Barbiturates and tranquilizers

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:48 pm
Barbiturates and tranquilizers are depressants often prescribed to relieve anxiety, tension, or high blood pressure, or to induce sleep. They're also commonly abused because of their euphoric effects. When used as prescribed, they're relatively safe, but overuse can result in psychological and physical dependence. The effects of these drugs are similar to those of alcohol. Low doses usually produce a soothing or relaxing effect, while higher doses can produce drowsiness, confusion, slurred speech, poor judgment, and loss of emotional control. However, you may experience other effects. Some people are even stimulated rather than relaxed by these drugs. Unfortunately, though these drugs may initially cause you to become more active and uninhibited, overuse can result in a coma or even complete respiratory failure. If you're being treated for a physiological addiction to barbiturates or tranquilizers, it will usually begin with gradual withdrawal under medical supervision, because stopping too suddenly can cause you to have convulsions or die. For more information about barbiturates and tranquilizers, contact a health care provider in your area.

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