Barbiturates and benzodiazepines are two major categories of sedative-hypnotics.

Barbiturates are powerful depressants that slow down the central nervous system. They include Amytal, Nembutal, phenobarbital, Seconal, Tuinal. This drug category has largely been replaced by the newer, safer benzodiazepines. Common benzodiazepines include Xanaz, Valium and Librium.

How can you tell if a friend is using?

At low doses:

  • Reduction in restlessness and tension
  • Slurring of speech
  • Sleepy
  • Uncoordinated¬†

At larger doses:

  • Tolerance builds
  • Increased impairment when used with alcohol
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Cannot be roused
  • Anesthetic effect
  • Accidental overdose death