About New Benzodiazepines Category: New Psychoactive Substances
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 commonly known as: Benzo, Xanax, Tranex, Sticks,Street tablets, Xan, Up John, D5’, D 10’s
- The market is changing with falsified medication becoming more prominent in Ireland. Tablets have been found to contain risky substances or risky mixtures of substances.
- Some people may actively seek newer substances, however, what we are seeing in Ireland is that new benzos are usually bought without the person being aware from a dealer or online without a prescription.
- New benzos are appearing in 'fake' medication in tablets, sticks and on paper.
- New benzos can be newly developed substances that are often more risky, or benzos that were developed many years ago but not used medically in Ireland.
- While they are appearing in 'fake' products, they can come in a packet that looks genuine.
They are sometimes called:
- novel substances
- designer substance
- new psychoactive substances
Risks of buying benzos without a prescription
There are a number of risks if you buy benzos from a dealer or online. Risks are increased if you are sold a new benzo which may be more potent and harder for you to dose.
Potency in low doses
Tablets/sticks can be more potenct in low doses which could be as a result of a newer benzo or a combination of substances in the product increasing the risk of overdose.
Tablets can state a brand name or dose, but you still don't know what is in them or how strong they are.
Tablets could contain the ingredient you want (Xanax, valium) as well as other substances. Some tablets analysed have been found to contain a number of substances in Ireland.
You can’t be sure how you will react. You could have an adverse mental health reaction and episode of disinhibited behaviour.
If you have an existing mental health issue, you could be at greater risk. You could also feel suicidal after taking them.
Avoid using them to cope with difficult situations or if you have mental health concerns. Talk to your GP or another health professional.
New benzodizepines appearing in Ireland
New benzos have appeared within tablets/sticks on their own (for example, just Etizolam) or mixed with other substances pressed into one tablet/stick (for example Flualprazolam, Etizolam, Alprazolam).
Below are examples of what we have identified:
- Xanax sticks in a variety of colours which have been found to contain a number of substances
- Brands sold in other countries but are not licenced for sale in Ireland such as Ksalol known as 'Castles'
- Download UISCE resource 'What's on the street?'
- Download our campaign posters on new benzodiazepines
- See our 2020 feature
See HSE National Drug Treatment Centre The Emergence of New Psychoactive Substance (NPS) Benzodiazepines. A Survey of their Prevalence in Opioid
Substitution Patients using LC-MS
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