Drug Education – Depressants

Drug Dependence

Physical / Psychological

How Used Duration
Barbiturates High / Moderate Oral 1-16
Methaqualone High / High Oral 4-8
Benzodiazepines Low-High / Low-High Oral 2-72
Glutethimide (Doriden) High / Moderate Oral 4-8
Soma Low / Moderate Oral 2-8
What are Depressants?


Drugs used medicinally to relieve anxiety, irritability, tension. High potential for abuse, development of tolerance.
Produce state of intoxication similar to that of alcohol.
Combined with alcohol, increase effects, multiply risks.


Possible Effects


Sensory alteration, anxiety reduction, intoxication.
Small amounts cause calmness, relaxed muscles.
Larger amounts cause slurred speech, impaired judgment, loss of motor coordination.
Very large doses may cause respiratory depression, coma, death.
Newborn babies of abusers may show dependence, withdrawal symptoms, behavioral problems, birth defects.

Symptoms of Overdose


Shallow respiration, clammy skin, dilated pupils. Weak and rapid pulse, coma, death.

Withdrawal Syndrome


Anxiety, insomnia, muscle tremors, loss of appetite.
Abrupt cessation or reduced high dose may cause convulsions, delirium, death.

Indications of Possible Misuse


Behavior similar to alcohol intoxication (without odor of alcohol on breath).
Staggering, stumbling, lack of coordination, slurred speech.
Falling asleep while at work, difficulty concentrating.
Dilated pupils.