Types And Examples Of Depressants
There are four main types of CNS depressants:
Ethanol or ethyl alcohol is the active ingredient found inwine, liquors or distilled spirits, and beer. This clear and colorless chemical is a depressant drug that is most widely consumed in the United States. It is also widely abused and its consumption is linked to many diseases. There are many beverages that contain alcohol in various concentrations, but in general, each serving of the following drinks contain the same amount of alcohol:
- 5 oz of table wine
- 12 oz beer
- 1.5 oz of 80-proof liquor
- 12 oz wine cooler
These are sedatives or hypnotic drugs that are medically used to treat seizures or to relieve mild anxiety. At present there are around 12 kinds of barbiturates medically prescribed in the US.
These popularly used drugs include Valium, Xanax, and Librium. They are frequently clinically prescribed to induce sleep, sedate, relieve anxiety, prevent seizures, and relax the muscles. However, these depressant drugs have a high potential for abuse.
Strictly speaking, opioids are not CNS depressants. They can cause a slowing down of certain brain function, but they can also stimulate certain areas of the CNS. These depressants are classified more correctly as narcotics including codeine and heroin. Marijuana is similar in this case.
Common Examples of Depressants Being Abused
How Do They Work?
What Happens If You Mix Anxiety Pills With Alcohol
Alcohol interactions with anxiety drugs
Alcohol can also increase the nervous system side effects of antidepressant medications or other miscellaneous drugs used for anxiety. Side effects may include dizziness, drowsiness, trouble concentrating, impairment in thinking, slowed reflexes, and poor judgment.
Short And Long Term Effects
People often forget that common prescription and over-the-counter medicationscan affect their brains and bodies. For example, many drugs have warninglabels about the possible effects of drowsiness or dizziness. So peoplewho use them and then drive cause thousands of car crashes each year.In addition, drugs may blur vision, change depth perception, cause hallucinations,raise or lower blood pressure, and cause one to react too quickly or slowly.Having these effects is especially dangerous when you’re behind thewheel.
You are responsible for knowing the effects of medication you take. Youcan get a DUI even if you were under the influence of cough syrup, soconsider that before you drive. Talk to your doctor and know the risksto others and yourself while you’re on the road if you take the followingmedications1:
- Antianxiety medication
- Caffeine-containing medicines
Remember, combining alcohol with other drugs hugely increases the effectsthat either drug would have on its own. Don’t mix alcohol, drugs,and driving. It’s a fatal mistake.
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- Periods of depression or apathy
- Lack of energy or motivation
- Withdrawal symptoms when not using depressants
- Failing in attempts to stop using the drugs
Another telling sign of abuse is mixing CNS depressants with other drugs, including opioids and alcohol, to increase their effects. This may lead to severe adverse health reactions and possibly life-threatening consequences.
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Are Depressants Less Dangerous Than Stimulants
Whether depressants are less dangerous than stimulants is hard to answer. Depressant drugs slow down the CNS and have dangerous risks. But, stimulants are dangerous also. The crash that follows the high has very severe risks. For this reason, it is hard to say if depressants are less dangerous than stimulants.;
Can Depression Affect Pain
Statistics indicate that millions of Americans suffer from chronic painas well as 20 percent of people worldwideespecially low back pain. Chronic pain is a significant stress on the body that can itself induce depression. Studies show that depression also causes changes in the network of brain areas involved in processing physical pain, including the cortex and lower-brain centers. The pain network appears to be hyperactive in depression, and the degree of activity that can be seen in such areas on brain scans correlates with the severity of depression that patients experience.
Researchers also find that when antidepressants have an effect on depression, it is at least in part by reducing the activity of the pain pathways. What doctors havent figured out yet is why heightened pain is experienced so differently among patients, with some experiencing pain as mental anguish and other having somatic complaints of physical pain.
Depressants: Characteristics Availability And Effects
Depressants are also commonly prescribed by medical doctors. Depressants slow brain activity, decrease blood pressure and alertness, slow respiration, and lower heart rate. As such, theyre used to treat anxiety, seizure disorders, and sleep disorders. They produce a calming effect and can also make the user drowsy. Depressants are also available under several brand names, which include Lunesta, Xanax, Nembutal, and Valium.
Depressants such as Valium are classed as benzodiazepines, which, when stopped, can cause the user to experience withdrawal symptoms. Non-benzodiazepine depressants such as Ambien can have fewer side effects and, therefore, are thought to have a lower dependence risk than benzodiazepine-containing products.
Finally, barbiturate-containing depressants like Mebaral have a higher risk of misuse, as well as a higher risk of overdose, which is why they are prescribed less frequently.
What If An Antidepressant Doesnt Work
If you donât notice any change in your mood after a few weeks, talk with your doctor. If the first antidepressant you take doesnât work, itâs likely that another one will. About 60% of people who take antidepressants feel better with the first medicine they take, but others need to try more than one before noticing a change.
A study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health in 2008 found that about 50% of patients who did not feel better after using one medication noticed an improvement when they took a new one or added a second medication to the first treatment. You and your doctor can work together to find the medication thatâs right for you.
âI had to try a couple of different kinds of medications to find the right one for me,â Brennan tells WebMD. âOne medication worked for a little while, and then I started to feel depressed again. So my doctor switched me to another medication, and that one is working great. Itâs just a matter of sticking with it and letting your doctor know how youâre feeling.â
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Health Effects Of Depressants When Used
So, you may be wondering, what do depressants do to you? Depressants change how the brain and body function, leading to certain health side effects and symptoms to occur. People will experience differing symptoms from depressants depending on a number of factors including the type of depressant, dose of the drug, medical history and size of the person using depressants. Some of the most common symptoms of depressants are:
- Blurred, altered, or double vision
- Lack of coordination and impaired sense of space
- Muscle weakness
Depressants Versus Stimulants
So, how do depressants and stimulants differ, and why are drugs like depressants described as the opposite of amphetamines? Depressants and stimulants are very different in how they affect the body, to the point that they are considered opposites. Amphetamines are stimulant drugs, which means they speed up the messages travelling between the brain and your system, while depressants will slow down the central nervous system and the brain.
What Are Prescription Cns Depressants
Central Nervous System depressants are medicines that include sedatives, tranquilizers, and hypnotics. These drugs can slow brain activity, making them useful for treating anxiety, panic, acute stress reactions, and sleep disorders.
CNS depressants cause drowsiness; sedatives are often prescribed to treat sleep disorders like insomnia and hypnotics can induce sleep, whereas tranquilizers are prescribed to treat anxiety or to relieve muscle spasms.
Some examples of CNS depressants grouped by their respective drug class are:
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When Will Depression Medication Make Me Feel Better
While many people find that antidepressants work well to help reduce the symptoms of depression, you might not feel better right away. It usually takes at least three to four weeks before you notice a change in your mood. Sometimes it can take even longer. Taking the medicine every day as directed helps increase the chance that it works.
âYou definitely have to be a little patient for the medicine to work,â says Lisa Brennan, who started taking medication for her depression several years ago. âFor me, the change was very subtle at first, and then I realized that I really was feeling better. But it takes a few weeks, so itâs important to hang in there.â
Physical Harms From Drug Use
Drug use can affect short- and long-term health outcomes. Some of these health outcomes can be serious, and possibly irreversible.
Drug use can lead to risky or out of character behaviour. When affected by drugs:
- You are more likely to have an accident .
- You may be vulnerable to sexual assault or you may engage in unprotected sex. Either of these could lead to pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection.
- You could commit a sexual assault or other violent act.
- You may find it hard to sleep, think, reason, remember and solve problems.
Drug use can also result in long-term health outcomes that include:
- harm to organs and systems in your body, such as your throat, stomach, lungs, liver, pancreas, heart, brain, nervous system
- infectious disease, from shared injecting equipment and increased incidence of risk-taking behaviors
- harm to your baby, if you are pregnant
- acne, or skin lesions if the drug you are taking causes you to pick or scratch at your skin
- needle marks and collapsed veins, if you inject regularly
- male pattern hair growth in women, such as facial hair
- higher risk of mental illness, depression, suicide and death.
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Depressants Are Less Dangerous Than Stimulants
There is a debate about whether depressants are less dangerous than stimulants. Depressant drugs slow down the CNS system has dangerous symptoms that were mentioned before. But the symptoms of stimulant use followed by the sudden crash when the high wears off has its own risks. Therefore many believe depressants are less dangerous than stimulants.;
Although people may not agree if depressants are less dangerous than stimulants, they all agree they are addictive. Depressant drugs and stimulant drugs take over peoples lives and require lifelong treatment for a life of recovery.;
Is Alcohol A Depressant
Drinking profoundly alters an individuals mood, behavior, and neuropsychological functioning. For many people, alcohol consumption is a means of relaxation; however, the effects of alcohol and hangovers can actually induce anxiety and increase stress. Alcohol is classified as a Central Nervous System depressant, meaning that it slows down brain functioning and neural activity. Alcohol does this by enhancing the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA.
Alcohol can depress the central nervous system so much that it results in impairment such as slurred speech, unsteady movement, disturbed perceptions, and an inability to react quickly. Mentally, alcohol reduces an individuals ability to think rationally, lessens inhibitions, and distorts judgment. If an individual consumes too much alcohol too rapidly, they can depress the central nervous system to a point of respiratory failure, coma, or death.
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Signs Of Depressant Addiction
The most common sign of depressant addiction is taking more than prescribed. For instance, taking more to increase the effects of the drug. Also, taking depressant drugs without a prescription is a sign.
Signs of depressant addiction include:
- Mood swings
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Recurrence of use after stopping
Mixing depressants and other drugs is also a sign of depressant addiction. Although mixing drugs intensify the effects, its a sign of tolerance and dependence. Without treatment for depressant addiction, people risk severe withdrawal symptoms or worse.;
Interventions Can Save Lives
People who struggle with drug abuse, especially abuse of alcohol and other depressants, are at risk of dangerous behaviors and death, and of developing chronic health problems that will limit their ability to enjoy life. They are also more likely to have harmful behavioral changes that can damage their relationships and lead to financial struggles, job loss, and other kinds of harm. Staging an intervention is important for a variety of reasons, including saving relationships and reducing the risk of chronic health struggles. For people abusing multiple kinds of drugs, this can prevent their untimely death.
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Risk Factors For Drug
The effects of a drug, and how long they last, depend on a number of factors:
- the type and strength of drugs that you use
- how the drug was made — substances manufactured in home labs may contain bacteria, dangerous chemicals and other unsafe substances, and have an unknown strength. Even one dose may cause an overdose that leads to brain damage or death
- your physical characteristics
- the dose that you take
- how often and for how long you have been using drugs
- how you ingest the drug . Compared with swallowing a drug, inhalation and injection are more likely to lead to overdose and dependence. If you are injecting drugs, sharing injecting equipment will increase your risk of contracting serious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV. It will also increase your risk of serious infection
- your mental health, mood and environment can affect the experience you have when taking drugs. If you have a mental health condition, drugs may exacerbate or complicate the symptoms of that condition
- whether you mix drugs, including alcohol. In particular, alcohol use may lead to high risk behaviour which can result in the serious injury or death of yourself or others.
Drug Misuse Is Never Safe
When stimulant or depressant use becomes substance abuse disorders where more of the drugs are needed, many life-threatening medical conditions can be the result. In order to avoid these conditions, its extremely important to seek treatment as soon as possible.
Signs of stimulant dependence include:
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How Stimulants Affect The Body
As their name implies, stimulants are drugs that stimulate the body increasing energy, attention and alertness. They generally speed up the bodys processes increasing the heart and respiratory rate and raising body temperature and blood pressure. Sleep and appetite are suppressed.
Stimulants enhance the effects of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine.
In a research report on prescription drugs, the National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that stimulants have been used in the past to treat a variety of conditions including asthma, obesity and neurological disorders. As the dangers of the drugs became more apparent, however, their usage declined. Currently prescription stimulants are used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder , narcolepsy and occasionally depression. Adderall, Ritalin and Concerta are stimulants. Stimulant street drugs include cocaine and methamphetamine.
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Physical Effects Of Depression On The Body
The link between depression and physical symptoms is well noted in medicine. Some of the most common side effects of depression include:
- Increase in physical pain
- Lack of sleep or an increase in sleep
- Weight problems
Oftentimes, the physical effects of depression on our body can become easily dismissed among seniors because the effects can also be attributed to aging. This is why it is so important to spot the difference between signs of aging and;side effects of depression.
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The Dangers Of Mixing A Stimulant With A Depressant
Taking a stimulant and depressant at the same time can create a false sense of stability and safety. One can mask the other, in a way which is dangerously misleading to the user. For instance, just because cocaine reduces the sense of intoxication while youre drinking, does not mean that youre immune from alcohols effects.
Even though you may feel like you can drink more without becoming drunk, your body and organs are still experiencing the weight of the alcohol. And vice versa, should you binge on cocaine. This polydrug abuse increases the risk of overdose from either drug, as well as addiction to each. This phenomenon holds true with whatever combination of stimulant and depressant you choose.
When you take a stimulant and depressant at the same time, or close within the same period, your brain and CNS is simultaneously receiving conflicting signals. This CNS conflict places your brain, body and its life-support systems in a dangerous tug-of-war. When this happens, your heart is extremely taxed as it struggles to keep up with both commands, which are essentially telling it to speed up and slow down at the same time. The same goes for your breathing, blood pressure, and temperature rates.