d. Sedatives. Included in this category are drugs which relieve anxiety, tension,
and muscle spasms, produce sedation, and prevent convulsions. These drugs are
marketed as minor tranquilizers, sedatives, hypnotics (sleep inducing), or
anticonvulsants (prevent convulsions). These drugs are safer than other central
nervous depressants, but users can become physically and psychologically dependent
with long use. Long use of sedatives can also result in the user experiencing
withdrawal symptoms. Examples of sedatives include diazepam (Valium) and
e. Signs/Symptoms of Central Nervous System Depressant Abuse.
(1) Overdose. Characteristics of central nervous system depressant
(a) Constricted pupils (initially).
(b) Fixed and dilated pupils of the eye (late stages).
Respirations, slow or shallow.
(d) Respiratory acidosis (increase in hydrogen ion in the body fluids
caused by failure of respiratory system to eliminate carbon dioxide effectively).
Hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure).
(f) Cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin, lips, and nail beds as a
result of insufficient oxygen in the blood).
(2) Withdrawal. Signs and symptoms of withdrawal may begin from six to
24 hours after the last dose of a central nervous system depressant. Included are the
(a) Anxiety or weakness.
Nausea or vomiting.