If you or a loved one is struggling with prescription drug addiction, know that you’re not alone. Sadly, many people who had no initial intention of using them other than as directed become dependent on prescription drugs. Prescriptions for conditions like seizure disorders, chronic insomnia, or severe anxiety sometimes lead to problematic use. This is due in large part to the drugs’ basic chemical nature.
If you’re looking for examples of depressants that may prove dangerous in this way or are currently seeking substance abuse treatment, contact Promises Behavioral Health today. Our qualified team, available at 17135283709 or by online message, can tell you more. We offer services in Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania and can make a referral if needed.
Examples of Depressant Drugs and How They Work
Most depressant drugs function by acting directly on the central nervous system. Specifically, depressants increase the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a messenger molecule responsible for lowering brain activity. GABA occurs naturally and is necessary for processes like relaxation and sleep. When it’s overactive, however, it can cause serious side effects like dangerously low heart rate and breathing.
A few examples of depressant drugs include:
- Benzodiazepines (benzos) – Benzos primarily legitimate uses include treating seizures, insomnia, panic, and severe anxiety. They can be extremely habit-forming and induce tolerance, the need to take more and more to get the same effects. Examples of benzos include diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and clonazepam (Klonopin). Another particularly infamous benzo is flunitrazepam. More commonly known as Rohypnol, “roofies,” or the “date rape drug,” is illegal in the U.S. but nonetheless circulates illegally.
- Alcohol – Often overlooked as a dangerous substance because of its legality and ubiquity, alcohol is a potent nervous system depressant. As such, it has the potential to cause overdose, known as alcohol poisoning, and even death. Importantly, alcohol overdose risk drastically increases when drinkers simultaneously use other depressants like benzos.
- Barbiturates – Considered sedative-hypnotics, this class of drugs is older and less common in the United States. Nonetheless, it still poses a risk because of its high addiction potential. Doctors most often use barbiturates today in anesthesia or for treating epilepsy or severe insomnia. Examples of barbiturates include phenobarbital, secobarbital, pentobarbital, and sodium pentothal.
- Prescription sleep medication – Other sedative-hypnotic medications such as zolpidem (Ambien), eszopiclone (Lunesta), and Zaleplon (Sonata) can be used in short-term insomnia treatment. They nonetheless share many features with benzos and likewise carry a significant potential for abuse.
Signs of Depressant Drug Addiction
While signs of depressant addiction manifest differently for each individual, here are a few common trends to watch for:
- Taking depressants not prescribed to you
- Using depressants as a way to get high or experience euphoria
- Upping your dose without consulting your doctor
- Using multiple depressants at the same time
- Using depressants with other types of addictive drugs so as to modify or mitigate one or both drugs’ side effects
- Less interest or success in activities that used to bring you pleasure or a sense of accomplishment
- Withdrawal from or difficulty maintaining healthy relationships with those close to you
- Financial problems due to the constant need to acquire more drugs
- Illegal and/or dangerous behavior, such as driving under the influence in the pursuit of obtaining more drugs
Getting professional help is the best option for individuals who wish to overcome depressant addiction and achieve long-term sobriety.
Get Help for Depressant Addiction at The Right Step
Know that if you’re living with depressant addiction, effective treatment is available. With monitored detox, individual behavioral therapy, a supportive community, and a personal commitment to recovery, regaining health is very possible. For support and further information about depressants and how to begin your recovery journey, contact The Right Step. Staff are waiting to assist you at 17135283709 or via online form, and we look forward to working with you.