America is in the grip of a drug crisis. However, rather than the main culprit being illegal recreational drugs, this time the problem comes straight from the pharmacy.
The use of prescription CNS depressants such as Oxycontin, Diazepam, and Xanax has skyrocketed in recent years, even as authorities attempt to curb the use of these drugs.
While many CNS depressant drugs can and do have positive effects, there is also a mounting human cost that you should be aware of. If you are wondering what are CNS depressants and what it is that you need to know, read on to find out.
1. What Are CNS Depressants Explained
First of all, it’s worth explaining what exactly over the counter CNS depressants actually are. CNS stands for the central nervous system, as CNS depressant drugs are designed to slow down brain activity.
This is why many CNS depressants consist of tranquilizers and sedatives. It is also the reason why CNS depressants are typically prescribed to treat conditions such as anxiety and insomnia, which result from hyperactivity in the brain.
2. Examples of CNS Depressants
CNS depressants are among the most heavily prescribed and consumed legal drugs in the US. Many drugs that are household names are CNS depressants. These include:
- Barbituates: such as Amytal, Mebaral, Nembutal, and Luminal.
- Benzodiazepines: such as Valium and Xanax.
- Sleeping pills: common examples include Ambien and Sonata.
- Opioids: includes Oxycontin, codeine, and methadone.
In addition, substances such as alcohol and morphine are widely-abused CNS depressants.
3. Side Effects of CNS Depressants
CNS depressant effects are vital to understanding if you are considering these as a form of treatment. While such drugs produce a calming effect that can be pleasant for people suffering from anxiety disorders, harmful side effects are ubiquitous.
On the milder side, this includes drowsiness throughout the day, slurred speech, and reduced mental capacity. Irritating physical symptoms such as dry mouth and constipation are also common.
On the more extreme side, excessive use of CNS depressants can cause immobility, low blood pressure, organ failure, and even death. The long-term effects of CNS depressants can also be severe.
4. What Are CNS Depressants Used to Treat?
As mentioned, CNS depressants are currently prescribed to treat a wide range of conditions. Most commonly they are used to treat mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. They are also used to treat chronic pain of all forms, which is why opioid addiction is higher among veterans. CNS depressants can also be used to treat insomnia and high blood pressure.
It is important to keep in mind that CNS depressants are generally very strong and addictive drugs, meaning that alternative treatments should be considered beforehand.
For example, you can click here to read more about milder nootropic drugs that can be used to treat anxiety and insomnia. CNS depressants are a sledgehammer form of treatment that should only be used when absolutely necessary.
Safeguard Your Health in 2020
Understanding what are CNS depressants can help you make better choices when it comes to the health of you and your loved ones. We all need prescription drugs from time to time, but being educated about the health impacts will help you assess whether a prescription option is right for you.
For more help and advice about the health choices that matter, you can consult our extensive Health & Fitness section for up-to-date and expert advice.