Depressants Addiction Treatment

A depressant is a chemical or a substance that causes a decrease in activity, arousal and stimulation in the central nervous system (CNS). Depressants, also called sedatives, downers and hypnotics, slow down the functioning of the human brain and body.

These drugs have a high addiction potential and thus, should be used with extreme caution. If used inappropriately, these drugs can be highly addictive and can lead to the development of severe symptoms signifying abuse.

Some of the common types of depressants available in the market are alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates and non-benzodiazepine sleep medications.


Alcohol is the most commonly abused depressant that can cause serious health problems, including liver disease, dementia and cardiac problems. People using alcohol may experience feelings of euphoria, drowsiness and slurred speech. When taken in large quantities, it can cause a person to lapse into a coma. It can also cause respiratory failure and death. Under the influence of alcohol, an individual’s ability to perform complex tasks like driving vehicles can get impaired.


Benzodiazepines like diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax) are depressants, prescribed as short-term treatments for anxiety, panic attacks and sleep disorders.

As these drugs are highly addictive, withdrawal from the same may result in seizures and psychotic reactions.

Benzodiazepines can be divided into three classes: short-, medium- and long-acting.

  • Serax and Xanax are examples of short-acting benzodiazepines. They have higher addiction potentials and can cause withdrawal seizures if abruptly discontinued after taking for a long duration.
  • Medium-acting benzodiazepines include Ativan and Restoril.
  • Long-acting benzodiazepines include Valium and Klonopin. They have less addictive potential and are commonly used to wean individuals off of short-acting benzodiazepines and alcohol. In addition to this, they can also be used for the treatment of seizure disorders.


Barbiturates have a higher addiction potential compared to benzodiazepines, even though the structure of barbiturates is similar to that of benzodiazepines. Some examples of barbiturates include mephobarbital (Mebaral), phenobarbital (Luminal Sodium) and pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal). Barbiturates are not commonly used by medical professionals. They are often used in surgical procedures as anesthetics.

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Non-benzodiazepine sleep medications

Non-benzodiazepine sleep medications include zolpidem (Ambien), eszopiclone (Lunesta) and zaleplon (Sonata). They have a different chemical structure, but act on some of the same brain receptors as benzodiazepines. They are less addictive than benzodiazepines and do not cause seizures, if suddenly stopped. Therefore, individuals do not need to be weaned off of these sleep aids. Like all sleep aids, they should be used for short-term use only.

Symptoms of depressant abuse

Abusing depressants can result in a number of symptoms. Some of them are:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Balance problems
  • Sluggish speech
  • Decreased mental arousal
  • Slowed reaction times
  • Decreased inhibition

If an individual continues to abuse depressants even after experiencing its severe effects, it can lead to an addiction.

Alcohol and benzodiazepines are extremely addictive and, though death from overdose rarely occurs, death from withdrawal is quite common. Immediate cessation from using these substances can result in life-threatening seizures. To be safely weaned off of depressants, it is important not to abruptly discontinue its use. Ideally, the dose should be gradually tapered off under medical supervision.

Seeking help for depressant addiction

Sovereign Health of Florida provides a comprehensive range of treatments for addiction to depressants. However, we understand that every individual is different and hence, ensure an individualized treatment plan according to the needs of the individual. The treatment starts with detoxification treatment at one of our specialized depressants detox centers, followed by a comprehensive physical and psychological evaluation of the person. The evaluation helps one identify any underlying issues contributing to the addiction problem.

Throughout the depressants detox treatment, it is advisable to keep the patient under the supervision of experts to ensure that they stay safe while being weaned off of these drugs.

Our treatment programs for depressant addiction include the use of medication to help combat cravings, and different therapeutic methods like group and individual therapies to help patients gain a long-lasting recovery.

Why choose Sovereign Health?

At Sovereign Health, we are committed toward ensuring that all our patients get the best possible chance to attain a lasting recovery. Some of the factors that help us stand apart from our competitors are:

  • Well-planned detox program
  • Facilities across the U.S.
  • Comfortable living conditions
  • Evidence-based and holistic treatment programs

We ensure that each patient is treated as a separate individual and not as a part of a group. At Sovereign Health, we make sure that we provide the utmost care and attention to our patients as well as their families, from the initial step to the final step of attaining recovery. A better life can start today.

For more information about our depressant addiction treatment programs, call our 24/7 helpline.

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