Central Nervous System Depressants


Central Nervous System Depressants

14:33 25 August in Treatment Choices

What are Central Nervous System Depressants?

Drugs that influence the brain by slowing down its natural activity, for curing many health problems are called central nervous system depressants. Consumption of these drugs results in side effects which include relaxation, drowsiness. To treat different number of disorders Central nervous system depressants are used.

It is used for treating sleep disorders, insomnia,stress, anxiety, panic attacks and seizures. Lets understand which drugs comes under CNS:

a) Alcohol

b) Barbiturates

c) Benzodiazepines

d) Many sleeping pills

e) Opioids

It is important to know that working of CNS depressants work in their own way as per their classes. This CNS depressant has the ability to reduce activity in CNS & awareness in the brain. For your information some CNS depressants are safe but there are high chances of potential abuse & addiction.



Alcohol is widely consumed in the world which also acts as a depressant. Effects of alcohol or this CNS depressant depends on how much one is consuming.Many people don’t know what are behavioral effects of alcohol.For instance, when an individual consume drink, Chemical changes start happening in the brain which results in a feeling of relaxation.Alcohol may actually increase stress & anxiety when over consumption happens.One can also see negative reactions such as aggression,anger, depression.Check out how long does alcohol stay in your system.



These are the types of CNS depressant that are suggested by health professionals to cure tension, sleep orders, anxiety. Some common barbiturates include, Nembutal, Amytal, Luminal, Mebaral and Seconal. Barbiturates abused a lot resulting in addictions but prior to this it was considered as a safe depressant. Euphoria & relaxation may take place when it is taken in small doses.Due to this it was observed that dramatic impact on sleep patterns was seen , resulting in suppressed REM sleep. 



It is even known for Benzo’s, used for treating anxiety,convulsions,sleeping disorders & stress. Some of the benzo’s are Ativan, Xanax,and Valium.It is very effective in curing insomnia, anxiety as it has muscle relaxing,sedative & sleep inducing properties. It is safe for short term use but long term use may result in tolerance, addiction & withdrawal symptoms may also be seen when one stops taking it. Read about Ativan here.

Sleeping Pills:


Ambien, Sonata, and Lunesta are non benzodiazepine sleep aids included in central nervous system depressants.It helps in treating insomnia and other sleep disorders.Sleeping pills are chemically different in nature from other CNS depressants & it works to stimulate the GABA neurotransmitter in a different way. For your information these non benzodiazepine sleep aids drugs do not reduce anxiety.Compared to benzodiazepines, non benzodiazepine sleep aids drugs have less potential of abuse & have fewer side effects and risk of addiction.  However overdose & long-term use can result in tolerance & addiction.



In the United States, Opioids are commonly  prescribed as pain medications & also in other countries.Other purposes of using opioids like methadone are also used for addiction treatment.One may find a different number of opioids which includes legal prescription medications such as hydrocodone, codeine & illicit street drugs, such as heroin.


Do you know?


Every year tens & thousands of United States citizens are affected due to opioids which has resulted in deaths.Different Opioids have different nature of working in strength, potential of addiction & other aspects but chemically they work similarly & have similar effects.Generally opioids are observed to be very effective for treating pain & they are also widely known for addictive potential & While opioids are considered extremely effective for treating pain, they are also widely known for addictive potential & dangerous drugs. 


Lets understand about side Effects of Central Nervous System Depressants:
















a) Lowered blood pressure

B) Dilated pupils & Confusion or disorientation

c) Slowed pulse and breathing

d) Sleepiness or fatigue

e) Difficulty urinating

f) Dizziness & Difficulty concentrating

g) Memory loss & Slowed reaction time

h) Relaxation and euphoria

i) Slurred speech

j) Loss of coordination

k) Impaired judgement & Blacking out

l) Chronic fatigue,Breathing and sleep difficulties

m) Weight gain & Physical dependence

n) Hypersomnia,Depression & Suicidal thoughts

o) Sexual dysfunction


What are exact Signs of  Abuse:

The very absolute sign is consuming the drugs without proper medical guidance. It is observed that many abusers take overdoses to increase intoxication or take someone else’s prescription. Other warning signs include:

















a) Mood swings

b) Secretive or abnormal behavior

c) Lack of energy or motivation

d) Decreased social activity or work productivity

e) Periods of depression or apathy

f)  Withdrawal symptoms when not using depressants

g) Failing in attempts to stop using the drugs


Central Nervous System Depressant Withdrawal:

Individuals may see withdrawal symptoms when one stops taking it.Severe & sudden withdrawal can be seen after 12 to 24 hours. Withdrawal symptoms can be seen depending upon the last dosage.It may be severe between 24 to 72 hours after the dosage. Fading out of Withdrawal symptoms can be seen after this initial period which is known as acute withdrawal; however, some symptoms, known as post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) may last for up to 24 months.

Common central nervous system depressant withdrawal symptoms include:


a) Insomnia

b) Restlessness,Weakness

c) Nausea,Vomiting

d) Shaking,Excessive sweating

e) Irritability

f) Hallucinations

g) Anxiety

h) Panic attacks

i)  Body tremors

j)  Seizures

k) Muscular stiffness or pain

l)  Changes in perception

m)Heart palpitations

n) Tension

o) Memory issues

p) Aches and pains


One may put his/her life in danger if he/she tries to quit the drug by himself/herself without guidance .It is also seen that Medically-assisted detox has been a promising way to flush central nervous system depressants.


Addiction Treatment:

Now you understand , What are central nervous system depressants?It is observed that Some individuals experience symptoms of withdrawal when they stop consuming depressants. Generally the type and severity of the symptoms are determined by a number of factors such as from how long the individual is addicted, the severity of the addiction, whether multiple substances were abused, his/her mental health history. For such addictive people, inpatient rehabs &  medically guided detox offer the best hopes of a successful recovery.


Want to live an addiction free life? Check this Smart Recovery program


Finding Treatment for addiction:

If you or a loved one are addicted  and looking for the right treatment center, Contact a treatment consultant now, so we can help you find the treatment you need. We have compiled a list of treatment centers where you can enquire or call us (888 820-7985) for any assistance.

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