Central nervous system (CNS) depressants are powerful, addictive drugs that claim thousands of lives each year. Many people who develop an addiction to these drugs first receive them as prescriptions for a valid medical condition, but soon find their lives consumed by the drug. Thus, it is important that an effective treatment plan, including a residential detox program, is always in place to offer the required help.
What is a Depressant?
Substances that “depress” or slow the functions of the nervous system are known as central nervous system depressants (CNS depressants). These are also sometimes called sedatives and tranquilizers. It’s due to the fact that depressants have a propensity to slow the functions of the cells, which in turn results in sedation and calmness. Some common side effects of using depressants are drowsiness, exhaustion, problem in focus, reduction in heart rate and breathing, hypotension, and poor coordination.
Alcohol and medications that don’t contain benzodiazepines to treat sleep, such as zolpidem and eszopiclone, are both examples of depressants. Every substance that depresses the central nervous system (CNS) does so by enhancing the action of neurotransmitter that reduces the activity of other cells. Chronic inhibition of particular cells can result in fundamental changes to the brain, including the development of physical dependence, potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, and elevated tolerance.
Treating Addiction to Depressants
Many individuals develop an addiction to depressants in part because depressants alter GABA concentrations, one of the more essential neurotransmitters in the brain. With proper therapy and/or medication management, it is possible to return GABA back to its normal levels.
The first step of recovery is to stop using the depressant. Unfortunately, both benzodiazepines and barbiturates result in painful withdrawal symptoms. Thus, the withdrawal symptoms can be highly uncomfortable and even deadly. For this reason, people who are taking or are addicted to these classes of drugs should never quit them cold turkey. Instead, they should request help from a trained medical professional so that they can obtain detoxification in one of the safe, medically supervised depressant detox centers.
Medically supervised detoxification treatment can also ease the pain of withdrawal symptoms, which can become so intense that they prevent individuals from successfully quitting. Medical professionals can administer medications and nutrients that reduce the painful withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol, another nervous system depressant, can also be deadly when quitting cold turkey. People who are struggling with alcohol addiction should never attempt to stop on their own. Medically supervised detox is a life-saving, essential step in achieving sobriety.
After the withdrawal process, people who are addicted to depressants can benefit from inpatient or outpatient depressant detox treatment. Some of the common types of treatments available for addiction include cognitive behavioral therapy, talk therapy, support groups and stress management training. While each one has its own positives and negatives, all of these treatment types can help you recover from an addiction to depressants.
Remember, recovery from depressant addiction may be difficult, but it is far from impossible. For more information about CNS drug depressants, effects of depressants and drug addiction treatment get in touch with a professional treatment center.