Individuals who suffer from sleep disorders and anxiety may require additional tools for managing their symptoms. In this case, doctors may prescribe CNS (Central Nervous System) depressants designed to suppress these problems. However, in any case, involving potent drugs, there is always a risk for addiction, dependence, and abuse. Under a doctor’s supervision, CNS depressants can be helpful, and patients who take the drug to achieve a “high” can experience near-fatal side effects.

Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants are prescription medications designed to decrease (depress) activity in the brain and spinal cord to ensure relaxation. Typically, doctors prescribe these drugs to treat disorders or problems such as insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, and acute stress. CNS depressants fall into three categories:

  • Benzodiazepines: Valium (diazepam), Klonopin (clonazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), Halcion (triazolam), Prosom (estrazolam) 
  • Sleep Medications (Non-Benzodiazepines): Ambien (zolpidem), Lunesta (eszopiclone), Sonata (zaleplon)
  • Barbiturates: Mebaral (mephobarbital), Luminal (phenobarbital), Nembutal (phenobarbital sodium)

By consuming more than the required dose, patients can put themselves at risk for overdose and (in the worst case scenario) death. Health experts note that deaths resulting from CNS depressant overdose steadily increased at the onset of the 1990s. In 2015, over 8,700 people lost their lives after consuming excessive amounts of benzodiazepines.

FACTS ABOUT PRESCRIPTION DEPRESSANTSThese numbers are greatly influenced by the simple fact that CNS Depressants can be highly addictive and dangerous. After some time, these individuals can become dependent on these depressants and may attempt to increase their dosage to achieve the euphoric sensation induced by the drugs. Patients who immediately stop taking their medication can experience symptoms including:

  • wheezing (ultimately resulting in an overdose)
  • seizures
  • exhaustion and drowsiness
  • inability to walk properly
  • erratic speech
  • unusual cravings
  • high blood pressure
  • fever and sweating

In the event that a patient overdoses on a CNS depressant, emergency personnel will typically use Romazicon (Flumazenil), a drug designed to counteract the effects of benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepines. Medical personnel may need to administer Romazicon in 20-minute intervals depending on the severity of the overdose due to the brief effects of the drug. While mostly successful, this drug may not completely open the airways and can clash with antidepressants. 

Remember that there is always hope for you. Drugs and do not have control over your life. You do. If you are suffering from addiction or dependence on CNS depressants or know someone who is suffering from these unfortunate circumstances, get in touch with Asana Recovery. Counselors and healthcare experts can walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and help guide you to a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While it might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to keep you and your unborn child safe.

The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your depressant addiction troubles today.