Sedating side effects
Some heroin users may take them either to supplement their drug or to substitute for it.Stimulant users may take sedatives to calm excessive jitteriness.Sedatives can sometimes leave the patient with long-term or short-term amnesia.Lorazepam is one such pharmacological agent that can cause anterograde amnesia.Like alcohol, benzodiazepines are commonly used to treat insomnia in the short-term (both prescribed and self-medicated), but worsen sleep in the long-term.While benzodiazepines can put people to sleep but, while asleep, the drugs disrupt sleep architecture: decreasing sleep time, delaying time to REM sleep, and decreasing deep slow-wave sleep (the most restorative part of sleep for both energy and mood).Many sedatives can be misused, but barbiturates and benzodiazepines are responsible for most of the problems with sedative use due to their widespread recreational or non-medical use.People who have difficulty dealing with stress, anxiety or sleeplessness may overuse or become dependent on sedatives.
Although sedatives do not relieve pain in themselves, they can be a useful adjunct to analgesics in preparing patients for surgery, and are commonly given to patients before they are anaesthetized, or before other highly uncomfortable and invasive procedures like cardiac catheterization, colonoscopy or MRI.
These include suicides and accidental drug poisonings.
Accidental deaths sometimes occur when a drowsy, confused user repeats doses, or when sedatives are taken with alcohol.
In spite of the fact that each sedative acts in its own way, they produce beneficial relaxing effect by increasing GABA activity.
At higher doses it may result in slurred speech, staggering gait, poor judgment, and slow, uncertain reflexes.
The long-term use of benzodiazepines may have a similar effect on the brain as alcohol, and are also implicated in depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mania, psychosis, sleep disorders, sexual dysfunction, delirium, and neurocognitive disorders (including benzodiazepine-induced persisting dementia which persists even after the medications are stopped).