Author: John Carter

Central Nervous System CNS Depression: Know the Facts

cns depressant drugs

Find out here more about the uses and risks of CNS depressants. Opiates refer to natural opioids such as morphine and codeine. Opioids refer to all natural, semisynthetic, and synthetic opioids, like heroin and oxycodone.

As yet, an allosteric site where ethanol works is not known, although the inhibitory effects of ethanol are ultimately mediated through the GABAA receptor. Barbiturates are powerful medications, and over time medical professionals have shifted from using them to treat anxiety and sleep disorders to being used as anticonvulsants (anti-seizure medications). Opioids are often misused and used recreationally, making them one of the leading causes of CNS depression.

  1. The exact effects of inhalants also vary, but they typically follow four stages (see figure below).
  2. Excessive CNS depression is when the central nervous system slows down to notable or even dangerous levels.
  3. In extreme cases and, in particular, where severe addiction and/or abuse is manifested, an inpatient detoxification may be required, with flumazenil as a possible detoxification tool.
  4. The delta receptor is the least studied out of the 3 main opioid receptors.
  5. Cannabis may sometimes be considered a depressant due to one of its components, cannabidiol.

For the last section of our chapter on depressants, we will cover a type of drug that many people might overlook. Inhalants are solvents or other materials that produce vapors that elicit psychoactive effects. While a wide variety of products can be used as inhalants, most induce CNS depression through similar mechanisms of action. People who take CNS depressants may have mild symptoms such as drowsiness or feeling uncoordinated. People who misuse the medication or become dependent on it may have more severe symptoms, such as very slow breathing and memory loss. The central nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord, which control most bodily functions, including breathing and the heart.

When a person stops taking depressant drugs, severe withdrawal symptoms begin. Because these drugs change brain chemistry, withdrawal symptoms start suddenly and are very severe. For instance, most withdrawal symptoms start within 12 to 24 hours of the last dose.

Benefits and Risks of CNS Depressants

It has sedative, hypnotic, muscle relaxant and central nervous system depressant properties. Users would snort or smoke the free base Etaqualone hydrochloride salt. Gabapentinoids are absorbed from the intestines mainly by the Large neutral amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1, SLC7A5) and the Excitatory amino acid transporter 3 (EAAT3). They are one of the few drugs that use these amino acid transporters.

cns depressant drugs

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Facts and Long-Term Effects of Depressant Drugs

Someone thinking about ending their use of a CNS depressant, or who has stopped and is suffering from withdrawal, should immediately seek medical treatment. It is very easy to overdose on these substances, especially if you have no tolerance. It is recommended to get your drugs tested, and to carry Naloxone.

Benzodiazepines are not prescribed for long-term use because of their high risk of developing dependence or addiction. You should also talk to your doctor before increasing your dose. If you have signs of an overdose, like your ability to breathe slows or stops, seek immediate medical attention. Combining one or more CNS depressants often causes CNS depression.

Because they slow down the CNS, they’re useful in treating anxiety, panic, and sleep disorders. If a person combines prescription sedatives and OTC meds, it can be fatal. But, this risk increases when people use depressants to come down from stimulants. However, it’s very dangerous to combine multiple CNS depressant drugs. For instance, it can lead to overdose, respiratory failure, and death.

cns depressant drugs

Above all, the long-term impact of depressants prescription leads to depressant addiction. While opioids vary tremendously in strength, addictive potential, and other aspects, they tend to be very chemically similar and typically have similar effects. While opioids are considered extremely effective for treating pain, they are also some of the most addictive and dangerous drugs in the world. Every year, opioid overdose takes the lives of tens of thousands of Americans.

An increase in the activity of GABA in your brain leads to a slowdown of your brain activity. CNS depression is prevalent among people who use these substances recreationally. Because of the way that depressants affect brain chemistry and slow activity, withdrawal can be severe and sudden when an individual stops taking them. Withdrawal symptoms typically begin 12 to 24 hours after the last dose of the drug and are most severe between 24 and 72 hours after this dose.

Medical causes

Having a history of addiction may put you at higher risk of CNS depression. That’s because you may be prone to taking more medication than prescribed or combining medication with other drugs or alcohol. As mentioned earlier, nitrous oxide is used as a general anesthetic. It also has analgesic (pain-relieving) and anxiolytic effects. Nitrous oxide is often misused because it is unregulated and produces euphoria and giddiness, which is why it is also called laughing gas. It can also lower inhibitions and cause dissociation, unconsciousness, dizziness, and loss of motor function.

IV. Part 4. Psychotherapeutic Drugs

Although they have a lower risk of dependency than other CNS depressants, long-term use may cause the condition. The strength of opioids and the risk of addiction varies greatly. However, they are chemically similar and have the same effects. Although opioids are useful, they are perhaps the most dangerous drug. For instance, 128 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Also, hundreds of thousands of people struggle with depressant addiction every year.

However, the long-term effects of depressants can lead to depressant addiction and severe withdrawal symptoms. Methaqualone hydrochloride, quinazolinone anxiolytics and hypnotics are referred to as “quaaludes”, “ludes”, and “disco biscuits”. Methaqualone was very commonly abused in the western world during the 1960s and 1970s. Methaqualone was discontinued in the United States in 1985, mainly due to its psychological addictiveness, widespread abuse, and illegal recreational use. Nonbenzodiazepines, and benzodiazepines are now used to treat insomnia instead. Some common examples include opioids, sedatives, and hypnotics.

Risk factors to consider

There are Piperidinediones that are used for other purposes like breast cancer.[8][9][10] . The Piperidinedione class is very structurally similar to barbiturates. Some Piperidinediones include Glutethimide, Methyprylon, Pyrithyldione, Glutarimide, and Aminoglutethimide. The first 3 (Glutethimide, Methyprylon, and Pyrithyldione) are central nervous depressants. The Piperidinedione depressants, specifically Glutethimide, are positive modulators of the GABAA anion channel.