Parent's Guide


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25. Depressants

The effects of depressants are in many ways similar to the effects of alcohol. Small amounts can produce calmness and relaxed muscles, but larger doses can cause slurred speech, staggering gait, and altered perception. Very large doses can cause respiratory depression, coma, and death. The combination of depressants and alcohol can multiply the effects of the drugs, increasing the risks. Regular use of depressants over time can result in physical and psychological addiction. People who suddenly stop taking large doses can experience withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, insomnia, tremors, delirium, convulsions, and death.

Babies born to mothers who abuse depressants may also be physically dependent on the drugs and show withdrawal symptoms shortly after they are born. Birth defects and behavioral problems may result.

What is it called?
What does it look like?
How is it used?
Barbiturates Downers, Barbs, Blue Devils, Red Devils, Yellow Jacket, Yellows, Nembutal, Tuinals, Seconal, and Amytal Red, yellow, blue, or red and blue capsules Taken orally
Methaqualone Quaaludes, Ludes, Sopors Tablets Taken orally
Tranquilizers Valium, Librium Miltown, Serax, Equanil, and Tranxene Tablets or capsules Taken orally


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Drugs Desciptions and Effects

Select a drug from the drop down menu to get more information from National Institute on Drug Abuse at :