Valium, Ativan and Soma are the most commonly abused tranquilizers. They all can cause an individual to become addicted relatively quickly due to their effectiveness in treating underlying conditions and their ability to alter the brain’s chemistry over time.
Tranquilizers produce a calming effect on the body’s central nervous system in a way that is very similar to the effect produced by the consumption of alcohol. Tranquilizers are often prescribed for individuals with insomnia or anxiety issues because they can induce drowsiness and reduce anxiety. But there are many possible negative side effects including: difficulty concentrating, memory loss, depressed breathing or heart rate, and physical and psychological addiction.
Tranquilizers Are Also Known As Depressants
Tranquilizers slow down brain function by affecting the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. For this reason, tranquilizers can also be referred to as depressants. Many people suffering from pain or muscle aches will attempt to relax their muscles and joints by taking tranquilizers.
Tranquilizers Combined with Alcohol = Recipe for Disaster
The most dangerous aspect of the most commonly abused tranquilizers is the multiplier effect that occurs when they are combined with other depressants, especially alcohol. This combination is incredibly dangerous and is the cause of the vast majority of tranquilizer overdoses and deaths. This can occur as a simple accident when a patient forgets that they are taking the drug (or doesn’t realize it is still in their system) – or as a result of the increasing popular “drug cocktails” favored by many young tranquilizer and/or pain medication abusers. Long-term use of tranquilizers has been associated with depression, permanent memory problems, and even cerebral atrophy.
How Many People Every Year Are Legally Prescribed Tranquilizers in the US?
In the United States, over 60 million people receive prescriptions for tranquilizers per year. With such a large number of prescriptions, there is a great potential for abuse.
Medically Supervised Tranquilizer Abuse Treatment
Many of the commonly abused tranquilizers also have intense withdrawal effects after long-term use. These can include chest pains, rapid heartbeat, insomnia, excessive sweating, anxiety, extreme irritability, and feeling shaky or jittery. These symptoms can make it very difficult, if not impossible, for an individual to quit taking one of the commonly abused tranquilizers (after long-term abuse) without professional assistance in a medically supervised treatment center that specializes in pain medication addiction.