CNS depressants are also referred to sometimes as tranquilizers and sedatives. These are substances that slow down brain activity which causes a relaxing feeling. Depressants are used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders but should never be misused or combined with other depressant drugs.
Medications that are prescribed to treat anxiety and sleep problems include barbiturates and benzodiazepines Examples includes:
- Barbiturates like Mebaral and Nembutal are used to treat tension, anxiety and sleep disorders.
- Benzodiazepines like Valium, Librium, and Xanax are prescribed for treating anxiety, acute stress, and panic attacks.
- Halcion and ProSom are more sedating benzodiazepines and are prescribed for short term treatment of sleep disorders.
Other sleep medications include Zolpidem which is Ambien, Zaleplon with is Sonata, and Eszopiclone which is Lunesta.
Most of the time, CNS depressants either come in a pill or capsule form and are abused by taking larger doses than are prescribed or by taking cns depressant drugs without a prescription. There are also people who take depressants and mix them with other drugs to intensify the effects or in attempt to counteract side effects. Depressants slow down activity in the brain and the individual becomes calm and drowsy and like many drugs, depressants are addictive when abused. After repeated use when a person is abusing depressants they become tolerant and need to use more to achieve the same affect. When a person continues to misuse depressants physical dependence sets in and if the person stops taking them they experience withdrawal symptoms.
There are several ways depressants like the ones mentioned above are abused, taken orally, crush and snort them, or turn them into a liquid and inject them. No matter how they're abused, they're still addictive and there are many risks involved.
Diazepam and alprazolam are also benzodiazepines and are sometimes combined with methadone to increase or intensify the high a person is looking to achieve. Irritability and anxiety are common effects a person experiences when they abuse cocaine. Sometimes people use benzodiazepines to relieve these side effects that are commonly experienced with cocaine binges.
Brain activity slows down with the use of depressant drugs and the heavier they're abused the slower brain activity gets, the opposite can happen when a person stops taking them. Instead of drowsiness their brain activity can speed up which can lead to seizures and other serious problems.
CNS Withdrawal Symptoms
Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms occur when a person becomes dependent on them after long term use. It depends on the severity of dependence as to how intense withdrawal symptoms may be. Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, depression, tremors, and seizures.
Barbiturate withdrawal symptoms can be experienced after long term use as well. Symptoms can include anxiety, agitation, sleep problems, nausea, dizziness or faintness and sometimes twitching. If a person frequently uses barbiturates and they're heavy users they can experience seizures, low blood pressure, delirium and hallucinations.
Street Terms for Depressants
Barbiturates like Mebaral and Nembutal are referred to as barbs, reds, red birds, phennies, tooies, yellows, and yellow jackets on the streets. Benzodiazepines like Valium, Xanax, Halcion, ProSom, Klonopin, Ativan, and Librium are referred to as candy, downers, sleeping pills and tranks on the streets. Sleep medications like Ambien, Sonata and Lunesta are referred to as A-minus and zombie pills on the streets.
Today there are so many people who abuse street drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs and they're abusing depressant drugs and other medications at the same time to counter act the side effects they're experiencing. It's becoming more and more common for substance users to have more than one addiction that's destroying their lives. Because anxiety, depression, and insomnia are common side effects experienced due to substance use, many users are getting hooked on sleeping pills and other medications to relieve these symptoms they're experiencing too.
Treating Substance Abuse and Depressant Drug Addiction
Treating drug addiction today can be very difficult due to multiple dependence issues and it's more important now than ever before to seek help and not attempt to stop using these substances all at once on your own. When seeking help it's equally important to be honest with your physician or treatment center about multiple drug use, the severity, duration, and exact substances abused.
It doesn't matter whether a person has become dependent on depressant drugs legally by prescription or if they obtain them on the streets and become addicted they should always seek medical advice before stopping their use.
Substance users who abuse or misuse depressants to counter act the side effects of drugs like cocaine, heroin, meth and other dangerous substances not only need to seek medical advice but also seek treatment before they stop on their own. Medical supervision and intensive therapy is needed when treating addiction and multiple addictions can be even more complex to treat.
It's very common today to have become addicted to more than one substance and with the right treatment approach and medical supervision you can recover and remain drug free. The longer a person puts off treatment for substance abuse, dependence or multiple addictions the more dangerous their life becomes. The risk of overdose increases dramatically when combining drugs with depressants to counter act side effects experienced from substance use. The risk of seizures, organ damage, mental health issues, and other effects from drug use continue to increase the longer a person a person uses drugs and the withdrawal symptoms become more intense as well.
Recovering from substance abuse and drug addiction isn't easy but it's a whole lot easier than slowly dying from the effects and symptoms experienced due to abusing them.