DREXEL PSY 310 - Depressants and Inhalants (6 pages)

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Depressants and Inhalants



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Depressants and Inhalants

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Pages:
6
School:
Drexel University
Course:
Psy 310 - Drugs & Human Behavior

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Depressants and Inhalants Depressants A class of drugs that decrease CNS activity Have a widespread effect in the brain As a group also called sedative hypnotics Sedatives treat anxiety Hypnotics treat insomnia Widely used depressants include Alcohol Benzodiazepines prescription History Before Barbiturates Chloral hydrate knockout drops Mickey Finn Synthesized in 1832 used clinically in 1870 Induces sleep in less than an hour Repeated use leads to gastric irritation Paraldehyde Synthesized in 1829 used clinically in 1882 Effective with a wide safety margin Noxious taste and odor Bromides Widely used as a sleep agent in patent medicines Remained in OTC drugs through the 1960s Accumulates in the body and cause toxic effects Barbiturates First introduced in 1903 So popular and useful that over 2500 examples were synthesized Popular barbiturates included phenobarbital amobarbital and secobarbital Grouped based on the time of onset and duration of activity Short acting and rapid onset used to induce sleep and often prescribed in high doses Long acting and delayed onset used to reduce anxiety and often prescribed in low doses Examples of Barbiturates Short acting pentobarbital secobarbital Time of onset 15 minutes Duration of action 2 to 3 hours Intermediate acting amobarbital butabarbital Time of onset 30 minutes Duration of action 5 to 6 hours Long acting mephobarbital phenobarbital Time of onset 1 hour Duration of action 8 hours or longer Concerns About Barbiturates Overdose Deaths Intentional and accidental Caused by respiratory depression Abuse and dependence Reinforcing effects of a drug are related to the rapidity of onset of effects Short acting drugs are more likely to lead to psychological dependence Concerns led to search for safer medications Meprobamate Widely prescribed beginning in the 1950s Used as an anxiolytic Like barbiturates can produce psychological and physical dependence Still available as a prescription drug However largely replaced by



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