Depressants are a family of drugs that work on the central nervous system (CNS). They can induce sleep, drowsiness, comas, and decreased inhibition or even death.
Sedatives, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, and hypnotics are among prescription drugs that are Central Nervous System depressants.
These drugs slow down brain activity and are used to treat panic disorders, anxiety, acute stress reactions, mental illness, and sleep disorders such as insomnia.
Although they may be routinely prescribed, chronic use can produce depression or lead to tolerance, dependence, or addiction.
Drugs in this class include:
The most common types of CNS depressants are barbiturates and benzodiazepines. They may cause drowsiness.
Hypnotics such as these CNS depressants help users sleep. They are prescribed to treat disorders like insomnia, and tranquilizers relieve muscle spasms or help quell anxiety.
First prescribed in the early 1900s, they became popular in the 1960s and 1970s, then evolved into recreational use of the drug to reduce inhibitions, decrease anxiety, and to treat unwanted side effects of illicit drug use.
Barbiturates used to be considered a safe depressant. Because the risk for addiction and overdose is so high, they are no longer typically used to treat mental disorders and sleep problems.
A CNS depressant once widely prescribed for certain health conditions, Benzodiazepines effectively treat anxiety or sleep disorders and relax muscles if taken as prescribed for short periods.
Developed in the 1950s, their use increased dramatically during the 1960s and early 1970s.
Due to a high likelihood of addiction, they are not used as frequently as other drugs to treat similar disorders. It is vital to take Benzodiazepines only under a doctor’s medical supervision.
They are also dangerous when used in combination with opioids. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 16 percent of overdose deaths involving opioids in 2019 also involved benzodiazepines.
Alcohol is highly addictive and affects a person\’s inhibitions, causes drowsiness, and reduces stress. Although it is legal, it comes with certain dangers and risks.
One of them is binge drinking, a dangerous use popular with young adults. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines it as a pattern of alcohol consumption that brings blood alcohol concentration to 0.08% or higher.
People who take a CNS depressant begin to feel uncoordinated and sleepy for a short period until their body gets used to the side effects. Other effects from using depressants include:
Anyone experiencing the above symptoms should contact their doctor. Severe symptoms can lead to extreme breathing difficulties and, in rare cases, overdose or death.
Depressant drug use in large doses may lead to an increased risk for these withdrawal symptoms, which can begin as early as a few hours after taking the drug:
Withdrawal side effects can be debilitating and life-threatening. If someone you know is struggling, please reach out for help at La Hacienda Treatment Center.
Long-term use of depressants can result in abuse of or addiction to the substances. If you take a depressant in high doses, ceasing to use the drugsis more difficult than taking it in low doses as prescribed.
When someone takes depressants frequently, they start to develop a tolerance to the substance, resulting in the need for a higher dose to achieve the same effect of the drug on their body.
Drug abuse of prescription CNS depressants means:
Faced with high-stress issues, whether personal like divorce or finances or cultural like the Covid-19 pandemic, people will treat anxiety with depressants or another drug.
Primary care physicians who know a person’s medical history are the best source of help in these cases. For informational and educational purposes, however, they can check established sources like the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations, NIDA, and NIAAA for advice.
Persons suffering from addiction to depressants and other substances can find life-changing care at La Hacienda Treatment Center.
A leading drug and alcohol addiction treatment center, La Hacienda is located on an attractive 40-acre campus in the Texas Hill Country. It is a healing space for clients who enter the grounds.
La Hacienda is not just about getting clean or sober from dangerous drugs and alcohol; it is much more than that. Staff and management believe that much of treatment for substance abuse is about the spiritual experience. They use medical and therapeutic modalities necessary to recover from emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and physical problems.
Patients at La Hacienda Treatment Center are always the number one priority and the focus of individualized, personal care.
The Joint Commission has awarded La Hacienda its Gold Seal of Approval for Behavioral Health Care.