Oxazepam (brand name Serax) is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, seizures, and acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The medication is also used to treat other off-label conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Oxazepam is in the benzodiazepine class of drugs, which are commonly prescribed to provide anxiety relief and sedation.


Oxazepam is a short-to-intermediate-acting sedative intended for short-term use, usually no more than two to four weeks. It can be taken by mouth as a capsule that contains 10 milligrams, 15 milligrams, or 30 milligrams of oxazepam. A doctor will prescribe the proper dosage after reviewing their patient’s age, medical condition, and response to therapy.

Once oxazepam is in the body, the drug binds to the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, which slows brain activity and allows users to relax or feel sleepy. These relaxing feelings can trigger the brain’s reward system and cause users to be addicted to relaxed feelings, which may lead them to abuse the drug so they can continue to feel calming, pleasurable sensations.

Oxazepam is habit-forming and using it for longer periods than prescribed can lead to dependence and addiction. Frequent or heavy use that is abruptly interrupted or reduce can result in withdrawal, a period of mental and physical changes that come about when usage changes or stops.

On the streets, oxazepam may be called benzos or downers. They are also sold under the brand names Adumbran, Oxpam, and Zapex, among others.


It is not always easy to spot an addiction in someone else or even yourself. Many people think that they’re safe just because the doctor has prescribed the medication. However, there are key markers that indicate that use and abuse of oxazepam have become an addiction. A person who has developed Oxazepam addiction may exhibit the following signs:

  • Higher tolerance levels for oxazepam
  • Becoming focused on finding and using oxazepam
  • Using more oxazepam than prescribed
  • Feeling unable to stop using oxazepam
  • Using the drug despite negative consequences
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Chronic oxazepam use may include depression, increased anxiety, insomnia and shaking. Additionally, if you have become dependent on the drug and stop taking it cold turkey, you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Memory loss
  • Seizures

Keep in mind that these are only some of the possible oxazepam withdrawal symptoms you may experience. Many people find these symptoms so uncomfortable that they use oxazepam just to keep them at bay. By making use of quality oxazepam addiction treatment, you can get the help you need to mitigate withdrawal and find your path to sobriety.


People in active oxazepam addiction who want to end their dependence on the drug will likely need to seek professional treatment at a licensed rehab facility. This ensures they safely detox from the drug and manage uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and help avoid a relapse. Detox is traditionally the first step to take before the start of an addiction recovery program. Oxazepam users are strongly advised not to quit the drug abruptly, or cold turkey. Doing so can bring more harm than good.


The first step along the road to recovery when it comes to oxazepam addiction is usually detox. Ridding your body of the potent drug is crucial to having a successful treatment period. However, stopping cold turkey by yourself at home is not advisable, as the withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous if not overseen by a professional. By utilizing a medically-monitored detox program, you will be able to find chemical stabilization in a safe and secure environment.

Health care professionals also may decide to have their clients go through a taper process in which they are slowly and safely weaned off the addictive drug as they work toward stability.


Detox can last from three to seven days, with some stays lasting longer depending on the abused substance. After that, the next step is to enter a residential treatment program. There, you will live at the facility and participate in daily group and individual counseling sessions to help you address the root of your additions: your own thoughts and behaviors. These residential programs often require a stay of 30 days or more.


Once you’re finished with your residential stay, outpatient programs can help you stay sober even after you have returned home. Through these programs, you will still participate in therapy and counseling while slowly acclimating yourself to your everyday life in sobriety.

Overall, the longer you stay in treatment, the more effective the treatment will be at addressing the true issues that fuel addiction and preventing relapse in the future.


Benzodiazepines are habit-forming drugs, and all users are strongly advised to use them with care. Even people who take them as prescribed can develop a dependence on them that is difficult to break. When compared to other benzos on the market, oxazepam is considered more favorable when it comes to safety. The reasons it is considered safer include that it is slowly absorbed and enters the brain at a slower rate than other drugs in its class. However, it should still be taken with care.

Abusing benzodiazepines over the long-term can cause many problems. Taking too much oxazepam can lead to brain damage and reduced cognition, memory loss, blackouts, and concentration difficulties. Emotional effects of abuse over a long period include suicidal thoughts, psychosis or delirium, and rebound anxiety. Changes in behavior may also be noticeable, particularly symptoms of depression.

Whenever dealing with an addiction to a benzodiazepine, it’s important to understand that all users, whether new or habitual, run the risk of experiencing an overdose. Oxazepam addiction can lead individuals to engage in risky using behaviors, such as taking much larger doses of the medication than necessary. Getting help for you or your loved one’s Oxazepam addiction is a time-sensitive matter. As the tolerance for the medication builds, larger amounts are required to achieve the same effects.

Excessive oxazepam use can lead to overdose. Signs and symptoms of overdose include:

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Rapid side-to-side eye movements
  • Slowed breathing
  • Decreased alertness
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Tiredness
  • Fainting
  • Rash
  • Nausea
  • Weakness, uncoordinated movement

Seek immediate medical attention by calling 911 or visiting a hospital emergency room if any of these symptoms are present.

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