Common Depressents
Common Depressants

What It Is

Tranquilizers and barbiturates have two major effects they are sedative and hypnotic (sleepy). Many drugs have both effects, often having a sedative effect at low doses and a hypnotic effect at high doses.

Street Names

Tranquilizers and Barbiturates Tranx, Jellies, Temazepam, Valium, Temazies, Barbs, Sekkies, Tuinal, Seconal and Nembutal

How It Is Taken

Usually taken orally, but it is sometimes injected

What It Does


Tranquilizers, like barbiturates are used to help control anxiety and tension and sleep aid. Benzodiazepines are the most commonly prescribed of these drugs, which include Valium, Librium and Ativan.

A fatal overdose of pure Benzodiazepines is almost unheard of, but death has been reported when combined with other drugs, especially alcohol.

Psychological dependence is common in long-term users and without the drug they may be confused, irritable, anxious, and unable to carry on routine activities. Barbiturates are sleeping pills and include Tuinal, Seconal and Nembutal. These are the most misused because of their intoxicating effect.


Like alcohol, barbiturates depress the central nervous system and have similar effects lasting from 3 to 8 hours depending on the dose. Small doses usually gives the user a feeling of being relaxed similar to the effects of alcohol.

Large does can cause extreme and unpredictable emotional reactions, mental confusion, unconsciousness, respiratory failure, and death. They are extremely dangerous when taken with alcohol

Users can develop strong psychological as well as physical dependence. Withdrawal effects can include irritability, nervousness, inability to sleep, faintness and nausea, twitching, delerium, and convulsions. Sudden withdrawal from high doses of barbiturates can be fatal.

Medical Uses

Tranquillizers and barbiturates are used medically for many purposes.