Sedatives Side Effects, Dependence & Addiction

Before you drive, go back to work, use heavy tools and machinery, or participate in other potentially dangerous activities, talk to your healthcare provider. They can guide you on what you can do the 10 strongest vodkas in the world ark behavioral health to take your medications as prescribed and stay safe at the same time. Your doctor will also try to determine if your depressive symptoms are linked to the new medication or some other cause.


Everyday Health follows strict sourcing guidelines to ensure the accuracy of its content, outlined in our editorial policy. We use only trustworthy sources, including peer-reviewed studies, board-certified medical experts, patients with lived experience, and information from top institutions. In order to stop taking the drug, you may need to have your dose reduced over time (tapered) with the help of a healthcare provider. Dependence and addiction are risks for all three classes of sedatives. If severe CNS depression is left untreated, it can be fatal for the person living with the condition.

Central Nervous System Depressant Withdrawal

In addition, continued use can lead to physical dependence and, when use is lessened or stopped, withdrawal symptoms. If you suffer from insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, or seizures, your doctor may prescribe a class of drugs called central nervous system (CNS) depressants. These medications are designed to slow your brain down, relax your muscles, and provide a sense of calm. CNS depressants work by increasing the activity of a neurotransmitter in your brain, called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

  1. The most commonly used medication in treating Parkinson’s disease is levodopa.
  2. However, these drugs are prone to misuse and may cause severe side effects.
  3. Continued use of some CNS depressants can be harmful long-term, as the body becomes unable to flush out these substances.
  4. Some of the most common types include Luminal, Amytal, and Nembutal.
  5. Some types of CNS depressant can also have long-term effects, causing someone to have difficulty thinking, confusion, speech problems, loss of coordination, and muscle weakness.
  6. One benzodiazepine that’s noteworthy — even though it’s not approved (and illegal) in the United States — is flunitrazepam.

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Because benzodiazepines have a higher risk for misuse and can be habit-forming, healthcare providers tend to prescribe them cautiously. They may prescribe them only for use as needed, not daily, and they may prescribe lower doses or pick benzodiazepines that aren’t as strong. Your healthcare provider can explain their recommendations for your treatment, including the timeline for which treatments you receive and why.

• gabapentin (Neurontin)

Data for 2016 estimates at least 64,000 drug overdose deaths, the highest number ever recorded in the United States. Prescription benzodiazepines and opioids carry the highest level of warning from the U.S. In 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strengthened their warning that benzodiazepine use can lead to addiction. Combined with alcohol, opiods, and other CNS depressants, they can be life-threatening. Also, the individual may need more and more of the drug to experience the same benefits.

These can happen rapidly, be severe, and even be life threatening. Withdrawal symptoms may appear as early as 12–24 hours after the person’s last dose. Misusing sedatives, which means taking them in amounts or how to detox weed naturally from your system ways other than what the doctor prescribed, can have detrimental effects for a person, including overdose. Misusing sedatives and prolonging their use may lead to dependency and eventual withdrawal symptoms.

This risk is also compounded if CNS depressants are used to offset the effects of stimulant drugs, such as cocaine or Adderall. The overuse of depressants can lead to symptoms of CNS depression, including slowed reflexes, lightheadedness, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. Depressants affect GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that slows down activity in the brain. When severe, CNS depression caused by substances such as opioids, alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and sleeping medications can be fatal. CNS depressants are often prescribed to treat conditions including stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, and seizures. These medications can be safe and effective, but they do have a risk for tolerance, dependence, and overdose.

CNS depression is a form of depression caused by the misuse of CNS depressants. CNS depressants are substances that can slow down your central nervous system. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to a central nervous system depressant, know that you are not alone and there are treatment options available. The tolerance and withdrawal criteria are not met if an individual is taking sedatives, hypnotics, or anxiolytics under medical supervision.

Sexual and violent crime are other areas where people are known to misuse CNS depressants. The sedative Xyrem, known as the “date rape drug,” commonly features in cases of sexual assault. Given their strength and addictive qualities, only people who have a severe condition should use them. Recreational use can be illegal and dangerous, as people may not understand the risks of misuse. Antidepressants are a class of prescription drugs used to treat different types of depression. If you’re using any sedative medication regularly, you shouldn’t stop taking it abruptly, as this can cause severe withdrawal symptoms such as seizures.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is particularly helpful in treating CNS depressant abuse. This type of therapy focuses on modifying a patient’s thinking, expectations, and behaviors while simultaneously increasing their skills for coping with various life stressors. Additionally, CNS depressants are often used in conjunction with another drug or substance, and treatment plans will also address any lsd effects short-term and long-term effects of lsd polydrug abuse to ensure lasting recovery. For example, someone that was taking Xanax for anxiety will often experience worse anxiety upon cessation of the drug. Someone thinking about ending their use of a CNS depressant, or who has stopped and is suffering from withdrawal, should immediately seek medical treatment. People who suddenly stop taking sedatives may experience withdrawal symptoms.

Some people also use opioids and opiates, such as heroin, as recreational drugs. Some of these substances, for example, codeine, are present in medications for coughs or diarrhea. Many CNS depressants work by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical that prevents or slows the delivery of messages between cells. CNS depressants are medications and other substances that slow down the CNS. A person may benefit from taking the correct dose of a CNS depressant, such as an opioid pain relief medication. Analgesic drugs are commonly used for treating pain due to arthritis, surgery, injury, toothache, headache, menstrual cramps, sore muscles, or other causes…

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