Friday, April 7, 2017

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Sedative Abuse

Sedatives are substances that induce sedation, reduce anxiety, irritability or excitement. These include drug classes such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates. Benzodiazepines are used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders, and barbiturates are used to treat seizures and for anaesthesia during major surgery. These are generally safe when taken under the advice of a medical professional, however when abused can be particularly dangerous.

“Club drugs” such as GHB cause disinhibition, excitement, and amnesia. These drugs are often referred to in popular media as “date-rape drugs” or “roofies”. Regular use of these drugs tends to lead to physical tolerance and dependency, which is different to addiction. However, they are often misused and barbiturates particularly can be dangerous when used recreationally.

Benzodiazepines can cause over-sedation, memory problems, a lack of motor skills, and confusion. When an overdose occurs they can stop your breathing, cause a coma or even death.

Sedatives are particularly dangerous when mixed with alcohol, and can even kill. Sedatives multiply the effects of alcohol, so a few drinks can have the effect of many.

Symptoms of sedative addiction include:
  • Craving for the drug, often being unsuccessful in reducing its use 
  • Physical dependence - withdrawal symptoms after you stop taking the depressant Signs of a sedative overdose include: 
  • Anxiety 
  • Fever 
  • Agitation
  •  Hallucinations 
  • •Disorientation 
  •  Tremors 
  • •Delirium
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