WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
Depressants work by slowing the brain’s activity, producing a drowsy or calming effect that is medically beneficial to those suffering from anxiety or sleep disorders. However, depressants can also diminish heartbeat and respiration to dangerously low levels. This is especially true when depressants are combined with alcohol or over-the-counter medications. Side effects can include impaired motor skills and slurred speech, drowsiness, depression, impaired memory and cognitive function, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. Misuse of Prescription Drugs.
Long term abuse of benzodiazepines may require larger doses to achieve therapeutic effects, leading to dependence and withdrawal. When a chronic user abruptly reduces or stops taking these addictive drugs, they may experience severe withdrawal symptoms including anxiety, insomnia, seizures and other harmful consequences.
AKA: BENZOS, XANIES, STICKS, BARS, BENZ
Benzodiazepines, including brand-name medications valium and xanax, are among the most commonly prescribed depressants in the United States, frequently used to treat anxiety and tension. Consuming these drugs without doctor supervision or without being diagnosed can lead to dangerous side effects.