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Is Serax (Oxazepam) A Controlled Substance Or A Narcotic?

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

May 14, 2019

Serax is a prescription benzodiazepine that is used to treat anxiety and alcohol withdrawal. As a benzodiazepine, Serax is considered a controlled substance but not a narcotic. Treatment for Serax addiction often includes a detox program and inpatient treatment.

Oxazepam, which goes by the brand name Serax, is a medication most commonly used in the treatment of anxiety. Serax may also be used to treat alcohol and cocaine withdrawal symptoms.

Serax is part of the benzodiazepine class of drugs. It works by slowing down the central nervous system (CNS) to elicit feelings of calm and relaxation. It also decreases nerve signals sent to the brain which can reduce feelings of anxiety.

Like other benzodiazepines, oxazepam is considered a controlled substance. This drug comes with the risk of addiction and dependence, especially when it is misused.

Is Serax A Controlled Substance?

Drugs that are considered controlled substances are separated into five different schedules. Drugs are put into schedules based on their medical use, abuse potential, and chances of causing dependence and addiction.

As a benzodiazepine, Serax is considered a controlled substance. It is part of the Schedule IV of controlled drugs. Other benzodiazepines in this category include Xanax and Valium.

Substances in Schedule IV are considered to have a lower potential for abuse than drugs in Schedules I, II, and III. However, because it is a controlled substance, Serax still comes with the risk of dependence and addiction when abused.

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Is Serax A Narcotic?

The term “narcotic” originally referred to any substance that dulled pain and numb the senses. However, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, “narcotic” is now used to describe any opioid drugs.

Because Serax is a benzodiazepine and not an opioid, this drug is not considered to be a narcotic.

Getting Help For Serax Abuse And Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to Serax, know that help is available. There are a number of different options when it comes to seeking treatment for benzodiazepine abuse and addiction.

Options for overcoming an addiction to Serax include detox programs, inpatient treatment, and outpatient treatment. Aftercare and support groups may also be recommended once treatment is completed.

To learn more about whether Serax is a controlled substance or narcotic, contact one of our treatment specialists today.

VeryWell Mind - How Oxazepam (Serax) Is Used

DEA - Narcotics

DEA Diversion - Controlled Substance Schedules

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