First discovered in 1864 by Adolf von Bayer, depressant drugs are used generally as a hypnotic sedative, tranquilizer, or anti-convulsive/anti-anxiety medicine. One of the first depressant drugs marketed in America was Barbital in 1903. Today there are over 2,500 different named depressant drugs including:
Barbiturates, a broad family of prescription sedative drugs including Amytal, Seconal and Nembutal
Methaqualone, illegal world-wide, it is still illegally manufactured and is 10 times more powerful than barbiturates
Diazepine tranquilizers, the most prescribed impairing drugs in America include Valium, Librium and Equanil
Soma, a prescription muscle relaxant/tranquilizer widely abused by college students as a cheap high
Rohypnol, an illegal "date-rape" drug produced in Mexico is 10 times more potent than valium
GHB, popular dance club drug banned in 1990 and also used as a "date rape" drug
GBL and 1,4 BD are popular chemical relatives of GHB that do not show up on standard urine screens
Alcohol - the most abused depressant drug in America and dangerous when mixed with any other depressant drug.
Although the casual observer can easily recognize impairment from a depressant drug in a recreational user, the long-term addict will fool the untrained. The human brain will quickly develop compensation techniques to adjust of the deleterious effects of depressant drugs. Although no tolerance develops, the brain's compensation ability allows the long term user to become intoxicated on large doses of depressant drugs and show little or no outward symptoms such as swaying or slurred speech. Even police officers are sometimes surprised by a grossly intoxicated driver who shows few common symptoms of impairment.
Drug recognition training uses non-body invasive eye clues to alert on the possibility of drug impairment and to identify what broad class of drugs may be causing the impairment. All recreational drugs taken at abusive levels effect the user's eyes. Knowing these eye clues gives the observer important information as to the potential for drug impaired safety concerns.
Depressant drugs, taken at an abusive dose, will produce drooped eye lids, a slowed pupilary response to light, and involuntary jerking of the eyes. Effective training for recognizing the effects of depressant drug impairment should include video displays of actual depressant drug impaired subjects and classroom lead training.
|Back To Top||Link To News Reports||Back To Main|