In 2017, the most recent year tabulated, over 70,000 people around the US died of drug overdoses. Approximately 70% of these deaths could be attributed to opioids. But there are other drugs to know about. Understanding depressants vs stimulants can you better make sense of your addiction and find a good women’s or men’s drug rehab program to help you get on the path to recovery.
Depressants Vs Stimulants: What’s the Difference?
What’s the difference between depressants and stimulants? In a nutshell, stimulants speed up bodily and mental functions. Depressants slow things down.
If you think about depressants vs stimulants from a medical perspective, then a doctor might prescribe a depressant to someone with anxiety or sleep problems. By slowing things down, the person can relax.
On the other hand, stimulants can reduce pain levels. They help people with narcolepsy (falling asleep uncontrollably). And doctors prescribe them to people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Common Depressants & How They Impact the Body
Taken in moderation, depressants can balance overactive parts of the brain. But when taken in larger quantities, they slow breathing and heart rate to dangerous levels. A person may sleep all the time. They may stop breathing altogether. The difference between depressants and stimulants is evident in that sleeping is the last thing you want to do on a stimulant.
As a person continues to use depressants, they may need more of it and even become addicted to it. When that happens, they find themselves unable to sleep or relax without their aid.
Here are some common depressants and the reasons doctors may prescribe them.
- Xanax (anti-anxiety)
- Valium (anti-anxiety)
- Haldol (anti-psychotics or tranquilizer)
- Barbituates (sleeping pills)
- “Benzos” (a street term for anti-anxiety drugs that contain benzodiazepines)
- Heroin, morphine, and other opioids
- “Downers” (a general street term for depressants)
Common Stimulants & How They Impact the Body
Stimulants make people feel very awake and focused. Because people feel more alert, they may even feel smarter and more confident in social situations. Stimulants increase breathing and heart rate. They, therefore, put significant stress on the heart, lungs, and vessels when overused. Some stimulants also cause a euphoric feeling.
Some common stimulants include:
- Caffeine (a morning pick-me-up which can be dangerous in larger quantities)
- Nicotine (repeated use can cause heart problems)
- Adderall (ADHD)
- Ritalin (ADHD)
Can Stimulants and Depressants Be Used Together?
It may seem contrary since they have opposite effects, but some people may experiment with using depressants and stimulants together. For example, they call taking heroin and cocaine “speedballing”.
But as you can imagine, this is even more dangerous than taking one alone. You’re sending mixed signals to the body, forcing it through a roller coaster of experiences that is entirely unpredictable. The cocaine counteracts heroin for a short time. But once it wears off, heroin hits full force. Death may occur.
Many people who speedball, think they’re safe because they know how much to take. But the truth is, street drug potency is impossible to know. And increasingly street drug manufacturers are lacing them with other substances. So you really never do know when this next time will be the last.
That is unless you get into treatment now.
How Crestview Recovery Helps Those Who Abuse Depressant and Stimulants
Understanding the difference between depressants and stimulants is an important first step. What works for someone on stimulants may not be advisable for someone on depressants. The reasons for using and how they’re used are different.
When it comes to depressants vs stimulants, Crestview Recovery recognizes that you are not your disease. You need a personalized plan to get onto the recovery path and stay there long-term
As a Joint Commission-accredited facility, we offer people in the Northwest a chance to find healing through evidence-based treatments along with complementing programs and activities like:
- Mindfulness Meditation
- Adventure therapy (snowboarding, skiing, hiking, and more)
- Gender-specific treatment
- Dual Diagnosis care for those who also have a mental illness
With 90+ day extended programs, we can help those suffering from extreme and complex addictions. Don’t let depressants and stimulants continue to rollercoaster your life. You can get back on solid ground through treatment. Just give us a call at 866.262.0531 to find out how to get started.