BDZ dependence develops with long-term use of benzodiazepines (BDZ), psychoactive drugs that act as sedatives or minor tranquilizers.
BDZs act on receptors on the central nervous system (CNS) and have calming, hypnotic, anti-anxiety, anti-seizure, and muscle relaxant properties. These effects make BDZs useful for the short-term treatment of anxiety, panic, agitation, insomnia, seizures, and muscle spasms.
BDZs are usually taken in pill form, but they can also be taken by injection, intravenously, or as a suppository.
According to the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, 30.6 million adults used benzodiazepines in 2015 – 2016. Approximately twice as many women as men are prescribed BDZ. It is hypothesized that this is largely because men usually turn to alcohol to cope with struggles whereas women resort to taking prescription drugs such as BDZ.