|What They Are:|
Tranquilizers and other depressants calm nerves and relax muscles. They are bright-colored capsules or tablets that are legally available through a doctor for medical reasons, but can be illegally abused.
|Sometimes Called:||downers, goofballs, barbs, blue devils, yellowjackets, ludes|
|How They're Used:||Depressants are swallowed.|
|What They Do:|
When used as prescribed by a doctor, depressants can calm nerves and relax muscles.
Larger or improperly used doses of depressant drugs can cause confusion, lack of coordination, low blood pressure, and slowed heart rate and breathing. Someone who takes them may have slurred speech and an inability to concentrate, and he or she may fall asleep at work or school. Depressants are addictive and withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, sleeplessness, and seizures.
Depressant drugs are very dangerous if taken with alcohol and certain other drugs. Very large doses of depressants can stop breathing and cause death.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: August 2010
|Partnership for a Drugfree America This site features information about drugs and their effects and treatments. The site also shows paraphernalia associated with different drugs and includes personal stories.|
|National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) NIDA offers a science-based drug abuse education program for students, news, information, and resources.|
|American Council for Drug Education The ACDE is a prevention and education agency against substance abuse. This website includes a helpful list of symptoms associated with specific drugs.|
|Parents: The Anti-Drug The Anti-Drug.com was created by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign to equip parents and other adult caregivers with the tools they need to raise drug-free kids.|
|Talking to the Pharmacist If your child is sick, you'll probably have many questions to ask your doctor. But have you made a list of questions and concerns to share with your pharmacist?|
|Drugs: What Parents Need to Know Knowing what drugs are out there, what they can do, and how they can affect someone is the first step in raising drug-free kids.|
|Amphetamines: What Parents Need to Know Amphetamines (including prescription diet pills) are highly addictive stimulants that accelerate functions in the brain and body.|
|Talking to Your Child About Drugs Just as you inoculate your kids against illnesses like measles, you can help "immunize" them against drug use by giving them the facts now.|
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2012 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.