Depressants are prescription medications that slow down the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain and spinal cord. The drugs work by “depressing” the normal activity of the brain. Doctors typically prescribe depressants to relieve anxiety or sleep problems for patients. When taken exactly as prescribed, depressants can be effective treatments for lowering stress and anxiety levels.
These types of medications can be divided into three main groups: barbiturates, benzodiazepines and sleep medications. Barbiturates are used to treat seizure disorders and surgical procedures, and may go by the street names barbs, reds, red birds, phennies, tooies, yellows or yellow jackets. Benzodiazepines are used to treat acute stress reactions, panic attacks, convulsions and sleep disorders, with street names such as candy, downers, sleeping pills or tranks. Sleep medications are used to treat sleep disorders and are sometimes called A-minus or zombie pills.
When depressants are taken without a prescription or high doses are used, severe respiratory problems can result. This risk is especially high if the person combines the depressants with alcohol or other drugs, which can slow down the heart and respiratory system and lead to death.
Treatment for Depressant Addiction
Depressant addiction is when a person compulsively seeks out and uses a medication despite being aware of its harmful effects. Over time, tolerance can develop, which is when the body becomes accustomed to the medication’s effects, and they decrease. Tolerance can lead to increased use and physical dependence.
Immediate withdrawal of depressants can result in serious withdrawal symptoms. When a person is addicted to depressants, brain activity is slowed, so when the person stops taking the depressants, brain activity speeds up at a rapid rate and may cause seizures. Individuals who want to recover from an addiction to depressants should seek professional medical help before doing so.
Talbott Recovery provides addiction treatment programs for individuals who are addicted to depressants, including both day treatment and intensive outpatient programs. We have campuses conveniently located in the Atlanta, Dunwoody and Columbus, GA areas.