Benzodiazepines are depressants commonly used as anxiolytics, hypnotics, and anticonvulsants and work by increasing the effects of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, slowing down the activity of the brain and central nervous system.
Benzodiazepines are widely prescribed for anxiety disorders, insomnia, and other conditions that involve anxiety or muscle tension. They have a relatively low risk of overdose and are considered safer than barbiturates, which they largely replaced. However, benzodiazepines can be addictive and cause physical and psychological dependence, especially long-term use. They can also cause cognitive impairment, memory problems, and drowsiness.
Misuse of benzodiazepines can lead to serious health problems and should only be used under the supervision of a healthcare provider.