16 Aug What is Etizolam?
Etizolam, sometimes marketed under the trade names Etilaam, Etizola and Sedekopan, is a benzodiazepine-analog drug that causes sedative-hypnotic effects in the user. The word “analog” refers to the fact that the chemical composition of the substance is extremely similar, yet not identical, to its benzodiazepine counterparts, such as Valium and Xanax. As Etizolam shares the beneficial side effects of these drugs, it also shares their negative ones as well such as physical dependence, addiction and withdrawal. Because Etizolam is not a very widely talked about substance of abuse, this article intends to highlight some important facts about it in order to enlighten people about the potential dangers of Etizolam.
Side Effects of Etizolam
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration on Etizolam, “major adverse effects include drowsiness, sedation, muscle weakness and incoordination, fainting, headache, confusion, depression, slurred speech, visual disturbances and changes in libido and tremor.” What stands out is that these are all the same adverse side effects of similar benzodiazepines such as Xanax. If you are concerned about someone you know possibly being addicted to a benzodiazepine or an analog of one, such as Etizolam, these would be the signs you should look out for.
Legality of Etizolam
Currently, Etizolam is not scheduled in the United States federally by the DEA, though some individual states have decided to criminalize possession of the drug due to its narcotic effects. Because Etizolam is only an “analog” of other benzodiazepines, it is still available to most people in the country as a “research chemical” and can be purchased online completely legally. This is a scary fact for the public, because though technically this drug is not the same as Xanax or other benzos, it is no less dangerous. Until further research can be done into the effects of the drug, it will remain unscheduled and available for purchase by practically anyone. Other countries including Japan and Italy have controlled the production of Etizolam and realized its beneficial side effects in treating anxiety and panic disorders, though acquisition of the drug there is a highly controlled process and requires a prescription. Unfortunately for us here in the United States, the potential for abuse has not gained the spotlight in the eyes of the government and no federal substance control has been put into place, further increasing the risks of overdose and addiction to the substance.
Is Etizolam a Benzodiazepine?
Simply put, Etizolam is not a true benzodiazepine. But, it is so similar in chemical composition that it affects the human body in almost an identical fashion, with some slight differences. As opposed to Diazepam, aka Valium, Etizolam is about six times more effective at reducing anxiety and promoting sleep, while having a shorter half-life (the amount of time it takes the medication to the pass through the body.) Basically, it is more powerful and lower dosages equate to greater results compared to other benzodiazepines. This may seem like a great thing and the next big break in anxiety medication, but it has negative consequences to the recreational user and drug addict. Mainly, it takes less of the drug to become addicted due in part to the fact that it is a stronger, cheaper substitute to its counterparts.
Is Etizolam Addictive?
Some people may think that because Etizolam is not illegal, or that in some parts of the world it is even prescribed as a viable medication for treating disorders, that it is somehow safer or less addictive than other drugs. This however is not true, and just like any psychoactive substance addiction is most definitely a risk for anyone using it, even when prescribed by a doctor. Etizolam works on the same neuro-pathways and GABA receptors as other benzodiazepines do. This means that anyone with anxiety or panic disorders, or who are currently struggling with or have struggled in the past with dependence on drugs, will be at a higher risk of addiction.
Etizolam along with other research chemicals and analogs like it, are still new territory for most people. They are rather unknown characters in the grand scheme of popular culture and unfamiliar players in the world of substance abuse and treatment. This being said, we are seeing slow but steady rises in cases of people becoming dependent upon and seeking treatment for Etizolam. This trend will continue until action is taken to increase public awareness of its use and abuse and government intervention occurs making it a controlled substance federally. Regardless of legality Etizolam is addictive, and if you or someone you know is addicted to Etizolam or any other substance please seek medical guidance.