Pop Quiz: Let’s Test Your Benzo Knowledge

Put your benzo knowledge to the test by taking our pop quiz!

In 2013, 13.5 million adults filled a benzodiazepine prescription in the US. These drugs are used to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia and seizures. They are also highly addictive and frequently abused.

How much do you know about this class of drugs? Take the following quiz to find out.


How many people overdose on benzos in the US each year?

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The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports nearly 9,000 people in the US died of benzodiazepine overdose in 2015. This figure has more than quadrupled since 2002.


What drugs are deadly to mix with benzos?

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Opioids and alcohol. Opioids, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone, slow the central nervous system, which controls breathing. Alcohol is a depressant which relaxes muscles and slows down your system.

Benzos are also designed to depress your central nervous system. When taken together, each drug’s effects are enhanced. Breathing may slow to dangerous levels or cease altogether. This can result in overdose, coma, or death.


What are the most widely abused benzos?

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The three most commonly abused benzos are:

  1. Xanax (Alprazolam)
  2. Ativan (Lorazepam)
  3. Valium (Diazepam)


Can you legally drive while using benzos?

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Benzos can impair your ability to drive safely. Even if used legally, instructions on the prescription typically warn against operating a vehicle while taking the medication. Driving under the influence of benzos can result in DUI charges.


How long does it take to detox from benzos?

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Benzo withdrawal has two phases. The first acute phase lasts seven to 90 days. Short-acting drugs like Xanax have a shorter acute phase, closer to seven days. Long-acting benzos, such as Valium, can cause withdrawal symptoms for up to 90 days. The second phase – Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) – can last up to two years. Symptoms usually include a slight increase in anxiety and insomnia.


How do benzos work in the body?

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Benzodiazepines enhance your neurotransmitter, GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid). This chemical helps direct your brain and the rest of your central nervous system. By enhancing the GABA, benzos create a sedative, hypnotic, anti-anxiety, relaxed state.


Who should not take benzos?

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Experts advise those who have a history of alcoholism or drug addiction to avoid taking benzodiazepines. The elderly also face increased risk under the influence of benzos, including falls, cognitive disturbance and heightened chance of dementia. Additionally, benzos should not be used during pregnancy. They can cause birth defects or other problems with the baby.


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