"Non-controlled and new benzodiazepines also continued to be available in some European countries but, again, current monitoring approaches make it difficult to comment on the scale of their use, although signals exist that these substances may have important consequences for health, especially when consumed in combination with other drugs. They are often very cheap and may be used by young people in combination with alcohol, sometimes resulting in potentially serious health reactions or aberrant behaviour. These substances have also been linked to overdose deaths among people who use opioids, and reports in 2021 show that the proportion of overdose deaths involving benzodiazepines increased in several countries. However, a lack of toxicological information currently means the role that benzodiazepines play in opioid-related deaths is not sufficiently understood. Mixtures containing new benzodiazepines and sedatives, respectively known as ‘benzo-dope’ and ‘tranq-dope’, have been linked to increases in overdose deaths in Canada and the United States. In 2022, the Estonian police reported seizing mixtures containing the new synthetic opioid metonitazene and bromazolam, a new benzodiazepine, and mixtures containing the new opioids protonitazene and metonitazene and the animal sedative and analgesic xylazine."


European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (2023), European Drug Report 2023: Trends and Developments, DOI: 10.2810/161905.