Benzodiazepines, often referred to as “bennies,” are a series of sedatives used to treat anxiety, panic attacks, short-term sleep disorders, insomnia, and seizures. While there are a number of prescription drugs in this category that are abused, the two most commonly abused drugs, accounting for 77.46-77.6% of all police seizures from January-June in 2003-2004, are Valium® and Xanax®. Abuse of “bennies” often leads to suicide (11% of men and 23% of women), serious mental illness, social deterioration, and cerebral atrophy. Users might also display the physical signs of alcoholism. Nearly half of the drug abuse related emergency visits involving benzodiazepines are the result of suicide attempts. The highest rates of benzodiazepine abuse are among people aged 26-44, but abuse among the 18-19 year-old population increased between 1995 and 2002. This class of drug is among the primary pharmaceutical drugs abused in the state of Indiana. Benzodiazepines are a Schedule IV controlled substance.
Typical Street Names
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