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Classification: Psychoactive sedative

Commercial Names: Valium, Rohypnol, Ativan, Xanax, Halcion, Paxipam, Restorial, and hundreds of others

Common Names/Nicknames: Benzos, BZDs, candy, downers, sleeping pills, tranks, bullets, roofies

Active Compound: Diazepam (Valium), flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), and hundreds of others

Found in: Prescription benzodiazepenes

Mode of Consumption: Ingestion, injection, insufflation

DEA Scheduling/Legal Status (in US): Schedule IV; legal with prescription, often with restrictions or regulations


Relaxation, reduced anxiety, drowsiness


Loss of coordination, memory impairment, decreased learning potential, anxiety, nightmares, respiratory depression, hostility, rage.

Inhalation (smoking): emphysema, lung damage (talcosis); Injection: lung damage (talcosis)

Dangerous Drug Combinations:

Potentially fatal combination with alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, inhalants, and other respiratory depressants.

Special Considerations:

Associated with sexual assaults and/or rape (particularly flunitrazepam [Rohypnol] due to its high potency).

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And remember, if somebody may need help, play it safe and call for medical assistance.

“Students may bring an intoxicated or drug-impaired friend to University Health Services or to a hospital, or seek assistance from College residential life staff or HUPD, and by doing this, neither they nor the friend will face disciplinary action from the College for having used or provided alcohol or drugs.”

                                                                                    The Amnesty Policy

                                                                                    Harvard College Student Handbook



Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy (Third Edition), by Cynthia Kuhn, Scott Swartzwelder, and Wilkie Wilson. Published 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company.


National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.



U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), part of the U.S. Department of Justice.



Erowid Organization


Permanent link to this article: http://www.harvarddapa.org/drug-ipedia/sedatives/benzodiazepene/