August 23, 2017

Sedatives Overview

[frame align=”right”]Sedatives[/frame]Sedatives are part of the larger group of medications known as depressants. Sedatives classification defined as “sedative-hypnotic” drugs because some of the drugs in this category calm nerves or sedate them and some cause sleep called the hypnotic effect. Medication ingestion comes in a capsule form but some by injection.

Effects of Sedatives

They work by depressing the central nervous system. Similar to the effects of alcohol, in small doses sedatives have a calming effect and cause the muscles to relax. At this level, expect drowsiness as well as loss of memory. In larger doses, speech may become slurred, perceptions skewed and coordination may become unmanageable. Sleep occurs easily with a larger dose. When taken in heavy doses, serious effects can occur such as dramatically slowed respiration, coma and even death.

Risks Associated with Sedatives

Use of sedatives can produce a stupor in users leaving them inattentive and unable to exercise sound judgment. This situation can cause the user to be prone to injuries at home or to become involved in automobile accidents. Hallucinations and delusions can occur which can lead to accidents. Overdoses can result in death with the incidence being higher when barbiturates are used.

Sedative Addiction

Sedatives can become addictive. The time it takes for an addiction to develop varies greatly. Determining the level of addiction, one can look at the frequency, the tolerance level as well as the amount. Both legal and illegal sedatives can have an addictive effect. Withdrawal from sedative use can be particularly uncomfortable.

Symptoms can include:

  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • restlessness
  • convulsions

In some cases, death can occur. Symptoms can last for weeks.

Access to Sedatives

Many sedative users get their drugs legally through prescriptions but then abuse the drug. Others get them from people they know who have prescriptions. Some will go to the trouble of forging prescriptions to keep their supply going. Illegal sales are quite popular when it comes to sedative medication. Because sedatives are a controlled substance, they are difficult to get without a prescription without paying high prices on the street.

Treatment for Sedative Addiction

Treatment for addiction to sedatives is difficult. Statistics show a 50% relapse rate during the first 5 years after inpatient detoxification and high associated suicide rates. The level of difficulty concerning withdrawal is very high. In fact, the only kind of recovery treatment recommended is a medical profession treatment center. During this time, the professional staff is able to monitor both withdrawal symptoms and health concerns.

On top of physical addiction, the matter of behavioral addiction is an important issue. Cognitive behavior therapy is one technique used to modify the behavior of users. Support groups and 12 step programs can also lend assistance to someone in the recovery process. In some cases, family counseling may help the patient by bringing to light dynamics in the family, which may have contributed to conditions that lead to the addiction.