Alere is now Abbott

Z Drugs


Z drugs are non-benzodiazepine hypnotics that act on benzodiazepine receptors. They are short acting drugs generally prescribed for severe insomnia that impacts day-to-day life. Their chemical structure differs to that of benzodiazepines and they are unlikely to cross react on the benzodiazepine screening test.

The Z drugs include zolpidem, zopiclone and zaleplon. All Z drugs have the potential to impair driving ability due to their sedative effects.

In the UK zolpidem and zopiclone are widely diverted and supplied for illicit use.



Ususally taken as tablets.



Tablets are crushed and snorted.

  • Reduces anxiety
  • Sedation
  • Slurred speech
  • Visual disturbances
  • Loss of coordination
  • Respiratory depression
  • Impairment of memory and cognitive behaviour
  • Hallucinations
  • Sleep disorders
  • Sleepwalking
Z Drugs


Molecular structure of Z Drugs


Street Names

Zombie, sleep-easy, zim, zimmies, zimmers.

Legal Status

Class C

Possession of the drug can lead to up to two years in jail, an unlimited fine or both. Supplying the drug can lead to up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.

For more information about drug classifications and the associated penalties visit the Home Office website.