and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) drugs include variety of drugs used in the
treatment of anxiety, depression, insomnia, and epilepsy. They include
sedatives, hypnotics, anxiolytics, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines. These
drugs slow the central nervous system and, in mild intoxication, create a
euphoric state, often accompanied by slurred speech and loss of coordination.
They reduce tension and induce relaxation, drowsiness, and sleep while
decreasing alertness. They are usually taken orally in tablet, capsule, or
|Dependence (within two to four
||Fatal Reaction to sudden
||Potentially lethal when used with
||Infants born to women who used
these drugs during pregnancy may:
Common symptoms of sedative-hypnotic and anxiolytic drug abusers are:
|Rapid mood changes
||impaired social or occupational
These drugs should be tapered gradually as opposed to quitting "cold turkey" because sudden withdrawal can lead to seizures or, in rare cases, death. Physicians may prescribe a longer-acting, less addictive drug to decrease withdrawal symptoms. Doses of this substitute drug will be decreased gradually as well. If a patient has a strong dependence on these drugs, it may be recommended that initial detoxification take place in a hospital under the supervision of a medical staff.Abusers of these drugs respond most successfully to these drugs in a residential treatment program that emphasize intense group therapy. Twelve-step programs can be helpful for people of all ages and all addictions. For those who also have mental disorders, such as depression, additional therapy and medication when appropriate.
Depending on the degree of dependence, symptoms may include:
|physical and psychological
||tremors of the hands, tongue, and
||nausea or vomiting
||hallucinations or illusions
||in rare cases of abrupt
The length of time it takes to experience withdrawal depends on if the withdrawn drug was a short- or long-acting drug. It may begin is as short as two to three days for drugs that go through the body rapidly. For drugs that take longer for the body to process, it may take a few more days. Because detoxification can put people at risk for seizures, and even death, it should be done gradually.