Category: Sedative, tranquilizer
Examples of generic names (and their respective trade names) include: diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), amobarbital (Amytal) and pentobarbital (Nembutal).
- Pharmaceutical tranquilizers and barbiturates are usually prescribed medically for the purposes of treating anxiety, sleep problems, muscle spasms and seizures, but they are also used recreationally or outside of their prescribed use. Most tranquilizers and barbiturates that are used recreationally are diverted from prescription use, rather than being illegally manufactured.
- Most come in pill form in various dosages, which can be taken orally, ground up and snorted nasally or diluted into a liquid and injected.
*Reactions and experiences may vary dramatically from person to person.*
Effects on brain:
- Pharmaceutical tranquilizers and barbiturates increase the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, resulting in decreased brain activity and causing feelings of calmness and drowsiness.
- Coming soon
Effects on body:
- Possible immediate effects include dilated pupils, drowsiness, slurred speech, loss of coordination, fatigue, irregular breathing, decreased heart rate, decreased blood pressure.
- Possible long term effects include slower reflexes, chronic tiredness, problems with vision, difficulty sleeping, sexual dysfunction, respiratory difficulties and liver damage.
Effects on behaviour:
- Possible immediate effects include feelings of calmness and relaxation, lowered inhibitions, impaired judgment and paranoia.
- Possible long-term effects include mood swings and aggression.
Addiction: Pharmaceutical tranquilizers and barbiturates can be both physically and psychologically addictive. The addictive potential is strong in recreational users as well as in medical users, especially if the drug is used on a daily basis.
Tolerance: Tolerance to pharmaceutical tranquilizers and barbiturates can develop very quickly, for both medical and recreational use, particularly when taken on a daily basis.
Withdrawal Symptoms: Withdrawal symptoms do occur when regular use or high doses are stopped and include restlessness, insomnia, anxiety, depression and delirium. One severe withdrawal symptom is brain activity rebound, as the tranquilizers or barbiturates wear off, resulting in the brain racing out of control. This can sometimes cause seizures.
*Disclaimer! Nothing you do can make using unprescribed pharmaceuticals completely safe. All drug use has inherent risks and dangers. The suggestions in this section can only help you reduce some of the associated risks. The best way to avoid the harms related to drug use is to not take the drug at all.*
- Recreational use of pharmaceuticals is illegal; therefore if you are caught possessing pharmaceuticals without a prescription from your doctor, or exchanging, buying or selling them, it can result in criminal charges.
- Drug use affects the developing mind and body differently than developed ones. Waiting until your mind and body have more fully developed before using substances can have long term health and mental benefits.
- Avoid sharing equipment (straws, syringes, spoons) since this could lead to transmission of Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV
- If injecting, use new, clean syringes and equipment. Prepare your shot on a clean surface. Clean the area you are planning to inject with soap and water or an alcohol pad. You can get clean injection supplies from a syringe exchange, a pharmacy, or your local health department. If you can’t get new needles, try snorting instead.
- Cleaning needles and works is not risk-free; it’s a last resort. Rinse with cool water 3 times, bleach for 30 seconds, then clean water 3 times.
- Regular injection can cause abscesses, collapsed veins, infections and other complications. Regular snorting can cause serious damage to the nose such as a chapped, runny nose, sinus infections, nose bleeds and developing a hole in the cartilage wall between nostrils.
- Do not assume that a drug prescribed by a doctor to a friend will be safe for you to take as well. Tranquilizers and barbiturates are prescribed only for individuals who need it, and can have adverse and dangerous effects on individuals for whom they are not prescribed.
- Similarly, if you have been prescribed tranquilizers or barbiturates, avoid taking more than the prescribed dosage. Always talk to your doctor or a health professional before taking prescribed medications with other substances.