Health risks of depressants d or sedatives are drugs

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Health Risks of Depressants D , or sedatives, are drugs that tend to slow down the central nervous system. Depressant drugs relax muscles, relieve feelings of tension and worry, and cause drowsiness. They can be dangerous because they slow the heart rate, lower blood pressure to dangerous levels, and interrupt the normal rate of breathing. One of the most commonly used depressants is alcohol. Two types of sedative medications are barbiturates (bar-BICH-uh-ruhts) and tranquilizers. Other widely used depressants include Rohypnol and GHB. Combining depressants, even in small amounts, pro- duces a synergistic effect. For example, a user combining alcohol and tranquilizers can overdose, causing shallow breathing, weak and rapid pulse, coma, and even death. epressants 606 Chapter 23 Medicines and Drugs TOPIC Dangerous Drugs Go to health.glencoe.com for links to more informa- tion about the dangers of drug use. ACTIVITY Using the infor- mation provided at these links, create a chart listing the drugs identified on those sites and three facts about each drug. Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse The red areas in the normal brain scan (top) show memory and motor skill control. The brain scan on the bottom, taken one month after the subject’s use of methamphetamine, indicates loss of memory and of motor control. health.glencoe.com
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Barbiturates Barbiturates belong to a family of sedative-hypnotic drugs, or drugs that induce sleepiness. Barbiturate use can result in mood changes, sleeping more than normal, and coma. Barbiturates are rarely used for medical purposes. They are used illegally to produce a feeling of intoxication and to counteract the effects of stimulants. Combining barbiturates with alcohol can be fatal. Tranquilizers Tranquilizers are depressants that reduce muscular activity, coor- dination, and attention span. Tranquilizers are prescribed to relieve anxiety, muscle spasms, sleeplessness, and nervousness. However, when tranquilizers are overused, physiological and psychological dependence occurs. Withdrawal from tranquilizers causes severe shaking. In extreme cases, coma or death can result. 607 Lesson 4 Psychoactive Drugs Refusing Drugs Learning to say no to drugs is an important component in maintaining a drug-free life. By practicing refusal skills, you will find it easier to uphold your commitment to a substance- free lifestyle. In this activity you will practice effective ways to say no to drugs. pencil and paper one classmate 1. Divide a sheet of paper into two columns. In the left column, list five pressure lines someone might use to persuade you to use drugs. 2. Trade your paper with a classmate. Read your partner’s list. In the right column, write an effective refusal statement responding to each pressure line. Possibilities include: “No thanks, I don’t do drugs”; “I’m on medication”; or “That stuff makes me sick.” 3. Working with your partner, review your lists and role-play some of the most realistic scenarios. Take turns practicing refusal skills.
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