Often called benzos, this category of prescription pills, when properly used, are intended to assuage anxiety and a handful of other psychological conditions. The most commonly abused ones are Klonopin, Xanax, and Valium, although there are plenty more. They affect the part of your brain that transmits sedative, hypnotic (not like a magician, the scientific meaning is “sleep-inducing”), and muscle-relaxing signals to your body. People who use them for psychological treatment take different amounts of each one, depending on what they are: clonazepam, the generic for Klonopin, and Alprazolam, the generic for Xanax, are typically taken in .25–1 mg per person, while diazepam, the generic for Valium, is usually administered in doses of about 5 mg; but there are lots of other kinds of benzos, the safe dosages of which vary. This is one of the reasons that anyone who takes prescription pills recreationally absolutely must use an online pill finder in order to make sure that they’re taking an amount that is, at the very least, non-lethal—although, honestly, that isn’t ever guaranteed when people take medications which they’re not prescribed. Only a doctor (a good one—some doctors are really shady!) can accurately tell someone what their reaction might be to any medication, and I doubt it’s easy to find a doctor who’s willing to oversee a teenager’s recreational drug abuse. Taking a prescription that has someone else’s name on the bottle is fairly dangerous no matter what.
People take benzos because they’re intensely relaxing and can relieve stress or fear. Since their official job is wiping away anxiety, which basically everyone on the planet has to varying degrees, they’re very popular with recreational drug users. The difference between people who take them because they need them and those who take them to enjoy themselves is pretty clear: for example, I am prescribed Klonopin in order to sleep at night instead of frantically reviewing until sunup the many ways in which the next 30 years of my life might possibly go wrong; whereas people who don’t suffer from a similar level of anxiety take them to go to parties. Big difference, no?
The biggest danger in taking benzos recreationally is that people like to DRINK on them, which is boneheaded for many reasons, the first of which is that benzos intensify regular drunkenness to a dangerous level—like, a black-out-and-choke-on-your-own-vomit level. I don’t understand this thinking at all—aren’t drunk people slurry and misguided in their decision-making enough already? It’s just unnecessary, not to mention beyond unsafe. Do. Not. Do. This—seriously. Even having one drink on benzos makes people act something like this, which is rarely as hysterical as Kristen Wiig makes it look, but definitely just as embarrassing: