Among the many classes of drugs on the market are central nervous system (CNS) depressants. In many cases, though, experts simply refer to them as depressants. Although doctors prescribe them to treat real medical conditions, they have addictive properties. People who take them should understand them and the signs of depressant drug addiction so that they can get help.
What Are Depressant Drugs?
CNS depressants are sedative-hypnotic drugs that slow down the CNS and normal brain function. Sedatives and tranquilizers are some examples, and doctors can use them as general anesthetics. They come in liquid, capsule and pill forms.
Barbiturates are one type of depressant, and there are several brands. Some of these include Amytal, Luminal, Mebaral, and Nembutal. They can treat anxiety, and doctors can use them to control seizure disorders. Despite that, most physicians avoid using them because of their adverse effects and the risk of toxicity in the body.
Instead, doctors usually prescribe benzodiazepines (benzos). Some brand names include Ativan, Halcion, Klonopin, Valium, and Xanax. The effects of each vary, but they can treat anxiety, muscle tension, insomnia, seizure disorders, and alcohol withdrawal.
In addition, people have access to non-benzo sedatives such as Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata. No matter which type of prescription that they take, though, depressant drug addiction is a risk.
Not all depressants are prescription medications. Alcohol is also a depressant and one of the most-used in the world aside from caffeine. Although it's legal, it has a very high potential for abuse. Because so many people drink alcohol, experts tend to separate related disorders from depressant drug addiction.
How Depressants Affect the Brain
Although there are many CNS depressants, most of them affect the brain in the same way. They increase the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that decreases brain activity. Because of that, these drugs make people feel calm, tired, and relaxed. Despite being beneficial for those with anxiety, convulsions and sleep disorders, these effects can be addictive.
Signs of Depressant Drug Addiction
Depressants are pretty effective and safe when people use them under medical supervision and follow their doctors' instructions. Misusing the drugs often leads to dependence and addiction. People with addiction usually have cravings and are unsuccessful when they try to cut back or stop using. They often continue to take the drugs despite suffering consequences such as physical, mental and social harm.
The mental and physical harm clearly manifest in the form of withdrawal symptoms when people stop taking depressants. These symptoms occur because, with depressant drug addiction, the brain adapts to the chemical changes that the drugs cause. The symptoms usually start within 24 to 48 hours after the final dose. Some examples include anxiety, hallucinations, seizures, insomnia, and increased blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature.
However, depressant abuse also causes symptoms while people are under the influence. Like alcohol intoxication, these effects include poor coordination and concentration, slurred speech and lapses in memory. Some people may fall into comas.
End Depressant Abuse at Spring Gardens Recovery
If you notice any of the above signs in yourself or a loved one, it's important to get treatment right away. Spring Gardens Recovery can provide a full recovery plan from detox through rehab. Some of our programs and services include:
- Men's and women's detox programs
- Two-week stabilization program
- Non-12 Step rehab
- Residential and outpatient treatment programs
- Clinical and holistic therapies
As part of clinical therapy at Spring Gardens Recovery, we like to provide addiction education. Through family counseling sessions, everyone in your household can better understand how the disease works. These sessions also improve family relationships and help you build an at-home support network for after treatment.
Don't let depressants of any kind keep you from having a happy life. Get the depressant drug addiction help that you need. Call 866-244-9556 for more information about Spring Gardens Recovery.