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The various categories of prescription drugs

Mthandazo Ndlovu

I will dwell on the subject of prescriptions more as more questions have been coming through. Prescription drugs have different categories and these are stimulants, depressants and antidepressants, these categories are descriptive of the effects the drugs do to an individual.

The effects that these drugs give in their varied categories has led to them being used for recreational purposes, someone feels low and they take stimulants, one feels they just want out and they take depressants and another trying to get rid of some weird thoughts and feelings takes the antidepressants .

The danger of taking these for recreational use is that it leads to abuse of the substance, which grows into tolerance where one needs more of the substance to feel the effects and then dependency and addicted life where one feels they are not able to do anything without taking the drug or substance.

Depressants are referred to as central nervous system depressants (brain and spinal cord) as they slow the brain function. These include sedatives that make one calm and drowsy and tranquillisers which are meant to reduce tension and anxiety.

Stimulants are a class of drugs intended to increase energy and alertness but which also increase blood pressure, heart rate and breathing.

Antidepressants are psychiatric drugs meant to handle depression and these are now the main thing among the young and old in our society as the drug is abused in varied ways.

The effects of these as exhibited by the abusers in our society is suicidal thoughts, aggression, anxiety, depression, crying spells, headaches, vomiting and electric a�?zapa�? sensations in the brain.

Depressants are at times called the downers, some are major tranquillisers or antipsychotics as they are supposed to reduce the symptoms of mental illness the benzodiazepines (acts to relax the muscles and calm mental excitement).

Others are called barbiturates and these are drugs used as sedatives and sleeping pills. The short term effects of depressants are slow brain function, confusion, lowered blood pressure, poor concentration, slurred speech, and fatigue, and disorientation, lack of co-ordination, depression and addiction.

Higher doses can cause impairment of memory, irritability, suicidal thoughts, agitation or aggression. Use of sedatives with other substances particular alcohol, can slow breathing and the heart rate and can lead to death.

Our society is now mixing these with the alcohol with the hope of getting high ignorant of these dangers especially the youth at their a�?partiesa�? that they are holding these days.

Long term effects of depressants include depression, chronic fatigue, breathing difficulties, sexual and sleep problems. As the dependency grows cravings anxiety panic are common, leading one to need more.

The withdrawal symptoms include weakness nausea, hallucinations and the withdrawals can be life threatening.

They also increase the risk of high blood pressure and sugar diabetes.

The Rechabites Trust will be running community dialogues and trainings on drug and substance abuse for churches, schools and other organisations.

Mthandazo Ndlovu is a drug prevention and rehabilitation specialist. For more information or help contact 00263772399734 or email mthae4jesus@gmail.com