Author: James Anderson

Effect of alcohol on the central nervous system to develop neurological disorder: pathophysiological and lifestyle modulation can be potential therapeutic options for alcohol-induced neurotoxication PMC

cns depressant alcohol

This approach, known as the Sinclair Method, aims to reduce drinking by having people take naltrexone when consuming alcohol. If you’re undergoing alcohol withdrawal symptoms or want to reduce alcohol cravings, you may be prescribed medication. The FDA-approved options include naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram. Abusing alcohol can not only harm your health and mental health, but it can also hurt those around you, especially if you engage in risky behaviors while under the influence like driving, having unprotected sex, or fighting. However, if you find that your CNS depressants affect your daily functioning, speak to your doctor about it.

Although the risks of using central nervous system depressant (CNS-D) medications with alcohol are well-documented, little is known about trends in prescribed use of these medications among individuals who regularly consume alcohol (i.e., trends in “concurrent use”). We examined changes in the prevalence of prescribed CNS-D medications among individuals who drank alcohol on 52 or more occasions in the past year (“regular drinking”). CNS-D medications included sedative-hypnotics (subclassified as anxiolytics or sleep medications) and opioids. Experimental studies on human brain tissue provide evidence of increased expression of CYP2E1 after chronic ethanol exposure and as a result of CYP2E1 mediated metabolism induces production of ROS and NO synthesis in the human brain [37],[38]. However, actions of EtOH metabolites depend on their concentration, ROS acts as active molecules at low concentration but at high concentration, oxidants convert as a transducer of the oxidative stress response and neurodegenerative agents [39].

Alcohol is a depressant that slows down your central nervous system, leading to decreased blood pressure, drowsiness, poor coordination, and reduced alertness. It can also cause other side effects, including a risk for dependence and addiction. Consuming too much alcohol too quickly can affect breathing, body temperature, and heart rate. In extreme cases, alcohol poisoning can cause brain damage or even death.

  1. Thus, Alcohol and its metabolites induce BBB disruption and neuroinflammation as well as alter the CNS homeostasis.
  2. Barbiturates are powerful medications, and over time medical professionals have shifted from using them to treat anxiety and sleep disorders to being used as anticonvulsants (anti-seizure medications).
  3. Meta-analyses of data from six national surveys suggest that from 2000 to 2016, the prevalence of any past-year alcohol use increased by 0.3% per year and past-year binge drinking increased by about 0.7% per year among U.S. adults (18+) (Grucza et al., 2018).
  4. For some people, limiting the duration of use of opiate medications may not be possible, and in these cases, ongoing communication and honesty with your prescriber is essential for adequate monitoring of both pain and side effects.
  5. The sedative Xyrem, known as the “date rape drug,” commonly features in cases of sexual assault.
  6. When you speak with a mental health professional, you can determine what treatment plan works best for you and your situation.

Another major cause of CNS depression in people who have no history of using CNS depressants is brain injury. If your doctor suspects that a brain injury or tumor is the cause of your depression, they might order a CT scan, an MRI scan, or both. CNS depression is a form of depression caused by the misuse of CNS depressants. CNS depressants are substances that can slow down your central nervous system.

Discuss treatment goals and alternatives to the use of opiates so that opiate use is limited. As a recreational drug, people sometimes call them barbs, downers, or phennies, among other names. These can treat seizure disorders and anxiety, but doctors rarely prescribe them nowadays. These are chemically different from other CNS depressants, but they work by stimulating the same inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA.

Pharmacology of Alcohol and Alcohol Use Disorder

When severe, CNS depression caused by substances such as opioids, alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and sleeping medications can be fatal. Lifestyle modification is also one of the most promising initiatives to reduce alcohol or age-related neurodegeneration as well as possible intervention strategies to control chronic disease or prevent the onset of dementia. Several lifestyle factors like aerobic and anaerobic exercise, an antioxidant-rich diet, limited alcohol consumption, neuropsychological therapy, and cognitive training have been demonstrated to improve cognitive function or postpone disease progression in AUD [141],[142].

cns depressant alcohol

This includes feelings of anger, anxiety, depression, and other negative emotions. Mild CNS depression is often the goal of taking some CNS depressants, especially sleep and anxiety disorders. It’s important to take the medication exactly as your doctor prescribes to avoid a more severe form of the condition. It would be best to inform your doctor as soon as you experience any side effects that you find intolerable. People who already have a history of drug or alcohol dependency are at greater risk of developing severe CNS depression, which is why doctors take a thorough look into your medical history before prescribing CNS depressants for any condition.

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Opioids are strong pain relievers that are obtained from opiates like heroin and oxycodone. They have a high risk of becoming addictive, which is why they are often prescribed in small doses for only short periods. Timothy J. Legg, PhD, CRNP Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice. The most important thing is to be honest with your prescriber regarding your symptoms, and to communicate honestly.

cns depressant alcohol

ALDH converts acetaldehyde to acetate, acetate has further effects on brain including increase lipid peroxidation and free radicals production. EtOH exposure induces the catalytic expression of oxidative metabolizing enzymes which is parallel to enhancing the production of ROS (Figure 1). Frequency of past-year alcohol use was assessed with the item “In the past 12 months, how often did you drink any type of alcoholic beverage? ” Respondents are provided with a small text box and instructed to type the frequency of their alcohol consumption (as numeric characters) as well the unit in which they are reporting that frequency (per week, per month, or per year). Using this item, we defined “regular” alcohol use as consuming alcohol on average one or more times per week in the past year, (i.e., at least 52 times in the past year).

Side Effects of Alcohol and Other Depressants

Your central nervous system is made up of your brain and spinal cord and controls functions like your blood circulation and digestion. Some researchers believe that people who don’t respond to alcohol’s sedating effects as strongly as others are at a heightened risk of developing an alcohol use disorder. They drink more to compensate for the fact that they don’t immediately feel anything, increasing their chances of experiencing the negative side effects. Alcohol overdose, or alcohol poisoning, can cause even more severe Depressant effects, including an inability to feel pain, unconsciousness, slow and irregular breathing, cold, clammy, and blue skin, and possibly even death. These reactions additionally depend on how much an individual consumes and how quickly. No matter how severe your alcohol misuse, recovery from this type of depressant is possible.

Many CNS depressants work by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical that prevents or slows the delivery of messages between cells. People may develop an addiction to alcohol after using it to cope with stress or traumatic life events. Addressing emotional or mental health concerns can help people with AUD find ways to cope that do not involve alcohol. Doctors may prescribe stimulants to individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy. Ratios of the prevalence of medication use across categories of drinking status, sociodemographic characteristics, and over time.

Many medically prescribed and high-dose depressants are also common street drugs, and some people use them recreationally. Examples of CNS depressants include tranquilizers, hypnotics, and sedatives. In recent years, doctors have prescribed opioid painkillers for many conditions, but overuse of these drugs can lead to problems. Depression of the central nervous system or CNS often occurs when a person misuses a substance that slows brain activity. Naltrexone and acamprosate can both reduce heavy drinking and support abstinence. Long-term overuse of alcohol can cause physical and psychological dependence.