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Phenazepam is a powerful, long acting benzodiazepine which has been reported as being five times stronger than Valium – the most commonly prescribed tranquilliser.

The drug is not used in the UK as a medicine, but is available on prescription in Russia for the treatment of epilepsy, insomnia and neurological disorders.

Phenazepam has been used recreationally in some parts of Europe, including the UK. It is generally found as a white powder although occasionally it may come in small dropper bottles. The drug is used for its relaxant effects.

Phenazepam was previously sold as a ‘legal high’ but from June 2012 it became controlled as a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act. This is the same class as other benzodiazepines are controlled under.

Phenazepam may cause dizziness, memory loss and confusion. Due to its high strength there is a risk of overdose. This is further exacerbated if the drug is mixed with alcohol. The effects of Phenazepam can take several hours to materialise so it is important not to re-dose.

For more information on this group of drugs please see our page on benzodiazepines