In our fast paced world, it’s common to need a tranquilizer from time to time. You might have stress about work, family responsibilities, or finances. If you go to your doctor or psychiatrist, he or she might prescribe a tranquilizer to help ease your anxiety.

Essentially there are two forms of tranquilizers – major and minor. The major tranquilizers are often used as psychotropic medication, meaning they are frequently used to treat mental illness, including schizophrenia. Some examples of major tranquilizers include:

  • -Mellaril
  • -Haldol
  • -Navane
  • -Thorazine
  • -Prolixin


The minor tranquilizers are known as benzodiazepines. They are prescribed not so much in treatment mental illness, but instead for addiction withdrawal symptoms. Benzodiazepines are also prescribed when people have a persistent sense of anxiety, such as described above. Examples of minor tranquilizers include:

  • -Valium (diazepam)
  • -Ativan (lorazepam)
  • -Xanax (alprazolam)
  • -Klonopin or Rivotril (clonazepam)
  • -Restoril (temazepam)
  • -Rohypnol (flunitrazepam)
  • -Dalmane (flurazepam)
  • -Imovane (zopiclone)
  • -Ambien (zoldipem)
  • -Lunesta (eszopiclone)


The risk with Benzodiazepines, however, is that they are highly addictive. Benzodiazepines have a relatively high dependence rating of 1.89 on a 3 point scale. Yet, if a recovering addict can take Benzodiazepines as prescribed, they usually won’t experience the risk of addiction.

Because tranquilizers are often prescribed so readily combined with their high addictive quality, it’s easy to develop an addiction. This is particularly true if a growing tolerance develops to the drug. For instance, if someone appreciates the effects of tranquilizers and doesn’t like their experience when the drug wears off, he or she might take the drug more often than prescribed. This might lead to developing a tolerance, which is a need for greater amounts of the drug to produce the same effects. This can lead to both a physical as well as a psychological addiction. Also, it’s common for people to use tranquilizers as a means for escaping physical and emotional pain. It doesn’t take long for some people to get trapped in the cycle of needing tranquilizers to feel good about their lives.

Some signs of a developing addiction to tranquilizers include:

  • -Increased sleepiness
  • -Shaky hands
  • -Difficulty concentrating
  • -Rapid heartbeat, irregular heart rate
  • -Irregular respiratory rates or depressed breathing
  • -Memory loss or confusion
  • -Dulled emotional responses
  • -Dizziness, Nausea
  • -In cases of overdose, death


Sadly, if an addiction does develop, the withdrawal process from tranquilizers can be severe. It’s necessary to acquire professional help when attempting to end an addiction to tranquilizers. There is a significant risk of seizure, strokes, heart attacks, or hallucinations if the withdrawal from tranquilizers happens suddenly. The irony of tranquilizers is that they’re prescribed for anxiety and sleep. But the longer you take them the more they increase your anxiety and disturb your sleep.

If you’re addicted to tranquilizers, benzodiazepines, or sleeping pills, you’re going to have to go through a withdrawal process, as you would any other drug. During detox you will be medically tended to so that your psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms do not become too severe. In fact, in some cases, there may be safe medication that you can take that can minimize the effects of the withdrawal process.

If you would like to prevent the challenges of taking tranquilizers, the best choice is to avoid them altogether. Keeping yourself safe through abstinence is always best. However, if you and your doctor feel that you need them, then be sure to take them as prescribed. Also, pay attention to your choices and behaviors from the past. Do you tend to act compulsively and impulsively? If so, stay in close communication with your doctor, follow the prescription closely, and seek help when you need it. Being very careful with the use of tranquilizers can prevent an addiction from developing.

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