According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a “relapsing” disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.
One of the most prescribed drugs on the market are Benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines, or “benzos,” uniquely impact GABA-A, causing unique mental and physical effects on those using the drug. Benzos are very helpful in the treatment of many mental illnesses and sleep disorders, which is why they are so commonly prescribed. However, how these drugs impact brain chemistry can quickly cause dependence and addiction. This is especially true when they are used improperly or illegally. This is why the drug is prescribed for short-term use only.
How is Benzodiazepine Strength Measured?
Like all different kinds of prescription medications, benzodiazepine drugs are made for different levels of efficacy and potency. The potency, or effectiveness, of the drug, is considered the strongest. For example, Ativan is one of the most potent drugs out there on the market, offering a maximum half-life of 24 hours with only takes 30 minutes to be able to feel its effects.
The more potent a benzodiazepine, the faster you will feel its effects, and the more it will produce the sedative-like and calming effects that these drugs are known for. How long these drugs will last before you need another dose is referred to as the half-life of the drug.
Most people who abuse benzos choose the ones that are higher in potency and take a shorter time to feel the effects. A short-acting drug like Xanax is popular because of the rapid, intense buzz that results. The popular, stronger benzodiazepines are also more addictive than low-potency drugs, but any of them could lead to addiction when abused.
For those who have a history of addiction or those who know they have addictive tendencies, understanding the available strengths and what the drug can do is important, even before taking them as prescribed.
List Of Benzodiazepines From Strongest To Weakest
Benzodiazepines are all created with different levels of potency and efficacy. Their half-life, or how long they last, will vary based on how they are made and their intended uses. Keep in mind, of course, that even the lowest-strength benzodiazepine medications can still be highly addictive.
Although most individuals who use benzos to get high prefer the stronger, shorter-acting drugs, all of them are rated as Schedule IV controlled substances and should be considered dangerous outside of a carefully monitored prescription use.
Here is a list of benzodiazepines in order from strongest to weakest.
- High-potency, Long-acting Benzodiazepines:
- Klonopin (clonazepam)
- High-potency, Short-acting Benzodiazepines:
- Xanax (alprazolam)
- Ativan (lorazepam)
- Halcion (triazolam)
- Medium-strength, Medium-acting Benzodiazepines:
- One (clobazam)
- Low-Potency, Short-acting Benzodiazepines:
- Serax (oxazepam)
- Restoril (temazepam)
- Low-Potency, Long-acting Benzodiazepines:
- Librium (chlordiazepoxide)
- Tranxene (clorazepate)
- Valium (diazepam)
- Dalmane/Dalmadorm (flurazepam)
No matter the strength, the potency, how long the benzodiazepine lasts, or how fast it takes effect, they are all capable of causing dependency and addiction. This is where Allure Detox can help.
The health threat posed by withdrawal is one of the main reasons a benzo detox is necessary. Our team performs benzo detox on a medical basis, prescribing replacement drugs on a decreasing schedule until the withdrawal symptoms dissipate. It is incredibly difficult for a long-term benzo user to stop on his or her own.
Treatment for Benzodiazepine Addiction
Allure’s Medical detox allows the benzo user to continue his or her life during the process. The patient leaves our program stabilized, in good health, and ready to start their lives over again.