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What Are Depressants?

What Are Depressants?

Tranquilizers and other depressants (dih-PRESS-entz) calm nerves and relax muscles. They are bright-colored capsules or tablets that are legally available through a doctor for medical reasons, but can be illegally abused.

What Else Are Depressants Called:

A-minus, Candy, Downers, Goofballs, Barbs, Yellow Jackets, Ludes, Red Birds, Sleeping Pills, Tooies, Tranks, Zombie Pills

How Are Depressants Used?

Depressants are swallowed.

What Do Depressants Do?

When used as prescribed by a doctor, depressants can calm nerves and relax muscles.

Larger or improperly used doses of depressant drugs can cause confusion, lack of coordination, low blood pressure, and slowed heart rate and breathing. Someone who takes them may have slurred speech and an inability to concentrate, and may fall asleep at work or school. Depressants are addictive and withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, sleeplessness, and seizures.

Depressant drugs are very dangerous if taken with alcohol and some other drugs. Very large doses of depressants can stop breathing and cause death.

Where Can I Find Help?

If you or someone you know is fighting drug addiction, recovery is possible. Talk to your health care provider or check your state or local health department websites.

You also can get more information and support by calling 1-800-662-HELP (4357), or online at: