How do CNS depressants affect the brain and body?
Most CNS depressants act on the brain by affecting the neurotransmitter gammaaminobutyric acid (GABA). Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that facilitate communication between brain cells. Although the different classes of CNS depressants work in unique ways, it is through their ability to increase GABA—and thereby inhibit brain activity—that they produce a drowsy or calming effect beneficial to those suffering from anxiety or sleep disorders.
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NIDA (2016). Misuse of Prescription Drugs. Retrieved , from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs
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