In this module, you were introduced to the category of sedative-hypnotic, tranquilizer, and central nervous system (CNS) depressant drugs. While these psychoactive substances are among the least commonly misused, they are misused by about 2% of the population over the age of 12—particularly emerging adults in the 18-to-25-year age range. Many effects are similar to those we learned about in the module about alcohol and you learned that combining these drugs with alcohol amplifies some of the risky effects (e.g., breathing complications), contributing to overdose harm. Some of these drugs have significant addictive potential, including the development of tolerance and (potentially dangerous) withdrawal. In this context, you learned the concept of cross-tolerance between drugs of a similar type. Additionally, you learned about the related group of “club drugs” and how these are sometimes used to perpetrate sexual assault (“date rape”). It is difficult to assess the risks of prenatal exposure to drugs in this category, although infants may be born with withdrawal symptoms and some neurodevelopmental effects may persist over time.
SWK 5805: Theories and Biological Basis of Substance Misuse Copyright © by Dr. Audrey Begun is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.