Street Names for Benzodiazepines (Benzos)

street names for benzodiazepines

Street Names for Benzodiazepines (Benzos)

Oftentimes, people give drugs “street names” that may sound so inconspicuous that you wouldn’t know they were referring to a drug. Take cocaine, for example, which is often referred to as “snow” or “white girl”. While some people may have heard these street names before, the average person wouldn’t know these terms referred to an illicit drug. There are a variety of reasons drug dealers and users may use a street name, including diverting attention from peers and remaining undetected by police.

Benzodiazepines, a type of prescription medication with a high potential for abuse, are no exception. In fact, there are a variety of benign-sounding street names for benzodiazepines (also known as benzos). Because street names are a large aspect of drug abuse culture, it is important to know and understand different names for drugs. In doing so, you may help friends or loved ones who are tempted to abuse benzodiazepines and other illicit substances.

What are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs usually prescribed for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, or seizures. Unfortunately, there is a high potential for abuse and addiction concerning benzodiazepines. In fact, even individuals who are prescribed this medication by a doctor are at risk of developing dependency and addiction.


This drug relaxes the muscles, has sedative effects, and works as a hypnotic or anticonvulsant. While there are a variety of different brand names, each medication falls under the benzodiazepine drug class.

Some of the common brand names of benzodiazepines include:

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Klonopin
  • Ativan
  • Restoril
  • Librium

Even when prescribed, these narcotic medications carry serious side-effects. The common side-effects of benzodiazepines include:

  • Sedation
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Memory loss
  • A decrease in blood pressure
  • Respiratory concerns, such as respiratory distress

Also, one of the biggest concerns associated with benzo abuse is the risk of overdose. An individual who abuses benzos or mixes them with other substances is at an increased risk of overdosing. The signs of benzodiazepine overdose include extreme drowsiness, trouble staying awake, slurred speech or confusion, agitation, lack of muscle coordination, and coma. If you or a loved one are experiencing a benzodiazepine overdose, you must seek medical intervention immediately. Without proper medical attention, a benzo overdose may become fatal.

What are the Street Names for Benzodiazepines?

If you are concerned about a friend or a loved one’s benzodiazepine abuse, the best thing to do is become educated about their addiction and how you can help. To begin, being aware of the street names associated with benzodiazepines will help you to identify if your friend or loved one is abusing this drug.

Benzodiazepine medications are prescribed for legitimate medical reasons. However, many individuals become addicted to these medications, often causing them to run out of their monthly supply and turn to street dealers for relief. Unfortunately, many drug dealers sell fake benzos or pressed pills containing an alternative substance. Oftentimes, these pressed, faux-benzodiazepines contain a dangerous substance known as fentanyl. Therefore, obtaining benzodiazepines off of the street puts individuals at serious risk for adverse effects, including fentanyl-induced overdose and death.

Common street names for benzodiazepines will vary depending on the specific type of benzo.

Street names for Xanax include:

  • Xannies
  • Bars
  • Xanbars
  • Planks
  • Bricks
  • Upjohn
  • School Bus

Common street names for Klonopin include:

  • K
  • K-pin
  • Super Valium
  • Pin

Street names for Valium may include:

  • Benzos
  • V’s
  • Yellow V’s
  • Blue V’s
  • Downers
  • Tranqs
  • Sleep Always
  • Howards
  • Old Joes

Slang names for Librium and Ativan are typically the same as common street names for benzodiazepines in general, including:

  • Benzos
  • Downers
  • Nerve Pills
  • Tranks or tranqs

The more knowledge you retain about benzodiazepine abuse and the street names that your loved one might use to cover up their substance use, the better prepared you will be to provide help.

Common Signs of Benzo Abuse

Oftentimes, individuals abusing benzodiazepines will attempt to conceal their usage from friends, coworkers, and family members. As a result, spotting a benzo addiction may be difficult. However, there are a few tell-tale signs associated with benzodiazepine abuse and addiction. Many people who abuse benzos engage in risk-taking behavior, attend several doctor’s offices to attempt to obtain more than one prescription (doctor shopping), and suffer from rapidly changing moods.

Also, the common signs of benzodiazepine abuse may include:

  • Weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Poor judgment or thinking
  • Asking friends, family, colleagues, and/or classmates for their benzodiazepine pills
  • Wanting to cut back on the volume of abuse but not being able to do so
  • Mood changes
  • Anorexia
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Memory problems
  • Risk-taking behaviors, such as driving after abusing benzodiazepines
  • Combining benzodiazepines with alcohol or other drugs

Over time, individuals abusing benzodiazepines will develop tolerance. This means the person requires a higher dose of benzos to reach a familiar high. Unfortunately, once an individual has developed tolerance, a dependency is also likely. Individuals who are dependent upon benzos cannot function normally without the medication in their system. If an individual dependent upon benzos suddenly ceases use, they will experience symptoms of withdrawal.

If you or a loved one have developed tolerance, dependence, or the emergence of benzo withdrawal symptoms, you must attend a professional detox and rehab program.

Treatment for Benzodiazepine Addiction

At Florida Recovery Group, we provide our patients with a full continuum of care that includes all of the important elements of a substance abuse treatment plan. In other words, our patients have access to 24/7 medical attention and mental health aid. Additionally, our team of addiction specialists and mental health experts carefully craft an individualized treatment plan for each patient who walks through our doors. In doing so, our patients are guaranteed to receive the help they need.

If you or a loved one suffer from benzodiazepine addiction or abuse, contact us today.