Benzodiazepines, or “benzos” as they are called, are what the American government refers to as Schedule IV drugs. This means that the government recognizes the useful medical properties these drugs have, and the comparatively low addiction risk they present compared to other drugs. However, Schedule IV drugs are powerful enough to require a prescription from a doctor to be acquired and used, unlike acetaminophen in Tylenol, or ibuprofen in Advil, which can be bought in stores by anyone.
Benzos are most effective as anti-anxiety medication, with Xanax being a well-known product. While some doctors prescribe benzos straight away, due to the psychoactive nature of the drug, other doctors feel more comfortable with a psychological evaluation first, before a decision is made about administering it.
However, despite the comparatively low rate of physical addiction, an unfortunate case can be made for its psychologically addictive properties. Because it takes away anxiety and makes people feel good and at peace, some develop a dependence on this sense of artificial well-being that requires rehab for benzodiazepine addiction.