According to a survey done in 2017, it was reported that around 50% of American teens had misused a drug at least once in their lifetime. Drug abuse is becoming a rising trend, especially for teenagers.
However, many important facts about certain drugs are overlooked by many teens. Below, we will share some tips regarding sedatives. These essential details can help you evade the path of addiction and might end up saving your life.
Sedatives are a category of drugs that slow down your brain activity. These drugs are usually taken for anxiety due to their calming or sleep-inducing effects. Sedatives are also known by different slang terms such as benzos, phennies, red birds, reds, yellow jackets, yellows, downers, sleeping pills, and tranks etc.
Below are some important facts about sedatives for teens. Let’s take a look:
- Sedatives can be addictive: Sedatives are often used to treat insomnia, but if taken in ways not monitored, they can be harmful such as taken for self-medication for anxiety without a doctor’s prescription. Long-term use can make your body resistant resulting in you needing more of the drug to feel the desired effects. This can lead to addiction. Sometimes, it’s impossible to judge how much more is needed and this can lead to overdose.
- Sedatives can harm your body: It is possible to overdose on sedatives and when this happens, your breathing slows down and it decreases the oxygen that reaches your brain. This causes temporary and even permanent damages to the nervous system such as coma, permanent brain damage and even death.
- Sedatives can be deadly: If used with alcohol, sedatives can cause a further decrease in breathing and oxygen consumption. It can lead you to death. If used together, sedatives and alcohol are more potent and therefore increasing the risks for any dangers including death.
Some common questions and confusions
Q: Is it safe to stop taking sedatives all of a sudden if I’ve been taking them for a few weeks or longer?
Ans: No. Consult with your doctor. Sudden withdrawal can be life-threatening and include seizures, increased heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature as well as visual hallucinations.
Q: Aren’t sedatives less dangerous than other drugs?
Ans: Not at all. In fact, sedative overdose has increased. According to recent research, most commonly prescribed sedatives called benzodiazepines were responsible for nearly 30 percent of deaths from medications.
Q: Are sedatives less harmful than drinking?
Ans: No. Their effects can be similarly harmful to alcohol intoxication. Symptoms can include impaired attention and judgment, inappropriate behavior, decreased reflexes, and imbalanced walking.
How can you tell if a friend is using sedatives?
If you suspect that one of your friends is using a sedative you can identify with the potential symptoms and side effects:
- Slurred Speech
- Poor concentration
- Problems with movement and memory
- Slowed breathing
Before you take Sedatives, consider these
Know the law: If you don’t have a valid prescription, then any kind of sedative use is illegal to consume, give or sell to others.
- Know the risks: Even if you have been prescribed sedatives, using them with alcohol or other depressants is unsafe. Even taking them with over-the-counter cold and allergy medications can increase their potency and lead to deadly results.
- Look around you: In 2018, only 0.3% of youths aged between 12 and 17 misused prescription sedatives. Even if you think your peers are effectively using sedatives to cope with mental health problems, the truth is only a very small number of teens are misusing these substances in this way.
Even if they are prescribed by doctors, sedatives can be risky drugs. But if used without any guidance, sedatives can be a whole lot more dangerous and even deadly. If you find yourself in a situation where you are consuming sedatives, you should consult with your parents, teachers or guardians if you have any questions.