• Tranquillizers normally have a central nervous system depressing effect, and are used medically to reduce anxiety, to help people sleep and to relax the body.
  • Tranquillizers most commonly abused in Hong Kong include triazolam, midazolam, zopiclone, nimetazepam.
  • Usually available in the form of tablets. Some tranquillizers like midazolam may be dissolved in water, and even mixed with heroin for injection.
  • Street Name:“Blue gremlin”, “Give me five”, “Ng Chai” etc.

Adverse Effects of Tranquillizers Use

  • Dependence
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Sedation
  • Depression
  • Hostility
  • In-coordination
  • Foetal abnormalities (for benzodiazepines)
  • Loss of memory
  • Impaired cognitive and neuromotor functioning

Tranquillizers which are benzodiazepines (e.g. triazolam and midazolam) or benzodiazepine receptor agonists (e.g. zopiclone) can cause dependence, especially when used regularly for more than a few weeks or at higher doses. Drug users develop a need to continue taking the drug at increasing doses.

Using tranquillizers in combination with alcohol, heroin or other depressant drugs is very dangerous because the effect can be magnified by two or threefold. Such a combination can cause unconsciousness, respiratory depression (stop breathing), coma and death.

  • Some benzodiazepines are dangerous drugs controlled under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.
  • It is an offence to illegally manufacture, supply or possess them.