Depressant Addiction

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Depressant Addiction

Definitions of Addiction Types

Sometimes called “downers,” these drugs come in multicolored tablets and capsules or in liquid form. Some drugs in this category, such as Zyprexa, Seroquel and Haldol, are known as “major tranquilizers” or “antipsychotics,” as they are supposed to reduce the symptoms of mental illness. Depressants such as Xanax, Klonopin, Halcion and Librium are often referred to as “benzos” (short for benzodiazepines1). Other depressants, such as Amytal, Numbutal and Seconal, are classed as barbiturates—drugs that are used as sedatives and sleeping pills.

Higher doses can cause impairment of memory, judgment and coordination, irritability, paranoia,3 and suicidal thoughts. Some people experience the opposite of the intended effect, such as agitation or aggression. Using sedatives (drugs used to calm or soothe) and tranquilizers with other substances, particularly alcohol, can slow breathing and the heart rate and even lead to death.

Tolerance to many depressants can develop rapidly, with larger doses needed to achieve the same effect. The user, trying to reach the same high, may raise the dose to a level that results in coma or death by overdose. Long-term use of depressants can produce depression, chronic fatigue, breathing difficulties, sexual problems and sleep problems. As a dependency on the drug increases, cravings, anxiety or panic are common if the user is unable to get more. Withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, weakness and nausea. For continual and high-dose users, agitation, high body temperature, delirium, hallucinations and convulsions can occur. Unlike withdrawal from most drugs, withdrawal from depressants can be life-threatening.

These drugs can also increase the risk of high blood sugar, diabetes, and weight gain (instances of up to 100 pounds have been reported). In a study conducted by USA Today, based on Food and Drug Administration data over a four-year period, antipsychotics (a type of depressant) were the prime suspects in forty-five deaths caused by heart problems, choking, liver failure and suicide.

 

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DXM Dextromethorphan Addiction

Reflections - Definition of Addiction Types

Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant that is available in over-the-counter cough medications. Dextromethorphan (DXM) is the active ingredient in most OTC cough medicines. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the 1950s, DXM is the most widely used cough suppressant ingredient in the United States. When taken according to labeling instructions, medicines that contain DXM are safe and effective. However, when taken in excessive amounts higher than recommended doses, DXM can produce dangerous side effects.Because it is a legal drug, it can be purchased by anyone, even a preteen, except in California. There, a minor cannot purchase a cough medication containing dextromethorphan (DXM).

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GHB Addiction

Reflections - Definition of Addiction Types

GHB or Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (C4H8O3) is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that is commonly referred to as a “club drug” or “date rape” drug. GHB is abused by teens and young adults at bars, parties, clubs and “raves” (all night dance parties), and is often placed in alcoholic beverages. Euphoria, increased sex drive, and tranquility are reported positive effects of GHB abuse. Negative effects may include sweating, loss of consciousness (reported by 69 percent of users), nausea, hallucinations, amnesia, and coma, among other adverse effects.

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Xanax Addiction

Reflections - Definition of Addiction Types

Xanax is the trade name of the prescription medication alprazolam, and is in a category of drugs known as benzodiazepines. The medication works by interacting with a receptor in the brain that in turn increases inhibitory brain activity, thus tempering any problematic excitement related to anxiety. As a fast-acting drug, the majority of the benefits are established within an hour after use, with the total duration of effect being at least 6 hours. Xanax is commonly abused by those seeking it for its sedative effects. Xanax is especially addictive when misused (taken recreationally or other than as directed).

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Valium Addiction

Reflections - Definition of Addiction Types

Valium is a benzodiazepine prescribed by medical doctors and psychiatrists to treat anxiety and panic attacks. Historically, Valium has been a popular pharmaceutical agent--widely used for its muscle relaxant, anti-convulsant, and sedative properties. The substance is also known by its generic name, diazepam. Valium is a depressant drug that strengthens the effects of a neurotransmitter in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA works to slow down brain activity, so increasing GABA neurotransmission will result in less activity and reduced anxiety. Valium is a potential drug of abuse that can result in problems like physiological dependence, tolerance, and addiction when used for an extended period of time, at high doses, or for reasons other than prescribed.

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Klonopin Addiction

Reflections - Definition of Addiction Types

Klonopin is a prescription sedative medication useful as an anti-anxiety and anti-convulsant drug. Doctors prescribe Klonopin to control or prevent seizures and reduce anxiety from panic attacks. Also known as clonazepam, this drug is a benzodiazepine--a class of drugs that is highly addictive. This substance works by slowing down certain functions of the body. As an oral medication, the drug is widely prescribed in the US because of its noted efficacy in the short-term.

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Ativan Addiction

Reflections - Definition of Addiction Types

Ativan, also known as lorazepam is a highly-potent, immediate-acting and strong sedative that is often used to treat anxiety disorders and associated symptoms. Ativan can also be used to manage insomnia, acute seizures, and occasionally used for sedation of aggressive individuals. This benzodiazepine produces therapeutic effects via the interaction of the benzodiazepine binding cells located in the GABA receptors of the central nervous system. Although helpful for management of anxiety, this medication is not intended for long-term use as it’s both highly addictive and habit-forming. Since this medication is so addictive it should only be used by those who have a prescription and should be used directly as prescribed.

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