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Benzodiazepines Category: Depressants

Also called: benzos, sleepers, moggies, roofies, downers, eggs, rugby balls, D5s, D10s, roch, Xan, Street tablets, Xanax sticks

Benzodiazepines (benzos) are a group of prescription drugs used to treat anxiety and depression.

There are many different types of benzos. They range from short, medium and long-lasting

They are prescribed by doctors for a short period (2-4 weeks) to treat anxiety and sometimes insomnia. They are a prescription-only medication but are known to be sold illegally from dealers and online markets.

The varities available on the market from dealers can vary in contents and purity. Recently in Ireland, we have found 'fake' or 'new' benzodiazepines to contain new substances and mixtures of substances increasing the risks for people.


They come as a tablet, capsule, injection or suppository (tablets inserted into the bottom). They can also come as ‘sticks’. They come in a wide variety of colours and in different doses.

Short-term effects

Drugs can effect each person differently. The effects will depend on personal factors such as your physical and mental health as well as the dose and potency of a substance. You could react differently depending on what type of benzodiazepine you have taken or if the prpduct contains other substances without you knowing. 

Below are common effects and risks.

Long-term effects

Other risks


If you use benzos during pregnancy, there is a higher risk of your baby being born with a cleft palate (an abnormality of the lip or mouth). Using high doses before you deliver can seriously affect your baby’s breathing at birth and may kill them. Your baby may have withdrawal for up to 2-4 weeks after delivery and may find it difficult to suck. Your baby may be at greater risk of cot death.


Tolerance to benzodiazepines can develop quickly. This can lead to people using more. This increases the risk of dependency and overdose.


It can be dangerous to suddenly stop taking benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be dangerous, especially if you have been using frequently or high doses. Symptoms can include anxiety, confusion and serious convulsions (‘benzo fits’). These can be dangerous and you may need medical help.

It is important to get medical support if you want to reduce or stop use. This could be provided in the community or through a residential facility. 

How long does it stay in your system?

Benzodiazepines will show up in a urine test for 2-28 days. (The length of time depends on the test used, the amount you take, if you have other medical conditions and your own metabolism. Please use this figure as a guide only.)

New or 'fake' Benzodiazepines

Learn more about the current risks here

Other information

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