Types of Drugs - Barbiturates/Sedative-hypnotics/Downers
What are sedative-hypnotics?
Sedative-hypnotics are drugs which
depress or slow down the body's functions. Often these drugs are
referred to as tranquilizers and sleeping
pills or sometimes just as sedatives. Their effects range
from calming down anxious people to promoting sleep. Both tranquilizers
and sleeping pills can have either effect, depending on how much
is taken. At high doses or when they are abused, many of these
drugs can even cause unconsciousness and death.
What are some of the sedative-hypnotics?
and benzodiazepines are the two major categories
of sedative-hypnotics. The drugs in each of these groups are similar
in chemical structure. Some well-known barbiturates are secobarbital
(Seconal) and pentobarbital (Nembutal). Diazepam (Valium), chlordiazepoxide
(Librium), and chlorazepate (Tranxene) are examples of benzodiazepines.
A few sedative-hypnotics do not fit in either category. They include
methaqualone (Quaalude), ethchlorvynol (Placidyl), chloral hydrate
(Noctec), and mebrobamate (Miltown). All of these drugs can be
dangerous when they are not taken according to a physician's instructions.
Symptoms and Addiction:
Sedative-hypnotics are addictive.
They can cause both physical and psychological dependence. Regular
use over a long period of time may result in tolerance, which
means people have to take larger and larger doses to get the same
effects. When regular users stop using large doses of these drugs
suddenly, they may develop physical withdrawal symptoms ranging
from restlessness, insomnia and anxiety, to convulsions and death.
When users become psychologically dependent, they feel as if they
need the drug to function. Finding and using the drug becomes
the main focus in life.
What are barbiturates?
Barbiturates are often called "barbs"
and "downers." Barbiturates that are
commonly abused include amobarbital (Amytal), pentobarbital (Nembutal),
and secobarbital (Seconal). These drugs are sold in capsules and
tablets or sometimes in a liquid form or suppositories.
Symptoms and dangers:
The effects of barbiturates are,
in many ways, similar to the effects of alcohol.
Small amounts produce calmness and relax muscles. Somewhat larger
doses can cause slurred speech, staggering gait, poor judgment,
and slow, uncertain reflexes. These effects make it dangerous
to drive a car or operate machinery. Large doses can cause unconsciousness
is a factor in nearly one-third of all reported drug-related deaths.
These include suicides and accidental drug poisonings. Accidental
deaths sometimes occur when a user takes one dose, becomes confused
and unintentionally takes additional or larger doses. With barbiturates
there is less difference between the amount that produces sleep
and the amount that kills. Furthermore, barbiturate withdrawal
can be more serious than heroin
Heroin and Opiates