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What Is It?

Tranquilizers are used to treat anxiety or problems with sleep. They have a calming effect by depressing the nervous system in a way similar to alcohol.

The most commonly known forms of tranquilizers are the benzodiazepines (or “benzos”): including Xanax, Ativan, Valium, Halcion, Klonopin, ProSom and Librium.


Tranquilizers are frequently abused because of their ability to reduce anxiety.

Addiction develops because tolerance goes up and more and more are needed to be effective.

Besides craving the drugs, addicts can experience sleep problems, restlessness, loss of appetite and the shakes during withdrawal.

Tranquilizers are particularly dangerous in combination with other depressants, such as alcohol or barbiturates because they magnify each other’s effects.

Long-term use of some of these drugs has been associated with increased aggressiveness and significant depression.

Tranquilizers have also been associated with memory problems and brain shrinkage.