- Barbiturates: Drugs in this class include Nembutal, Seconal, and phenobarbital. In the 1950s and 1960s, doctors used them liberally, experts say. If you were nervous, upset, or unable to sleep, you could get a prescription with few questions asked.Soon, experts realized that people abused these drugs, and doctors were encouraged to use alternate solutions. Now, it’s a little rare for a doctor to choose barbiturates over other available medications.
- Benzodiazepines: Xanax, Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin are all benzodiazepines. They are widely prescribed, and unfortunately, they are also often abused.The Drug Enforcement Administration says that these drugs can produce euphoria at high doses. They can also mitigate withdrawal symptoms, so heroin users also appreciate the power in these pills.
When used properly for short time periods, they may help ease symptoms of anxiety. But the longer you take them, the higher the risk of tolerance. Some long-term users abuse their pills.
- Z-drugs: Sonata, Lunesta, and other prescription sleep aids are known as z-drugs. They work by slowing brain activity, but the Food and Drug Administration warns they can spark unusual activity in some people. You might eat, drive, or shop while sleeping.Researchers say these medications can also cause brain changes that lead to addiction. Users can grow physically dependent on the drug, and they can experience withdrawal when they try to stop.