Depressants are drugs that depress the central nervous system and are therefore potentially very dangerous if not treated with the utmost respect and care. They should be a last resort to treat any condition and only used for a short time. Some of the more common psychoactive depressant drugs include; barbiturates, tranquilizers and opiates.
The opiates, (drugs that are synthesized from opium) include morphine, heroin, and codeine. Generally known as narcotics, these drugs create both psychological and physiological dependence.
With the availability of major tranquilizers, the management of mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, became somewhat easier. The minor tranquilizers, which include such drugs as diazepam and Librium, are used to treat anxiety and muscle tension. Long-term use of these tranquilizers may produce psychological and physiological dependence and withdrawal symptoms whenever the minor tranquilizers are overprescribed.