Sedatives are often used in medicine. For example, some people may need surgery and sedatives will be given during the procedure. While this is not a common practice, some patients may choose to take these medications after they have been injured or ill. But, most commonly, sedatives are used in hospitals and other health care facilities. Here are some things you should know about sedatives (1).
Why People Use Sedatives
Many people take sedatives as a treatment for anxiety, migraine headaches, fear of surgery, insomnia, depression, panic attacks, and more. Prescription medications used to treat anxiety (anxiety drugs) and cause sleep (Sedatives, or? ), can become habit-forming and, thus, addictive. These medications include barbiturates, benzodiazepine, zolpidem, lorazepam, and many others. Each works differently in a different manner, and each has an entirely different potential for addiction and dependency (2).
Some people take sedatives to help them get through long, difficult, boring, or traumatic procedures like anesthesia for dental work, surgery, or chemotherapy (3). This is often seen as a valid reason for taking hypnotic drugs. However, if a doctor gives someone hypnotic drugs and they become addicted, this could constitute a violation of the fifth amendment. The Fifth Amendment protects the individual against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” “seizure” includes the use of force against a person and includes the taking of drugs, but it does not include the deprivation of “life, liberty, and property.”
Ethanol and Sedatives
Ethanol is often mixed with sedatives in order to produce a short-acting, high dosage of alcohol. If someone has anxiety and consumes alcohol mixed with ethanol, it could lead to a physical dependence on the alcohol, making it impossible for that person to stop ingesting the ethanol without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, tremors, and insomnia. This is also true if the person consumes more alcohol than is safely possible.
Long Term Effects of Sedatives
Over a long period of time, sedatives can lead to the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal as well. This is especially true in situations where alcohol is involved, such as with taking psychiatric drugs, tranquilizers, antidepressants, cough syrup, prescription pain killers, sedatives for diabetes, etc. The sedatives used in these cases are designed to make those who are addicted to pain medications or who have long-term symptoms of mental illness feel less anxious or distressed. Sedatives in this category include anti-anxiety drugs, anti-depressants, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, barbiturates (including alcohol), and tranquilizers. Unfortunately, people who suffer from long-term symptoms of schizophrenia may need to take much more than a single dose of an anti-anxiety drug to counter the problem.
Sedatives are often used in conjunction with other medications to counter the effects of withdrawal symptoms, which can make the process longer. For instance, sedatives combined with certain benzodiazepine-based drugs can help to shorten the amount of time it takes for someone to wean themselves from their addiction to those drugs. It is important to remember that sedatives can be addictive, just like most other drugs are. While they can be helpful when consumed properly, they can become habit-forming over time and become stronger.
Although sedatives are very helpful for treating insomnia, they can cause dangerous side effects if taken in combination with other medications. Some sedatives have been found to increase the blood pressure and heart rate to unacceptable levels. Others have been linked to increased strokes and even an increased risk of homicidal or suicidal thoughts. Because sedatives affect the brain chemistry of the person taking them, they should never be used by patients with a history of drug addiction or depression.
Hypnotics and Sedatives
As with all medications, there are some pros and cons to both hypnotics and sedatives. Hypnotics are generally used to calm someone who is restless or doesn’t feel well. This can be particularly useful when a person is taking multiple medications and they need to relax. On the other hand, sedatives are most often used for short-term disorders. They are not recommended for people with a history of addiction or depression taking sleeping pills. Both are excellent choices when it comes to treating insomnia or anxiety.