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Depressants are drugs that slow down the activity of the central nervous system, which reduces a person’s alertness and slows down functions such as breathing and heart rate. In small quantities depressants can cause a person to feel more relaxed. In large quantities they can cause unconsciousness, vomiting and death. Mixing more than one depressant is dangerous as this can make it harder to think clearly, properly control how you move and may stop your breathing and cause death.


Barbiturates are central nervous depressants. They reduce the activity of nerves, thus causing muscle relaxation. They can also reduce heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. One of the older classes of medications, barbiturates are used for treating headachesinsomnia and seizures. Common side effects include: dizziness, lightheadedness, headaches, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. They can also be habit forming.


Tranquilizers are a drug that calms and relieves anxiety. They range in potency from mild to major, with increasing levels of drowsiness occurring as potency increases. They are prescribed for a wide variety of conditions but are used primarily to treat anxiety and insomnia. Most tranquilizers are potentially addictive, particularly those in the benzodiazepine family (Benzodiazepines are drugs primarily used for treating anxiety).


Alcohol consumption can damage the brain and most body organs, including the heart, liver and pancreas. It also increases the risk of some cancers, weakens the immune system, puts fetal development at risk, and causes deadly vehicle crashes. 

Learn more about addiction to alcohol on our Alcohol Page:

Alcohol Eyes

You have always been a lone wolf. With bouncing in and out of foster homes, you learned early on that you only had yourself to rely on. There were...

How to Stop Alcohol Cravings

You have tried time and time again, but alcohol seems always to find its way back to you. It didn’t matter that you had lost relationships, jobs,...

Alcohol and Psychosis

Alcohol has been your solace for years, ever since your dad left and your mom got sick. Despite being on your own from an early age, you managed...

Alcohol Shakes

It’s an all too familiar feeling: the puking, shaking, heart pounding, and head racing. Most people would probably be concerned that something was...

Stomach Pain After Drinking Alcohol

You have known you have depression for years, since your middle school days. Being bullied, going through puberty early, and being the awkward tall...

Does Alcohol Cause Weight Gain

You have known you have depression for years, since your middle school days. Being bullied, going through puberty early, and being the awkward tall...

What Are The First Signs of Kidney Damage from Alcohol?

We have all experienced having to go to the bathroom more while drinking alcohol. It seems that once the person goes to the bathroom the first time,...

Does Alcohol Raise Cholesterol

You have always been active, played sports, and found ways to stay moving. Even after you graduated high school, you still sought out physical...

Alcohol and Night Sweats

You know you can’t keep going on like this. Your drinking has gotten so out of hand that you can’t make it through the day without at least a pint....

Types of Alcoholism

You were never good at school. The only reason you found yourself going was to keep your dad off your back, as he spent most of his days inebriated...


Nicotine is an addictive stimulant found in cigarettes as well as other forms of tobacco, e-cigarettes or e-vaporizers. It causes an increase in blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate. Although nicotine itself does not cause cancer, many of the chemicals in tobacco are carcinogenic (have the potential to cause cancer). Cigarette smoking accounts for at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths, especially lung cancer. Tobacco smoking can also lead to other lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It increases the risk of heart disease, which can lead to stroke or heart attack. Smokeless tobacco increases the risk of cancer, especially mouth cancers. Scientists are still studying the potential harm caused by the use of e-cigarettes.

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