Depressants

Allison Silletti

In General

Depressants are used to clam nerves and relax muscles

When prescribed, they are used to treat insomnia, anxiety, seizures, convulsions, OCD and to treat pain

Short Term Effects

Depressants slow down vital nervous system functions


  • slows heats rate/ breathing
  • slows neurotransmitters
Causes:


-drowsiness -slurred speech

-confusion -blurred vision

-dizziness -nausea/ vomiting

-memory loss -impaired judgment/mental function

Long Term Effects

  • develop a tolerance which leads to dependency
  • dangerous withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit
Causes:

-impaired sexual function -convulsions (like seizures)

-insomnia/ sleep problems -depression

-breathing problems

Types of Depressants

Cannabis

  • perscribed to relive pain from cancer, gaucoma and nerve pain
  • can induce auditory + visual hallucinations
  • causes euphoria or anxiety
  • stored in fat = long elimination time

Alcohol

  • effects every organ in the body
  • impairs brain function + motor skills
  • damages a developing fetus
  • increases risks for cancer, stroke, and liver disease

Benzodiazepines

  • effects neurotransmitters
  • prescribed for sedation, anti-anxiety, anti-convulsion, and as a muscle relaxant
  • effects include drowsiness, dizziness, decreased alertness and concentration
Includes:

-Valium

-Librium

-Rohypnol (roofies)

-Xanax

Opioids

  • painkillers
  • reduces pain signal reaching the brain
  • effects the areas of the brain controlling emotion
Include:

-hydrocodone

  • Vicadin
-oxycodone
  • Oxiconton
  • Percocet
-morphine

Barbiturates

Barbiturate are similar to Benzodiazapines, but much more dangerous

Uses
  • general anesthesia
  • treat epilepsy
  • lethal injection
  • with muscle relaxant for euthanasia
  • physician- assisted suicides
Causes:
  • Dulled, slow thinking
  • Emotional instability, swinging from laughter to tears easily
  • Irritation, antagonism
  • Slurring, stumbling speech
  • Lack of motor control that can cause a person to drop items
  • Poor physical coordination
  • Confusion

All Depressant Overdoses Can Lead to Death