depressant drug

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Any drug that reduces or tends to reduce the function of a system or organ of the body, especially a drug that reduces or slows down the activity of the central nervous system and that in high dosages can lead to slurred speech, behaviour resembling drunkenness, coma, and death. Among the most frequently used depressants are alcohol, the barbiturates, the benzodiazepines, chloral hydrate, glutethimide, haloperidol, methaqualone, paraldehyde, phencyclidine, and scopolamine. A common street name for depressant drugs in general is downers. Also called a psychomotor depressant. See also sedative-hypnotic, sedative-, hypnotic-, or anxiolytic-related disorders, substance abuse, substance-related disorders. Compare stimulant drug. [From Latin depressum pressed down, from de down + premere, pressum to press]

Subjects: Psychology.

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