HSSA 101 winter 2010
Term paper Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines are by far the most widely used sedative-hypnotic in the united states.(uppers downers all arounders) this class of drugs was developed in the 1950s as an alternative to barbiturates. Because they have a fairly large margin of safety, many healthcare professionals initially overlooked their peculiarities: the length of time they last in the body tissues, their ability to induce tissue dependence at low levels of use, and the severity of withdrawal from the drug. For these reasons almost all recommendations for use today emphasize that they should be used short term and for specific conditions, not as long term medications.
The most widely used benzodiazepines are alprazolam(Xanax 34 million prescriptions) razepam(ativan-19 million) clonezepam(Klonopin-16.7 million) Diazepam(Valium-12million) and temazepam( Restoril-7.6 million).(uppers downers all arounders).
Medically benzodiazepines are used to: provide short term treatment for the symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders; control anxiety and apprehension in surgical patients and diminish traumatic memories of the procedure; treat sleep problems; control skeletal muscular spasms; elevate the seizure threshold and control seizures; and control acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome. (Uppers downers all arounders) .
The effects of these drugs are very similar to those of alcohol, they are sometimes used for the same reasons a person drinks. A double – blind study on non-drug addicts compared the effects of low dose diazepam injections and alcohol injections. The subjects found the high from each of the drugs to be very similar; however , higher dose diazepam produced more physical impairment( Schuckit,Greenblatt, gold,1991)
Benzodiazepines alone can be abused but they are most often abused with other drugs. Methamphetamine and cocaine abusers often take them to come down from excess stimulation. This combination is...
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