Drugs that can reduce pain, induce a state of sedation or cause unconsciousness. These drugs are sometimes known as opioids because they act on the opioid receptors in your brain. Prescription drugs like codeine and oxycodone are classified as narcotics, as are street drugs like heroin.
- Drugs that suppress the activity of the brain and nerves, acting directly on the central nervous system to create a sedative effect. This category includes barbiturates, benzodiazepines, alcohol and marijuana. Depressants are taken to relieve anxiety, promote sleep and to create a sense of overall well-being.