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CdZnTe-based detectors possess unique properties as room-temperature x- and gamma-ray detectors. We report on the effects of x-ray irradiation on CdZnTe and CdTe:Cl detectors with increasing x-ray doses. We correlate the “macroscopic” performance of the detectors, investigated by gamma-ray spectroscopy to the “microscopic” effects induced by the impinging radiation, i.e., the defective states introduced in the crystal lattice. The electrical activity of the defects and their activation energy have been investigated by photo induced current transient spectroscopy and by space charge limited current analyses. We identify the x-ray dose that induces a significant degradation in the detector performance, and by cross-correlating the results obtained, we achieve a reliable estimate of the actual concentration of electrically active deep states and assess the potentiality of these experimental methods as tools for quantitative analyses of high resistivity materials.