Benzodiazepines are drugs which slows down messages travelling between the brain and body. Other depressants include alcohol, cannabis and heroin. Benzodiazepines are also minor tranquillizers, usually prescribed by doctors to relieve stress and anxiety and to help people sleep. They can also be used to treat alcohol withdrawal and epilepsy. However, medical professionals have become concerned about their risks, particularly when they are used for a long time.

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