What's your poison?

The truth about depressants..

- Depressants are substances that slow down normal function of the central nervous system. They include barbiturates and benzodiazepines. Alcohol and marijuana are also described as depressants. Barbiturates are prescribed as sedatives under the commercial names Amytal, Nembutal and Phenobarbital among others. They are used to treat anxiety, tension and sleep disorders. Benzodiazepines are prescribed as tranquilizers with the brand names Valium and Xanax. They are used to treat anxiety, acute stress and panic attacks. Depressants affect neurotransmitters, which provide communication between brain cells, by decreasing brain activity. This action produces the calming effect and drowsiness that can benefit people suffering from anxiety, stress or other disorders. But these benefits can bring about the potential for abuse and addiction (Shaw, 2015).

Prescription Drug Abuse: A Public Health Epidemic
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Do you have an addiction or a habit? Addiction - there is a psychological/physical component; the person is unable to control the aspects of the addiction without help because of the mental or physical conditions involved. Habit - it is done by choice. The person with the habit can choose to stop, and will subsequently stop successfully if they want to. The psychological/physical component is not an issue as it is with an addiction (Nordqvist, 2016).

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People taking depressants will feel calm, but the body may become accustomed to the effects of the drug, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). When these drugs are used over a long period of time, the feelings of calm and tranquility may soon disappear and larger doses of the drug are needed to achieve the same effects (Shaw, 2015). People also use these forms of drugs to change their emotional state or rid themselves of the life they are living. The cause of addiction is not completely understood but it is usually caused by emotional, physical, mental and circumstantial factors.

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Do you know your treatment options? – The first step in treatment is for the addicted person to acknowledge he/she has a problem and then we can get them help. There are many different ways to get someone help that has an addiction problem. Some of the options for treatment are addiction treatment programs, psychotherapy and self-help groups. Someone addicted to depressants will go through withdrawals and it can be a very scary and tough experience. During withdrawal the patient may experience anxiety, insomnia, sweating and restlessness. In rare cases there may be whole-body tremors, seizures, hallucinations, hypertension (high blood pressure), accelerated heart rate and fever. In severe cases there may be delirium, which according to the Mayo Clinic, USA, could be life-threatening (Nordqvist, 2016).

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Some common myths or misconceptions related to drug/depressant addiction are • Myth one – Drug addiction is a choice • Myth two – Only people with no willpower struggle with addiction. • Myth three – Drug addiction is a hopeless condition. The only hopeless addiction cases are those who deny or avoid the issue altogether. Asking for help is the first step to recovering from a condition that is completely treatable. Since addiction is a disease, it is difficult to manage alone. Instead, it is best managed with the support of licensed healthcare professionals (abuse, 2014)

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Once deciding you want help you need to find the right addiction therapist that best suits your needs. First and foremost, check their credentials to see if they are who they say they are. Make sure they have the associated degree of the professional discipline you personally are looking for. The professional you go to should be licensed, and the license should be up to date and clearly indicated on his or her website or profile listing (Jeremy Frank, 2015)