Author: Gary Jackson

Depressant Wikipedia

Alcohol can actually increase anxiety and stress rather than reduce it, and elicit other negative reactions such as anger, aggression, and depression. Chronic alcohol use can also lead to dependence, addiction, and withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop usage of the drug. Carbamates gained widespread use in the 1950s, alongside barbiturates.

Many medically prescribed and high-dose depressants are also common street drugs, and some people use them recreationally. Gabapentinoids are absorbed from the intestines mainly by the Large neutral amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1, SLC7A5) and the Excitatory amino acid transporter 3 (EAAT3). They are one of the few drugs that use these amino acid transporters. Gabapentinoids are structurally similar to the Branched-chained amino acids L-leucine and L-isoleucine, both of which also bind to the α2δ site. Branched-chained amino acids like l-leucine, l-isoleucine, and l-valine have many functions in the central nervous system.

When to Seek Help for CNS Depression

Some of the most common types include Luminal, Amytal, and Nembutal. Opioids are often misused and used recreationally, making them one of the leading causes of CNS depression. Some common types of opioids typically prescribed for severe pain include Vicodin and Percocet.

  • CNS depressants are medications and other substances that slow down the CNS.
  • These medications are prescribed in the form of a pill, capsule, or liquid that you take orally.
  • In extreme cases and, in particular, where severe addiction and/or abuse is manifested, an inpatient detoxification may be required, with flumazenil as a possible detoxification tool.
  • If your doctor suspects that a brain injury or tumor is the cause of your depression, they might order a CT scan, an MRI scan, or both.

For the last section of our chapter on depressants, we will cover a type of drug that many people might overlook. Inhalants are solvents or other materials that produce vapors that elicit psychoactive effects. While a wide variety of products can be used as inhalants, most induce CNS depression through similar mechanisms of action. Recall from Chapter 4 that γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the brain’s main inhibitory neurotransmitter. This is because GABA targets GABA receptors, which promote hyperpolarization of the postsynaptic cell. This inhibits the postsynaptic cell from firing and releasing other neurotransmitters such as glutamate or norepinephrine.

More on Brain & Nervous System Disorders

Much of the terminology used to describe alcohol’s effects will have already been introduced in this chapter, so make sure you are comfortable with this chapter’s material before moving on. At higher pharmacological concentrations, GHB the drug activates GABAB receptors, which is the mechanism of its CNS depressant properties. The differential actions of GHB on GABAB and GHB receptors likely explain the biphasic depressant and stimulatory effects of GHB with decreasing concentrations of GHB in the system.

After use, people will experience fatigue, amnesia, confusion, and anxiety. Currently, most barbiturates are classified as Schedule III controlled substances, although some types, such as phenobarbital, are Schedule IV instead. Barbiturates have mostly been replaced with benzodiazepines and Z-drugs for treatment of insomnia and anxiety because they have fewer issues with dependence and overdose. They remain in use as anticonvulsants, general anesthetics, and antagonists to the effects of certain stimulants.


It can lead to a break down in relationships and affect a person’s ability to keep a job. Drug seeking behavior can take over a person’s life to the extent that their nutrition suffers. Illness and sexual dysfunction are also common in people who misuse CNS stimulants. Experts aren’t exactly sure how CNS stimulants work, although they suspect they increase levels of one or more neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, or serotonin.

cns depressant drugs

The Piperidinedione depressants, specifically Glutethimide, are positive modulators of the GABAA anion channel. This enzyme is responsible for converting many drugs from beta blockers to antidepressants to opioids and opiates. Due to its effects on the conversion of opioids, it was highly abused and mixed with opioids like codeine.