Serax is a prescription benzodiazepine, with the generic name oxazepam. Oxazepam has been on the market since the 1960s, and it’s available under quite a few other brand names. The primary uses of Serax and oxazepam include the treatment of insomnia and anxiety, as well as drug and alcohol discontinuance symptoms. The capsule strengths available include 10 mg, 15 mg, and 30 mg. For mild to moderate anxiety, the dosage guidelines indicate a person would take anywhere from 10 to 15 mg in a dose, and this could go up to 30 mg for severe anxiety, or agitation associated with anxiety. For alcohol discontinuance, dosage guidelines are also around 15 to 30 mg.
Serax has a slow onset of action, so it is better suited to insomnia where users have difficulty staying asleep, as opposed to falling asleep. Side effects of Serax are similar to other drugs in the benzodiazepine class. These include dizziness, drowsiness, memory impairment, and headache. Also possible with Serax is misuse, unhealthy reliance, and psychological disease. Since Serax has a slow onset of action, there is a lower risk of misusing than other benzos, but the potential still exists.
Oxazepam is a Schedule IV drug in the U.S. This means it’s considered to have legitimate medical uses, but also be potentially habit-forming. The risk of misusing is lower than benzos like triazolam, but people could use it to feel high or to experience certain pleasant feelings. Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs among the most commonly used recreationally. For people who recreationally misuse benzos, the effects can be similar to alcohol.
While it is possible for Serax misuse to occur on its own, benzodiazepine misuse is more often seen in polydrug misusers. People who misuse benzos will often use them as they come down from other drugs, such as stimulants. They may also pair benzos like Serax with other CNS depressants such as alcohol or opioids to intensify the effects. It’s estimated that as many as 50% of alcoholics also misuse benzodiazepines. Outward signs of Serax misuse can include:
- Seeming drowsy or confused;
- Unsteady walking or lack of coordination;
- Slurred speech;
- Concentration and memory problems;
- Muscle weakness;
- Changes in eating or sleeping patterns;
- Slow reaction time; and
- Anterograde amnesia.
Often, Serax misuse can look similar to alcohol misuse. Both alcohol and benzodiazepines affect GABA receptors in the brain. Both substances have a calming effect, so people who take alcohol and/or benzos can seem very impaired or intoxicated. Over time benzodiazepine misuse can cause serious complications. These can include memory and blood pressure problems, a condition resulting from excessive quantity or amount and physical dependence.
Signs of Serax Addiction
Someone who misuses Serax is more likely to become uncontrollably obsessive with misuse. When someone has formed a habit, symptoms can include compulsively seeking out the drug and continuing to misuse it. This compulsive drug misuse continues even when there are negative consequences, or a person tries to stop using. Specific signs and symptoms of Serax psychological disease include:
- Stealing or forging prescriptions;
- Changes in mood or profound mood swings;
- Poor decision-making;
- Trying to get prescriptions from multiple doctors;
- Diminished performance at school or work; and
- Withdrawing from friends, family, and
Along with psychological disease, one of the biggest symptoms of Serax misuse is physical reliance. Physical reliance can occur uncontrollably repetitively in individuals, as well as people who aren’t. With physical reliance, if a person were to stop misusing Serax, they would experience painful physical and psychological symptoms. These symptoms are the result of the brain’s continued exposure to the drug and its effects. The brain reduces the natural functionality of GABA receptors because Serax is doing that. When someone stops misusing Serax, their brain and body struggle to keep up and to regain normalcy. Benzodiazepine discontinuance symptoms can be severe.
Over time the side effects of benzodiazepine psychological disease can become increasingly negative. People often face problems with their career leading to their inability to hold down a job. They may become anxious or depressed, experience suicidal thoughts or behaviors, and have legal and financial problems. Mental and physical health also tend to deteriorate when someone is habitually misusing a drug like Serax. All of the side effects and symptoms of Serax devotion can be even more pronounced when a person struggles with polysubstance misuse.
Do you struggle with benzodiazepines, polysubstance misuse or another substance misuse problem? If so, we’re here to help. The Recovery Village offers a variety of individualized treatment programs to address all of the complex facets of drug psychological disease and reliance for a strong recovery.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.