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Phenazepam Information & Advice


Warnings over phenazepam
There has been concern recently over the availability of phenazepam via the internet. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has given advice, which is re-printed below.

ACMD advice on phenazepam

  • Phenazepam is a benzodiazepine drug, ("street" names include, "Bonsai" and "Bonsai Supersleep").
  • It is being sold as a "legal high" on the internet in various ways: under its own name as a single substance; in combination with dimethocaine (one example "brand" name is "Dimethocaine Phenazepam Legal Powder"); and, as a counterfeit for "Valium" (diazepam) on line.

  • Phenazepam is being sold in pure material in powder form and as a 1mg per ml solution in dropper bottles.

  • Phenazepam acts as a depressant and was originally developed in the 1970s by the former Soviet Union, and is now produced in Russia.

  • There is no recognised use in the UK.

  • The potency of phenazepam is around five times that of diazepam increasing the risk of overdose.

  • It may potentially be more dangerous than other benzodiazepines due to the 60-hour half life of the substance.

  • Peak effects are not reached until 2 to 3 hours after an oral dose has been taken with the potential for users to re-dose before the onset of the effects of the original dose. This increases the risk of overdose.

The ACMD recommends that phenazepam be controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 as a Class C substance and scheduled as a schedule 3 substance under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

See the full report on the Home Office web site.