What Are the Short-Term Effects of Depressants?

What Are the Short-Term Effects of Depressants?
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Among the many drugs in use, there is a class known as depressants. These are psychoactive drugs that have a depressing impact on the brain and the nervous system. Depressant drugs include tranquilizers, alcohol, opiates, opioids, benzodiazepines and barbiturates. Taking them leads to slowing down of the functions of the brain and the central nervous system. Sometimes depressants are abused to get the euphoria effect. What are the short term effects of using depressants?

What Are the Short-Term Effects of Depressants?

Short-Term Effects of Depressants

Short-term effects of using depressants include:

  • Slowing down of brain function
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Depressed pulse
  • Depressed breathing rate
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Fever
  • Sluggishness
  • Vision disturbances including dilated pupils
  • Depression
  • Poor coordination
  • Disorientation
  • Inability or difficulty to urinate
  • Confusion
  • Addiction

Long-Term Effects of Depressants

In many cases, users quickly develop tolerance to the drugs. This makes them to require higher doses to achieve the same effect they have been getting with lower quantities. This is one of the reasons why some users, in their quest to get high, take excess amounts of the drug, which can lead to coma or even death. Besides short-term effects of depressants, abusers get longer-term impacts. These include:

  • Depression
  • Breathing problems
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Sexual dysfunctions
  • Disturbed sleep

Continued use can also lead to craving, anxiety, and panic. These conditions worsen if the patient does not access more of the drug. Further use can lead to the development of other conditions such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Weight gain
  • Diabetes
  • Permanent damage to the liver, kidneys, brain, heart and other body organs

The Effects Are Worsened in Case of Abusing Multiple Depressants

The combination can lead to more severe short-term effects of depressants. Additionally, use of multiple depressants can lead to dependence in the multiplicity of substances. The overall result is even more serious damage to body organs including the brain, lungs and the heart.

Another complication that can result from use of multiple drugs is the increased risk of overdosing from taking different drugs together irrespective of individual amounts. The overdosing can be life-threatening sometimes.

Treatment of Depressants Abuse


For most addicts of depressants, an initial detoxification period is required during which they undergo cleaning up of the drugs from their systems. To ensure safety and success in overcoming the long-term and short-term effects of depressants, the withdrawal phase should be supervised by medical professionals. Activities at detoxification stage will include:

  • Management of withdrawal symptoms some of which are very serious
  • Providing medication to counter cravings and any physical discomfort
  • Providing a diet that addresses patients’ nutritional needs
  • Monitoring and providing any medical needs

Inpatient Treatment

Once detoxification is complete, the patient is usually admitted to a residential rehabilitation center. The inpatient stage gives the patient an opportunity to concentrate on recovery in a relatively safe environment with the necessary supervision. Services during the inpatient phase include:

  • Treatment under medical supervision
  • Fitness and diet programs
  • Group and individual therapy
  • Managing depressant or similar drug cravings
  • 12-step program
  • Training in life skills

Ongoing Recovery Phase

Once a patient is adequately recovered to leave the inpatient treatment phase, some personalized programs such as aftercare support groups are prepared, depending on individual clinical needs. These programs are intended to assist the addict to live a drug-free life.