I know that benzos like alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium) and clonazepam (Klonopin) act on the GABA receptors which alcohol and GHB act on as well.
Having taking both however, I can say they are vastly different. I first developed dependence on them due to having violent thoughts and constant pains in my stomach (anxiety perhaps) and didn’t even knew the existed or how addictive they could be. I found that they enabled me to “power through the day” and bad thoughts, emotions wouldn’t at all inhibit me like they did when I was not on them.
Even then, the effects were very mild. No euphoria like alcohol and no immediate effects. The plus side with them is that they could bring the relaxation of alcohol without the nausea.
I wonder what in the structure of alcohol enables it to cause euphoria but nausea and even violence in some people that benzos don’t.