CNS Depressants and Multiple Drug Use

CNS Depressants and Multiple Drug Use

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:

  1. Barbiturates like Mebaral and Nembutal are used to treat tension, anxiety and sleep disorders.
  2. Benzodiazepines like Valium, Librium, and Xanax are prescribed for treating anxiety, acute stress, and panic attacks.
  3. 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.

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Topic Discussion

  1. Addict

    I started taking a CNS depressant, Xanax, for the treatment of anxiety when I was in my late teens. I don't think that my doctor spent a lot of time explaining the potential for physical dependence well enough, because I was really surprised when the drug seemed to stop working and I felt like I had to change my dosage to deal with the problem. The physical withdrawal symptoms were horrendous, and I did not know how to talk to my doctor about it. Instead of understanding what was happening to me, I just figured the pills weren't working anymore. For a while, I just attempted quitting cold turkey but this caused even more problems. Not only did I get a serious case of withdrawal symptoms, but my anxiety worsened to the point where I had to start taking Xanax again.

    I struggled with this for a long time before I realized what was really happening to me. I had to work closely with my physician to lower my dosage of Xanax down lower and lower until I could eventually quit taking it. I have started to take a different anxiety medication, and I am having far fewer problems with it than what I experienced with Xanax. Everyone is different and my experience is not inevitable for everyone, but I've learned that it's essential to keep a close eye on how my body is responding to the medications that I am taking so that this never happens to me again.

  2. Addict

    I honestly did not realize that you could become as addicted, or worse, to regular medications as street drugs. I've avoided a whole manner of different street drugs all my life to avoid this type of problem, not realizing that the antidepressant medication my doctor prescribed me could cause a similar problem down along the line. After about a year of use I developed a physical dependence on the medication, or at least this is what my doctor called it when I relayed to him how I was feeling. Suddenly my medications were not working in the way that they had before, and I was feeling absolutely miserable both emotionally and physically as a result.
    Had I become addicted to my prescribed medications?
    I was lucky. I spoke to my doctor about it and asked for help. He told me what was happening and helped me adjust my medication regimen so that I could continue to get the help that I needed without all of the icky withdrawal symptoms. If I had not spoken to my doctor, I would probably be in a really bad place now because I can honestly say I thought about adjusting the dosages of my medication myself, something you are never supposed to do. You should never mess with your own medication. You need to talk to your doctor if you ever end up in the same spot that I was in. You will thank yourself later when you get the help that you need.

  3. Addict

    From an early age I learned about drug addiction. DARE taught me that drugs were bad, and just to say no, and to avoid them at all costs. Unfortunately, nobody ever really warns you that the medications your doctor prescribes can cause problems as well. I never thought that taking Valium for my mental health issues was going to exacerbate a completely different problem. The physical dependency I experienced sent me into a tailspin. I thought I needed more and more of the medication to keep me going from day to day, and so I foolishly began to alter the dosage of my own medication. Unfortunately what this meant was that I was making the problem even worse.

    I should have talked to my doctor.

    I should have asked someone for help.

    The withdrawal symptoms were so severe that I overdosed. I ended up in the hospital and this is where I finally learned that a physical dependence can happen over time, and that I needed to have confronted my doctor for help rather than playing with the dosages of my medication. More people need to understand what this physical dependence is so that they can go through the right channels for help instead of experiencing painful and terrible withdrawal symptoms and having to try to deal with the recovery process alone. I highly recommend anyone that is taking CNS depressants like I was speak to their doctor regularly to make sure that everything is working as it should without the potential for a situation like mine.

  4. Addict

    If I was taking this drug I would think I would be stupid do it because it can kill me or make me sick.

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