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What are Benzodiazepines?

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What are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are available on doctor’s prescription in the Netherlands. They are sleep and sedatives such as Valium (Diazepam) and Seresta (Oxazepam) and these drugs are usually prescribed mainly for patients with mental health problems. Users also sometimes take benzodiazepines to promote sleep, but doctors are not likely to write prescriptions for this purpose. Benzodiazepines have the image of being highly addictive. This explains why doctors are therefore very reluctant to prescribe these medications and they make sure that their patients have the drugs at their disposal for only a short period of time.

Within Research Chemicals, variations of these Benzodiazepines have been developed over the years. These drugs are offered under the collective name “New Benzodiazepines” and are also known among users as “designer Benzos” or “RC Benzos.” These drugs reduce feelings such as anxiety and panic, or are used as drugs that promote sleep. New benzodiazepines include several types such as: Bromazolam, Etizolam, Norflurazepam and Flubromazepam. There are currently about 30 different variants in circulation in Europe.

The effects of these drugs can vary enormously: some focus primarily on relaxing muscles or reducing anxiety, while others are actually used as sleep aids. Also, the drugs differ among themselves in strength and duration of action. We can say, however, that all new Benzodiazepines have sedative, tranquilizing effects. They can help with falling asleep, or sleeping through.

The duration of action and effects of different types of Benzodiazepines


Operating time: 8-12 hours
Effects and side effects: Users of Bromazolam experience the calming effects of the product, as they experience lesser anxiety and muscle weakness. There is also a marked effect on sleep; one falls asleep quickly and the duration of sleep is longer. A pitfall can be that users re-take the drug later in the day; this can cause blackouts. They feel somewhat dazed and forgetful. This effect can persist even a day later.


Working time: 12-24 hours
Effects and side effects: Users of Flubromazepam report experiencing reduced feelings of anxiety. In addition, they fall asleep faster than normal. Again, topping up an additional dose can prolong the effects for several days. This can be detrimental to health and is suspected to have an adverse effect on the heart.


Operating time: 4-8 hours
Effects and side effects: Users of Flunitrazolam say the drug works very well for falling asleep. This is also reflected in the relatively short duration of action of the drug. Flunitrazolam appears to do its job after only a small amount is taken. Therefore, it is advisable not to take too much of the product to avoid blackouts. The drug is seen as the successor to the already banned Etizolam.

Flubrotizolam (FANAX)

Operating time: 18-36 hours
Effects and side effects: This drug is a derivative of Alprazolam or XANAX. This product is better known to many users as FANAX. The drug has a calming effect and is used to treat anxiety and insomnia. However, it is also known to have a longer duration of action than traditional Benzodiazepines. Users should be aware of this and factor in this time. Flubrotizolam is common as a pellet that can be broken into quarters, allowing the user to determine their own dosage.


Operating time: 6-10 hours
Effects and side effects: Users experience that the drug causes the body to relax and anxiety to disappear. Sometimes it is literally experienced that arms and legs feel limp. In addition, it can interrogate sleep readiness somewhat. As with the other Benzodiazepines, with this drug there is the danger of blackouts when taken in too high a dose or frequently.


Operating time: 10-16 hours
Effects and side effects: Online reports frequently compare this product to Etizolam and Valium. The drug is somewhat similar to Valium for its slightly euphoric effect, unlike XANAX which is more narcotic. It has a calming effect as well as muscle relaxation. Norflurazepam is known for a long period of possible after-effects.

Benzodiazepines and alcohol

Alcohol and Benzodiazepines reinforce each other’s narcotic effect. This can lead to dangerous situations, so a combination of both drugs is definitely not recommended. The danger lies in the breakdown process in the body. Both alcohol and Benzos must be broken down in the body by the liver. The combination can make this process much slower. This can result in blackouts, or life-threatening situations.

The after-effects of benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are used for their sedative, narcotic effects. They can last a very long time, leaving the user still experiencing intoxication, or a hazy feeling, a day later. Some have the impression of being completely sober again, when this is not yet the case. This can lead to dangerous situations. With officially prescribed Benzodiazepines, driving a vehicle one to several days after use is not permitted for this reason.

Are benzodiazepines addictive?

As described earlier, doctors in the Netherlands are very reluctant to prescribe Benzodiazepines because of their addictive effects. With regular use, the effect will diminish, so a user will need more of the drug to experience the same effect. After frequent use, physical dependence may occur. It can be very dangerous in such a case to stop suddenly then, because of severe withdrawal symptoms. Addicts will need to taper off their consumption in a controlled manner with the help of a primary care physician or addiction counselor. Users who take non-prescribed new Benzodiazepines on their own initiative will need to keep a very deliberate finger on the pulse themselves.


Over the years, several Benzodiazepines have been included in List II of the Opium Act. Making, possessing or selling them is prohibited. These include such variants as: Clonazolam, Diclazepam, Etizolam, Fenazepam, Flualprazolam and Flubromazolam. However, many new Benzodiazepines are not (yet) banned. They are covered by the Commodities Act and are freely available.