The Dangers of Abusing Multiple Depressants

Posted in: Drug Abuse

July 22, 2014

A woman with her hand on her head

When people struggle with pain, anxiety or insomnia, they might be willing to take any drug that manages their symptoms. If people don’t use prescription medications, they might try self-medicating their pain with other substances, like alcohol, cigarettes or illegal drugs. If people have prescriptions for one or more depressants, they might consider combining two or more drugs to intensify their effects.

However, the problem with combining multiple depressants is that doing so can be extremely dangerous, as it could cause serious harm to the user’s body. It also significantly increases a user’s chances of overdosing on the medications. Seek help to quit abusing dangerous drugs.

Side Effects of Depressant Abuse

Depressants, also known as sedatives, are substances that are normally prescribed to induce drowsiness, to decrease muscle spasms, to prevent seizures and to relieve anxiety. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) states that the following side effects are also common to depressant abuse:

  • Amnesia
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Decreased breathing
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Impaired judgment
  • Loss of motor control
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness

The DEA also explains that people who abuse depressants can develop tolerance and dependence to these drugs, which means that users need increasingly larger doses of a drug to feel the same effects and to function normally.

How Common Is Depressant Abuse?

The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that, of the millions of people that abused prescription medications, 270,000 had abused depressants in the previous year, with abuse being the use of a substance outside of a doctor’s recommendations. Of these thousands of people, approximately 135,000 of them were diagnosed with drug dependence or a drug abuse problem. This means that approximately half of the people who abused depressants lost control of their use, so they needed professional help to treat this problem.

Risks of Abusing Multiple Depressants

Many people abuse depressants on purpose, because they want to feel a sense of well-being that these substances can temporarily create. Other people might have prescriptions for different depressants, so they abuse these drugs unintentionally by using them outside of the prescriptions’ guidelines. Abusing one depressant alone is dangerous, but when a person combines two or more depressants together, he greatly increases his chances of causing physical and psychological damage.

Specifically, the side effects listed above can intensify when a person combines multiple depressants at the same time. This use can also increase the chances of developing a dependence on the substance. Additionally, it can damage the functions of multiple parts of the body, such as the heart, brain and lungs.

However, the greatest risk related to combining depressants is the chance of overdose. Since the effects of substance abuse are unpredictable, it is impossible to tell if and when a person is going to have sudden and life-threatening complications from a bout of drug abuse.

Even a person who has never used a single substance in his life can overdose from abusing multiple depressants. Overdose can happen at any time during substance abuse, and with different levels of consumption.

Where to Find Help for Depressant Abuse

Abusing multiple depressants is dangerous for several reasons: it is almost always outside a doctor’s recommendations, each use is unpredictable and the potential for permanent damage or overdose is present every time. If you or someone you love is abusing one or more depressants at the same time and are looking for a trustworthy rehab option, then give us a call at 615-490-9376. Our admissions coordinators are available to discuss treatment options with you and help you find a quality rehab program that fits your needs.

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