Florida Declares Etizolam a Controlled Substance

Last Updated: September 25, 2023

Recently, a new party drug has entered the US market. It’s called etizolam and is the latest party drug that can disastrously result in death. Florida is one of eight states to list etizolam as a controlled substance in an effort to control its use and prevent harm, particularly among young people.

What Is Etizolam?

You are not alone if you are wondering: what exactly is etizolam? The drug is new to the United States and is mostly being purchased and consumed by teens and young people.

Etizolam is a prescription drug that is similar to benzodiazepines like Xanax or Valium. It’s sold legally in other countries such as the U.K. to treat symptoms like anxiety, insomnia or depression; however, Americans are buying the drug for recreational purposes.

Buying etizolam can be as easy as browsing over the Internet and putting in a credit card. Some people are even buying drugs that contain etizolam through Facebook, which is actually advertising these pills.

Etizolam is tricky right now in the United States because it is neither legal nor illegal. Because it is so new, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has not classified it as a controlled substance. This is why states like Florida are taking action at the state level.

Why Florida Wants to Ban Etizolam

Florida is one of several states to list etizolam as a controlled substance. Taking this action is a first step toward removing it from the streets, preventing sales and prosecuting people who are trafficking the drug.

Why is the state of Florida taking this action? Because etizolam is dangerous.

Like any benzo, etizolam has depressant side effects like drowsiness, sedation, muscle weakness, confusion and slurred speech. It’s common for people who buy and take the drug to mix it with alcohol. This combination is dangerous and can even result in death.

Etizolam Overdoses in Florida

When mixed with another depressant like alcohol, etizolam can slowly shut down the respiratory system. The result, all too often, and etizolam and alcohol overdose that can lead to death.

Because the drug is quite new, more data needs to be collected on the rates of etizolam overdose and other health problems that result from taking the drug.

Regardless of the specifics, it’s clear to officials that this is a growing problem. In 2013, there were only 10 cases of adverse reactions involving etizolam. Within four years, that number has spiked to over 1,000 incidents.

Recognizing an Etizolam Overdose

Recognizing the etizolam overdose in someone could make the difference between life and death. The signs and symptoms of an etizolam overdose are similar to those of a benzo (benzodiazepine) overdose, and can include:

  • Abnormal, slowed breathing
  • Sleepiness
  • Clumsy motor functions, difficulty walking
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness
  • Uncontrollable, erratic eye movements

If you notice any of these symptoms in someone, be sure to call 9-1-1 immediately and secure emergency assistance.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to etizolam, benzodiazepines, alcohol or any other substances, there are treatment options. Contact Orlando Recovery Center to find out more about treatment centers and resources. Recovery is possible.


Corso, Kathleen. “Florida among states fighting back against new party drug.” Local10.com, August 28, 2019. Accessed September 24, 2019.

Securing Industry. “Fake Xanax ‘easily’ bought on Facebook in UK.” March 2, 2019. Accessed September 24, 2019.

Drug Enforcement Administration. “Etizolam.” October 2018. Accessed September 24, 2019.

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