Treatment for withdrawal from opioids (narcotics). Follow these
(a) Maintain the patient's airway.
(b) Initiate an IV with D5W.
(d) Administer phenothizaines PO such as Compazine, Phenergan,
or Vistaril. Phenothiazines are administered to prevent nausea and vomiting.
(e) Monitor the patient's cardiac rhythm.
GENERAL CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM (CNS) DEPRESSANTS
a. Definition/Examples. A wide variety of drugs with different physical and
chemical properties are included in this category. They are grouped together because
they all cause a generalized depression of the central nervous system. Alcohol,
barbiturates, and sedatives are examples of this classification of drugs.
b. Alcohol. Alcohol is a drug that can become addictive. It is one of the most
widely used CNS depressants. Alcohol can be produced synthetically or naturally by
fermenting fruit, grain, or vegetables. Alcohol is usually consumed in the United States
in the form of beer, liquor, or wine.
(1) Alcohol abuse. Alcohol acts as a depressant on the central nervous
system (slows it down) when it (alcohol) is absorbed into the bloodstream. After
absorption into the bloodstream, alcohol is distributed uniformly to all body fluids.
Alcohol enters the brain easily and crosses the placental barrier into the fetus in
pregnant women. How fast alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream and the body
fluids depends on the kind of drink (beer or sweet wine is absorbed more slowly than
dry wine or distilled spirits) and on the contents of the stomach. How quickly alcohol is
absorbed and how rapidly it affects the user also depend on whether the stomach is
empty or full. A full stomach slows down both the rate of absorption and rapidity of
effects on the drinker. The effects of alcohol also depend on the amount of alcohol
consumed, the circumstances of consumption (setting), on the body size, and on the
experience of the drinker.