page as new resources and information becomes available.

    For general updates, advice and facts visit COVID-19 (coronavirus) and follow NSW Health on Facebook and Twitter.

    On this page

    1. Impact on alcohol and other drug services
    2. Managing your use of alcohol
    3. Dealing with aggression in the home
    4. Looking after your mental and physical health

    Impact on alcohol and other drug services

    As the COVID-19 pandemic develops, NSW Health is working with local health districts, non-government organisation (NGO), alcohol and other drug (AOD) services and community pharmacies to ensure continuity of service. For full details visit Guidance for AOD Services about COVID-19 on the NSW Health website. For information on access to free naloxone (opioid overdose reversing medicine), visit 'Take home naloxone – a key component in COVID-19 preparedness'.

    Managing your use of alcohol

    NSW Health have launched the new free smartphone app, Drinks Meter. The app is a useful tool in this time of social distancing and isolation as it provides you with an opportunity to manage your alcohol consumption in times of stress and anxiety.

    The Get Healthy Service Alcohol Reduction Program is also available for people who want to reduce their alcohol consumption to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and a healthier lifestyle. The Alcohol Reduction Program is open to anyone aged 18 years and over.

    Dealing with aggression in the home

    A new suite of resources have been developed to support families who may experience risk to themselves or others as a result of alcohol or drug related aggression in the home. The three guides are written for teenagers, adults, professionals and people concerned about the safety of young children. Read about the guides and access the online versions at Managing AOD related aggression: New practical guides for families.

    Looking after your mental and physical health

    In this time of unprecedented concern about our collective health and livelihoods, it is more important than ever to remain socially connected and physically healthy. For more advice and tips to keep healthy read Maintaining happiness amid global anxiety and Soothing COVID-19 isolation anxiety.


    More about COVID-19 Support
  • The Alcohol & Drug Information Service (ADIS) Web Chat is a live online conversation with a professional counsellor. The service is free, confidential and open to anyone affected by alcohol and other drugs, including people concerned about their own use, or about a family member or friend. Web chat is only available for people living in NSW.

    The service is provided by ADIS at St Vincent's Hospital, in partnership with the NSW Ministry of Health.

    What to expect

    • A counsellor will chat with you about your alcohol or other drug concerns
    • A counsellor can provide a referral or contact information for relevant alcohol and drug services in NSW

    To start a web chat counselling session read and accept the 'Terms and Conditions of Use' below.

    Alternatively, if you would like to speak to a drug and alcohol counsellor over the phone, please call the National Alcohol and Other Drug helpline on 1800 250 015 which will direct you to your state service. The helpline is available 24/7 for anonymous and confidential support.

    Emergency Assistance

    Call Emergency Services on 000 if you:

    • require urgent medical attention or 
    • are in immediate danger or 
    • are at risk of harming yourself or someone else.

    Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm (including public holidays)

    Web Chat

    More about ADIS Web Chat
  • Your Service Hub is an online directory of alcohol and other drugs support, health and welfare services. If you need support for your own or someone else's substance use, you should use terms in Find Services like:

    • drug and alcohol family support

    • drug and alcohol Aboriginal services 

    • drug counselling

    • drug and alcohol rehabilitation

    • drug and alcohol residential treatment

    along with your suburb name to narrow the search to services near you.

    Not sure what service you need? Call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service on 1800 250 015.

    More about Your Service Hub
  • The NSW Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) is an evidence-based public health program that aims to reduce the transmission of infections such as HIV and hepatitis C among people who inject drugs. NSP outlets provide sterile injecting equipment such as needles and syringes, Fitpacks and other injecting equipment (such as swabs, water, spoons and cotton balls) as well as disposal facilities free of charge.

    NSP outlets are staffed by specialist workers who provide access to sterile injecting equipment, promote safe disposal practices and facilitate referrals to health, welfare and community services as needed. NSP outlets may also be able to assist with testing for bloodborne viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C. You may not even require a blood test such as with the Dried Blood Spot (DBS) test. Ask your NSP staff member or visit dbstest.health.nsw.gov.au for more information. 

    Who is the program for?

    The NSP is for people who inject drugs to avoid contracting or transmitting bloodborne diseases and to provide a place for safe disposal of sharps containers (needles and syringes).

    NSP Outlets in NSW

    To help the community access the program, an interactive map has been developed listing all public NSP outlets across NSW. Use the map below to find your nearest NSP outlet or refer to the NSP listing by suburb page for details.

    If you would like further information and/or advice call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 250 015.

    More about NSW Needle and Syringe Program (NSP)
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