Posted on December 13, 2017 in Alcohol and Drug News

Etizolam: Overview of Effects, Uses, and Legality

You may have heard of Etizolam being used in other countries, but what about Etizolam legality in the United States? Etizolam—also known as Depas, Etilaam, Etizest, Pasaden, Etizola and Sedekopan—is a new drug that is causing quite a commotion.

Etizolam Uses

Etizolam has many chemical properties similar to those found in benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines, like Xanax, Valium and Alprazolam, are drugs that depress the central nervous system and are typically prescribed to treat common problems, such as anxiety and insomnia. However, benzodiazepines are highly addictive and have been abused recreationally for their relaxing and sedating effects.

Unlike benzodiazepines, however, Etizolam is considered a thienodiazepine. While the drug has a slightly different chemical structure than benzodiazepines, Etizolam has been used in similar capacities to treat sleep problems and anxiety disorders in countries like Japan.

Etizolam Legality

Etizolam is currently legal with a prescription in Japan, Italy and India. It can be prescribed in 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg or 1.0 mg tablets. However, it is not legal in the United States. Etizolam has not yet gone through the approval process with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so it is not available by prescription. Despite the lack of FDA approval of the drug in America, Etizolam is being smuggled into the United States in powdered form or by being transferred onto blotter paper. Currently, Etizolam is considered an illicit (illegal) drug in the United States and Europe.

Etizolam Effects

Etizolam produces effects similar to those of benzodiazepines. In most cases, Etizolam serves as an anticonvulsive and anti-anxiety medication. Overall, Etizolam users experience sedative-hypnotic effects and muscle relaxation. However, Etizolam is far more potent than the benzodiazepines with which many Americans are familiar. In clinical experiments using animal subjects, researchers found that Etizolam is 6 to 10 times stronger than diazepam (commonly known as Valium) in nearly all effects.

In addition to being far more potent than benzodiazepines, Etizolam is also extremely addictive. In studies using monkeys, Etizolam caused effects similar to those of pentobarbital, a powerful sedative. Studies using animal and human subjects have shown that Etizolam use followed by a period of abstinence can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms. In Scotland, there have been reports of Etizolam use leading to death.

While some people may assume that Etizolam is just your average anti-anxiety drug that has yet to go through FDA approval, it is far more dangerous than that. Etizolam is illegal in the United States and has shown to have profound addictive and lethal qualities.

 

Sources

ACMD Advice on U-47, 7000, Etizolam and Other Designer Benzodiazepines. – Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (2016)
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-on-u-47700-etizolam-and-other-designer-benzodiazepines

Etizolam – Drug Enforcement Agency (2014)
https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_chem_info/etizolam.pdf

Pentobarbital Overdose – U.S. National Library of Medicine (2015)
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002508.htm

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