Commonly Abused CNS Depressants

If you’ve ever known someone (perhaps your own self) to have high anxiety or sleeping disorders, CNS depressant medications may have been prescribed to alleviate these issues. CNS depressants are considered to be sedatives or tranquilizers. They aid in relaxation and decrease anxiety, tension and stress. When they are used appropriately, and for a short period of time, CNS depressants can be very beneficial. However, because of the effects which they can produce these medications are also heavily abused in countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, France and the United States. The addiction to CNS depressants can be extremely intense and difficult to overcome without the assistance and support of a rehab treatment center. While an extensive number of CNS medications exist, there are specific ones which are commonly abused. Although alcohol is considered by most professionals to be a CNS depressant, for the sake of this article, we will focus specifically on CNS medications.

What are CNS depressants?

CNS depressants are a type of medication which slow down the central nervous system and overall activity in the brain. Doctors will prescribe these drugs to a person who suffers from insomnia, a traumatic experience, high anxiety or extreme stress. For these reasons, CNS depressants can be extremely useful. However, there is a popular “sub-culture” to CNS depressant use. Known to many as downers, these drugs can be the go to choice for people who are trying to escape emotions, numb pain or feel “high”.

How Central Nervous System Depressant Medication Works

CNS depressants slow down the central nervous system. The majority of them will act upon neurotransmitters in the brain known as GABA or gammaaminobutyric acid. This chemical facilitates communication between the brain cells and causes its overall level to increase. As a result, the brain activity becomes slower which ultimately induces a calming like effect in the individual.

Commonly Prescribed CNS Depressants

The most commonly prescribed CNS depressants are also the most heavily abused. These medications can be separated into three different categories.

Benzodiazepines: Diazepam and alprazolam, also known as Valium and Xanax, are mostly used to treat panic attacks, acute stress and anxiety. Both of these CNS medications are considered to be less strong than other benzodiazepines like triazolam and estazolam also known as, Halcion and ProSom. These benzos’ can be very strong and are normally given to people with insomnia. In general, benzodiazepines should not be used for a lengthy amount of time. This is because the risk of abuse and addiction is extremely high. Moreover, the withdrawal can be one of the most intense out of all drugs; hence why a CNS depressant addiction treatment program should be considered.

Sleeping Medications: Although they are CNS depressants, the following are not considered to be benzodiazepines because of the different chemical makeup. While they still act on the same part of the brain, it is widely believed that the side effects are less, as is the risk of developing an addiction. Zolpidem, or Ambien, eszopiclone or Lunesta and zalepon or Sonata are all classified in this category.

Barbiturates: Because there may be an increased risk of overdose or addiction, most barbiturates are only prescribed in severe cases of sleep or anxiety, or surgeries and seizure disorders. The most common of the barbiturates include mephobarbital or Mebaral, phenobarbital or Luminal Sodium, and pentobarbital sodium or Nembutal. More importantly when barbiturates are heavily abused the withdrawal can be life threatening. A rehab for barbiturates should always be enlisted.

Reasons These Legal Drugs are Abused

CNS depressants promote an overall sense of relaxation and euphoria. When using the drug, even the worst of times can seem all right. In social situations, a person who is typically withdrawn and shy may become more at ease with communication and interaction. Likewise, these drugs can lower inhibitions and increase confidence. This ability to find some sort of tranquility, solace and peace are generally the core motives for abuse.

The Risks Associated with CNS Abuse

CNS depressant abuse comes with an extensive list of risks and consequences. Apart from their ability to cause a sharp increase in tolerance in a short amount of time, these drugs can cause a number of other issues. Impaired mental and physical functioning, memory loss and damage to the kidneys, liver or heart can occur. The most common abused depressants can also lead a person to engage in risky behavior while at the same time feel almost “apathetic” towards work, family and social engagements. Through prolonged abuse, CNS depressants can cause a person’s overall mental wellbeing to deteriorate. Extreme depression, fear, paranoia and anxiety can begin to set in. These feelings can be so strong that the urge to engage in self harm or the harm of others can be a real possibility. Moreover, the risk of suicide, especially when withdrawing from CNS depressants is high.

When a CNS Depressant Rehab Treatment Program is Necessary

Whenever a person abuses or has an addiction to CNS depressants, they should seek the support and guidance of a private rehab center. This is because these drugs should never be stopped, but rather, the individual should slowly taper off the dosage. This helps to ease the withdrawal symptoms which can be difficult. Once a CNS depressant detox has been completed, the treatment program can begin. This is a crucial time in which an individual can start to identify their reasons for abuse and more importantly, find healthy ways to work through them. Throughout this time, a person can be given valuable support by experienced CNS addiction professionals.

Our rehab centre in Thailand is one of the leading drug and alcohol facilities. Serenity Rehab Center Thailand, is a private rehab for people with a CNS depressant addiction (as well as others). Serenity offers medically monitored detox, patients and their loved ones can feel comforted in knowing they are safe. From there, our 1:1 ratio will offer patients the necessary attention he or she will require throughout their stay. Holistic therapies, yoga, counselling and group sessions are all part of our extensive customised treatment programs.

If you or someone you know is addicted to CNS depressant medications and would like to seek help at a rehab center in Thailand, please contact us today.