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This group of drugs is almost the opposite of stimulants. They also impact the central nervous system of the body, but are called “downers” because they slow things like heart rate, blood pressure and breathing down. Because they slow breathing so much, they can cause death. They also have a sedative (relaxing effect) which can make them a top choice for people who are trying to escape stress or emotional pain.

Examples of depressants include rohypnol (“roofies” the date rape drug), anxiety medication like xanax and valium, sleeping pills like ambien, benzodiazepines, which are often used to treat seizures and barbituates, sometimes used to treat migraines.

Did you know that alcohol is also a depressant, although many people associate it with increased energy?

The side-effects of depressant include:

  • weight gain and increased blood sugar levels
  • impaired memory
  • difficulty with memory and concentration
  • hallucinations
  • significant decrease in breathing leading to death
  • addiction with symptoms of withdrawal that can lead to death