Depressants: What Are They?
The term “depressants” refers to psychoactive medications designed to reduce the activity of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), thus decreasing alertness and slowing down vital functions such as breathing and heart rate. These drugs suppress arousal and excitement but may not always cause depression.
These drugs have the potential to impair concentration and coordination. Additionally, they impair an individual’s capacity to cope with unforeseen situations. In modest dosages, they may make a person feel calmer and less inhibited. But when used in high doses, they may induce drowsiness, vomiting, unconsciousness, and even death.
Depressants Come in a Variety of Forms
Depressants, often referred to as “downers,” are available in a variety of colours in the form of pills, capsules, or liquid. Certain medications in this category, such as Zyprexa, Seroquel, and Haldol, are referred to as “major tranquilisers” or “antipsychotics” since they are intended to alleviate the symptoms of mental illness. Xanax, Klonopin, Halcion, and Librium are often referred to as “benzos” (short for benzodiazepines). Other sedatives and sleeping tablets, such as Amytal, Numbutal, and Seconal, are classified as barbiturates.
These can take the form of pharmaceutical drugs as well as illicit substances.
Examples of depressant drugs:
Mental Effects of Depressants
Depressants slow the body and mind by affecting the central nervous system. They disrupt normal physical and mental processes. As soon as they reach circulation, they reduce blood pressure and have a profound effect on the respiratory system and the heart. An overdose of these substances or a combination of drugs and alcohol may be deadly due to its side effects.
Physical Effects of Depressants
Depressants calm a person down. This sensation may lead the user to feel euphoric, despite the fact that it is slowing the body down. Later consequences include slurred speech, a lack of inhibitions, and delayed reactions. As a result, the eyes become sluggish, jerky, and have difficulty concentrating.
Depressants are the number one cause of unintentional poisoning. Many abusers are unaware that these medications’ effects may be amplified when taken with other depressants. The combined impact of alcohol and barbiturates, for instance, is tenfold what one would get while taking either one alone.
Depressant medications cause severe withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, sleeplessness, tremors, psychosis, convulsions, and death. These withdrawal symptoms add to the perilous cycle of depressive medication misuse. As such, abusing individuals increases their drug consumption in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms. And drug dependence caused by barbiturates is among the most deadly.
Psychological Effects of Depressants
Abusers of depressants claim that the medicines make them feel calm, joyful, sexy, friendly, relaxed, uninhibited, confident, fearless, and painless.
When they are misused for an extended length of time, they impair judgment and memory. They contribute to mood swings, sadness, and exhaustion. Additionally, they may make the person feel paranoid or have suicidal thoughts.
In many cases, friends and family of the depressants abusers are the first to notice a change in their behaviour. These changes are often quite drastic. When abusers become addicts, they lose interest in everything—their family, friends, schoolwork, appearance, pets, and career. Certainly, they are less concerned with any of these factors than they are with depressants.
Combining Depressants With Other Drugs
When depressants are taken with other drugs – whether over-the-counter or prescribed – the effects can be unpredictable and dangerous.
Barbiturates and benzodiazepines, more than any other class of drugs, progressively increase in risk with each usage. Each time an abuser increases their dose of a particular drug, they get closer to the point at which the substance will kill them. The greater an individual’s tolerance, the greater their danger of overdose and mortality. While the body adapts to the euphoric effects of the drugs, it does not adapt to their fatal consequences. Thus, when the body’s tolerance develops, it wants more of the drug to get the desired effect; however, this does not imply the body can take higher doses. An addict may overdose in an attempt to get the previous outcome.
Australia’s Addiction Crisis
Addiction is one of Australia’s most serious issues. Currently, millions of Australians and their families are afflicted by a variety of drug use problems, the majority of which go untreated. Regardless of the obstacles, there are a number of treatment alternatives available to assist Australians in beginning their recovery journey.
Following marijuana, the most commonly misused drugs in Australia are Ecstasy, Hallucinogens, and Amphetamines. Ecstasy, the most often used, was taken by 11.2 % of Australians over the age of 14. This is close to 3,000,000 individuals and does not include the 9.4% who use hallucinogens or the 6.3 % who use amphetamines. While there may be some overlap, individuals who take one of these medications are looking for a unique benefit that others do not provide. As a result, it is more probable that they are individual figures. This implies that the number of individuals in Australia who are addicted to anything is likely far above 4,000,000.
Abstain From Addiction
When you are surrounded by temptation, the best course of action is to distance yourself from it. However, this is easier said than done. Addiction is a biological condition. While there is a psychological component to overcoming addiction that counselling may help with, those who suffer from addiction must realise that their bodies have been rewired to desire the substance. Without a medical approach to addiction recovery, the person suffering will have a much more difficult time and will be far more prone to relapse.
Workplace Drug Testing
Despite recent efforts, recreational drug use continues to increase. Australia’s employment drug testing and pre-employment drug testing programmes have existed for decades. There is no clear guidance provided by the federal government on what drugs employers should test for, and this encourages employers to stick with an existing drug testing service, program or procedure, because changing takes time and effort.
Drug Test Kits for Modern Drug Testing
If you live in Australia and struggle with addiction or if you run a business that is concerned about the safety of its employees…
We recommend viewing the testing options offered by Australia Drug Testing to screen for substances that can affect the safe operation of your workplace.
We offer the ECO II Cup, a one-step drug testing device that can provide a result within one to two minutes. This rapid urine screening test uses monoclonal antibodies which, when combined with a special urine enzyme, provide highly sensitive detection of elevated levels of specific drugs in the urine.
For more information about the latest employment drug test kit, click here.