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synthetic sedatives

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Synthetic Sedatives  Barbiturates is another major type of sedatives (made for sleeping and relaxation)  Today, Benzodiazepines (Valium) are more commonly abused  Sedatives relax the muscles, reduce anxiety and in small doses produce a mildly euphoric state  Like alcohol, they are thought to produce effects from stimulating the GABA system  With excessive doses, speech becomes slurred and gait unsteady; concentration, ability to work, lose of emotional control and irritability  Very large doses can be fatal because the diaphragm muscles relax to such an extent the t the individual suffocates  Frequently used as a means of suicide (with alcohol)  Types of abusers o 1 group fits the stereotype of the illicit drug abuser: adolescents and young adults, usually male and often antisocial, who use synthetic sedatives to alter their moods and consciousness, sometimes mixing them with other drugs o 2 group is middle aged, middle class individuals who begin their use of sedatives under a physician’s order then use it as an addictive o 3 group comprises health professionals – physicians and nurses Stimulants  Stimulants or uppers (like cocaine) act on the brain and the sympathetic neurons system to increase alertness and motor activity  Cocaine is a natural stimulant extracted from the coca leaf  Amphetamines are synthetic stimulants Amphetamines  Before a plant, mahuang, was used by the Chinese to treat asthma  But relying on the shrub for the drug was not efficient, and so efforts to develop a synthetic substitute began  Amphetamines resulted from these efforts  Benzedrine was the first amphetamine  its was used first to relieve stuff noses, the public also discovered its stimulating effects  then it was also used for mild depression and appetite  These produce their effects by causing the release of norepinephrine and dopamine and blocking the reuptake of these NTs (taken orally or intravenously and can be addicting)  Wakefulness is heightened, intestinal functions are inhibited, and appetite is reduced (their use in dieting), heart rate quickens, and blood vessels in the skin and mucous membranes constrict  Individual becomes alert, euphoric and outgoing and is possessed with a lot of energy and self confidence  Larger doses  make people nervous and confused, subjecting them to palpitations, headaches, dizziness and sleeplessness  Heavy users become so suspic
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