What Is Benzo Dope?
Recently, the popularity of a new street drug, “benzo dope,” has become increasingly prevalent and piqued interest on social media. It’s a powder or pill that contains one or several benzodiazepines, or “benzos,” and fentanyl.
Benzo dope poses significant health threats because of the combination of two central nervous system depressants, benzos and opioids. Central nervous system (CNS) depressants are the most common cause of respiratory depression, which results in opioid overdoses.
Benzodiazepines cause more intense CNS depressant effects when taken with opioids. Additionally, researchers have discovered benzos in illicit opioid supplies. This may mean people are taking benzodiazepines with illicit opioids unknowingly.
What is Benzo Dope?
Benzo dope is a new drug found a lot through drug testing and samples from overdose cases. It is an illicitly manufactured benzodiazepine and opioid combination. The artificial drug contains fentanyl, Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, and sometimes other illegal drugs.
Fentanyl Prevalence in the United States
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid present in 80% of illicit drug deaths. The increased presence of fentanyl in the United States drug supply directly links to these statistics. Today, in most of the country, it’s more common to find fentanyl than heroin and other opioids.
The prevalence of fentanyl continues to rise in the US and throughout North America since its introduction in the late 2000s. In 2021, almost 14% of opioid-related overdose deaths also involved benzos.
Fentanyl drug users may experience seizures, coma, respiratory depression, and low blood pressure leading to an increased risk of death. When someone mixes fentanyl with alcohol or other substances, it becomes more powerful, making it harder to handle a medical emergency.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Narcan, a fast-acting medication that reverses overdoses caused by opioids. Naloxone, the generic drug name for Narcan, is an opioid antagonist. Therefore, it can help with an opioid overdose reversal, but it doesn’t treat the effects of benzodiazepines.
Benzo Dope May Be Replacing Fentanyl
Benzo dope is emerging as the new fentanyl. As fentanyl spreads in opioids, dealers and makers keep looking for a more potent, enjoyable drug. This has caused an increase in opioids testing positive for benzodiazepines and the introduction of many fentanyl drug combinations.
They include benzo dope, “SCRA-dope” (fentanyl with synthetic cannabinoids), and tranq dope (fentanyl and xylazine).
Because fentanyl targets opioid receptors in the brain that control emotions, like an opioid, the drug acts as a painkiller. Fentanyl is a selective opioid antagonist that activates the same brain receptors.
Benzo Dope and Tranq Dope
Besides benzo dope, authorities have identified other substances, such as tranq dope, in fentanyl-related deaths.
Tranq dope is a mixture of fentanyl and xylazine, a veterinary tranquilizer. According to the CDC, xylazine overdose deaths in 2021 were 35 times higher than in 2018 and are increasingly found in opioid overdose deaths.
Benzo dope and tranq dope are both extremely dangerous because both of these new poly-drug formulations are combined with two CNS depressants.
Drug Addiction Treatment in Chatsworth, California
Approximately 220 people die in the US every day from overdosing on opioids. Mixing opioids and benzos significantly increases the risk of overdose.
People who use drugs are taking severe health risks. Benzo dope contains two potent sedatives that cause respiratory depression, making it hard to breathe. This is the primary cause of overdose deaths.
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Ongoing Support and Recovery
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