Central nervous system depressants don’t cause depression when taken as directed, as the name suggests. In reality, depressants slow down the central nervous system. There are several kinds of depressants — some are legal, some are illicit and some are available by prescription only. They are also addictive and dangerous. When combined with another substance, especially one that acts to slow the central nervous system, such as an opioid, depressants can be deadly.
Information About Depressants
Alcohol, marijuana, benzodiazepines and barbiturates are all depressants and are sometimes referred to as “downers.” Opiates and opioids such as heroin, Vicodin and oxycodone are depressants that also kill pain. Physicians prescribe prescription-only depressants such as Xanax, a benzodiazepine, and Amytal for legitimate issues such as insomnia, anxiety and seizures. One common depressant, a drug known as Rohypnol, is no longer sold in the U.S. because of its illicit use as a date rape drug. Depressants can come in liquid form, in powder form and in pill form. They slow breathing, which is why overdose can end in death; they can also cause slurred speech, cognitive problems, coordination problems and low blood pressure. People who take Rohypnol often report amnesia.
All central nervous system depressants, with the exception of marijuana, produce tolerance and physical dependency. This means taking more and more becomes necessary to achieve the same effects. Barbiturates and benzodiazepines are particularly dangerous when abused for even a short time, and withdrawal is difficult. Alcohol also produces tolerance and physical dependency, and like prescription downers, withdrawal is a challenge. Quitting these substances nearly always requires medical assistance and should never be attempted cold turkey — especially in the case of alcohol abuse.
Addiction Symptoms and Side Effects
Depressants are the most frequently abused substances in the world. As the body builds a tolerance against the depressive effect, taking more and more is necessary. Sometimes, in the case of prescription medications, modifying a drug to get the same high — such as chopping and snorting — becomes necessary. You might notice problems with memory and learning, or in the case of narcotic painkillers, issues with digestion and nodding off. When it’s time to drink or take your next dose, you might feel anxious, angry or sweaty. If you think you might have a dependency on alcohol or another depressive drug, ask yourself:
- Do I drink alone and at odd hours, such as in the morning, at work or in the car?
- Do I lie to other people about how much I drink or do drugs?
- Do I get angry and anxious when it’s time to drink or do drugs and they’re not available?
- Do I continue taking a depressant even though I don’t have problems with sleep, pain or anxiety?
- Is avoiding withdrawal a priority?
- Do I have problems at home, at work or with friends, even if they don’t seem related to substance abuse?
- Have I tried quitting on my own, without success?
- Do I still spend time with the people I love, doing the things I love?
- Am I spending more and more time trying to keep up with my habit by visiting multiple doctors or pharmacies?
- Do I know, deep down, that it’s time to quit using?
If these problems sound familiar, 12 Keys Rehab can help.
Recover From Addiction Safely and Thoroughly
Quitting an addiction to depressants can be extremely difficult when you try to get sober alone. And at 12 Keys Rehab, we help people get better every day. From medically monitored detox to comprehensive holistic care customized for your specific needs, we can help you recover from the physical, emotional and spiritual damage caused by addiction.
Why let substance abuse define your choices? Call us now for a no obligation consultation — the call is free and confidential — and let us help you find your path to freedom.
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