Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 481-482

Depressants

  • Nicholas J. BaloghAffiliated withDepartment of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri

Synonyms

Alcohol; Anticonvulsants; Antipsychotics; Anxiolytics/​ hypnotics; Barbiturates; Barbs; Benzodiazepines; Blue devils; Carisoprodol (Soma); Chloral hydrate (Noctec);Diethyl ether; Downers; Diphenhydramine (Benadryl);Ethchlorvynol (Placidyl); Gammahydroxybuty​rate (GHB); Glutethimide (Doriden); Goofballs; Ketamine (Ketaset); Ludes; Meprobamate (Mil-town); Methaqualone (Quaalude); Methyprylon (Noludar); Muscle relaxants; Neuroleptics; Nitrous oxide; Nonbenzodiazepin​e sedatives; Opioids; Sleeping pills (e.​g.​, Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata); Tranquilizers

Definition

A drug which lowers arousal (“depresses”) the action of the Central Nervous System. While depressants are used medically in the treatment of some anxiety disorders, more commonly they are consumed socially in the form of alcoholic beverages. Depressants effects on the human body include somnolence, unsteady gait, slurred speech, and uncoordinated reflexes.

Description

Depressants include, but are not lim ...

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