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Depressants

WHAT ARE DEPRESSANTS? 

Depressants will put you to sleep, relieve anxiety and muscle spasms, and prevent seizures. 

Barbiturates are older drugs and include butalbital (Fiorina), phenobarbital, Pentothal, Seconal, and Nembutal. A person can rapidly develop dependence on and tolerance to barbiturates, meaning a person needs more and more of them to feel and function normally. This makes them unsafe, increasing the likelihood of coma or death. 

Benzodiazepines were developed to replace barbiturates, though they still share many of the undesirable side effects including tolerance and dependence. Some examples are Valium, Xanax, Halcion, Ativan, Klonopin, and Restoril. Rohypnol is a benzodiazepine that is not manufactured or legally marketed in the United States, but it is used illegally. 

Lunesta, Ambien, and Sonata are sedative-hypnotic medications approved for the short-term treatment of insomnia that share many of the properties of benzodiazepines. Other CNS depressants include meprobamate, methaqua-lone (Quaalude), and the illicit drug GHB. 

WHAT IS THEIR ORIGIN?

Generally, legitimate pharmaceutical products are diverted to the illicit market. Teens can obtain depressants from the family medicine cabinet, friends, family members, the Internet, doctors, and hospitals. 

June 5, 2020

Depressants - Drug Fact Sheet

DEA's revised and updated drug fact sheet about the class of drugs known as depressants - what are they, what their origin is, what are the common street names for these drugs, what do they look like, how they are abused, what their effect is on the mind and bodies of users including signs of overdose, and their legal status. 

Rohypnol

Rohypnol

Depressant and benzodiazepine with generic name Flunitrazepam. It is not approved for medical use in the United States. Used by cocaine abusers to relieve side effects, and also...

Drug Type: Depressants
 
GHB

GHB - Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid

Prescribed as Xyrem, it is also known as the “date rape drug." It comes in a liquid or as a white powder that is dissolved in water, juice, or alcohol. In liquid form, GHB is clear...

Drug Type: Depressants
 
Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines

Depressants that produce sedation, induce sleep, relieve anxiety and prevent seizures. Available in prescription pills, syrup and injectable preparation. Prescribed as Valium®...

Drug Type: Depressants
 
Barbiturates

Barbiturates

Depressant drug used to help sleep, relieve anxiety and muscle spasms, prevent seizures. Prescribed names: Fiorina®, Pentothal®, Seconal®, or Nembutal®

Drug Type: Depressants
 
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