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How To Tell Someone Is Abusing Serax (Oxazepam)

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

Medically reviewed by

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

May 17, 2019

Serax is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety disorders and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. As with other benzodiazepines, this drug comes with the risk of abuse and addiction. Common signs of Serax abuse include drowsiness, vertigo, and trouble concentrating.

Serax, which is the brand name for oxazepam, is a prescription benzodiazepine. This drug is most commonly used to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

As a benzodiazepine, Serax works by increasing levels of the chemical gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA helps to slow down the central nervous system and create feelings of calm and relaxation.

Compared to other benzodiazepines like Xanax, Serax has a much slower onset. This means that it takes longer for the effects of this drug to be felt. This was initially believed to make Serax a safer, less addictive alternative to other benzodiazepines. However, abuse of this drug is still possible.

People who abuse Serax may experience a number of side effects. They may also exhibit certain signs that make the abuse obvious to friends and loved ones.

Signs And Symptoms Of Serax Abuse

Knowing if someone is abusing a drug like Serax isn’t always easy. However, there are often signs and symptoms that may be noticeable, especially as the abuse progresses.

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Physical symptoms of Serax abuse may include:

  • dizziness
  • impaired coordination
  • trouble sleeping or changes in sleep patterns
  • constant migraines
  • drowsiness
  • fatigue
  • trouble concentrating
  • mood swings
  • impaired reflexes
  • weakness
  • changes in appetite

These side effects are often associated with regular and chronic abuse of Serax. The more a person abuses oxazepam, the more likely he or she is to experience these side effects.

In addition to the physical side effects of Serax abuse, there may also be noticeable behavioral changes in someone abusing this drug.

These behavioral signs may include:

  • using Serax in larger doses or more often
  • lying about using oxazepam
  • experiencing intense cravings for the drug
  • withdrawing from friends and family
  • needing Serax to feel “normal”
  • legal or financial problems
  • trouble at work or school

Noticing these signs and symptoms in a loved one or yourself can potentially help stop the cycle of abuse. If you or a loved one is struggling with Serax abuse, seeking treatment is the best decision you can make.

Treatment For Serax Abuse And Addiction

Overcoming an addiction to Serax isn’t something you have to do alone. There are a number of treatment options available for benzodiazepine addiction. Formal treatment programs are the most commonly recommended approach to treating a substance use disorder.

A formal treatment program will often involve a detox program. Medically supervised detox programs help individuals safely withdraw from Serax in a comfortable setting.

An inpatient program is often recommended after the completion of a detox program. Inpatient treatment provides a customized plan of recovery for each patient.

To learn more about how to tell if someone is abusing Serax, contact a treatment specialist today.

National Institute on Drug Abuse - How can prescription drug addiction be treated?

National Institute on Drug Abuse: For Teens - Prescription Depressant Medications

U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Oxazepam, Oxazepam overdose

World Health Organization - Withdrawal Management for Benzodiazepine Dependence

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