Addictions we Treat


Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants, a focus of our CNS depressants addiction treatment in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Westminster at Achieve Whole Recovery, refer to a group of medicines such as sedatives, tranquilizers, and hypnotics. These drugs, while useful in treating conditions like anxiety, panic, acute stress reactions, and sleep disorders due to their ability to slow down brain activity, can lead to addiction if misused or used over a long term. This risk is precisely why we offer treatment for CNS depressants addiction in Denver, Westminster, and Colorado Springs.

Sedatives are prescribed for sleep disorders like insomnia to help with drowsiness, while hypnotics can help induce sleep. Tranquilizers, on the other hand, are used to treat anxiety or muscle spasms. Overall, CNS depressants are helpful in treating a variety of conditions that involve hyperactivity of the brain, allowing people to feel calmer and more relaxed.

Examples of CNS depressants include:

  • Benzodiazepines
  • diazepam (Valium®)
  • clonazepam (Klonopin®)
  • alprazolam (Xanax®)
  • triazolam (Halcion®)
  • estazolam (Prosom®)
  • Non-Benzodiazepine Sedative Hypnotics
  • zolpidem (Ambien®)
  • eszopiclone (Lunesta®)
  • zaleplon (Sonata®)


  • mephobarbital (Mebaral®)
  • phenobarbital (Luminal®)
  • pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal®)

CNS depressants are commonly taken orally in pill, capsule, or liquid form. Misuse of these drugs, a key concern addressed in our CNS depressants treatment, can involve taking them in ways other than prescribed, taking someone else’s medication, or taking them to achieve a “high”. CNS depressants work by increasing the activity of a chemical called GABA, which inhibits brain activity and causes drowsy and calming effects that are helpful in treating anxiety and sleep disorders. Short-term side effects can include confusion, slurred speech, and dizziness. Over time, larger doses may be needed to achieve the desired effects, leading to dependence and withdrawal symptoms when use is stopped abruptly. CNS depressants can be dangerous when taken in excess, causing a decrease in oxygen to the brain and potentially leading to coma or permanent brain damage. In the event of an overdose, medical attention should be sought immediately, and the CNS depressants treatment may involve the use of medication such as flumazenil to reverse the effects of benzodiazepines and sleep medicines.

Misuse or long-term use of prescription CNS depressants can lead to addiction and substance use disorder (SUD), causing negative consequences such as health problems or failure to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home. Tolerance can develop, requiring higher and/or more frequent doses of the drug to get the desired effects. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe and potentially life-threatening. Medically supervised detoxification, treatment for CNS depressants addiction and counseling, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, can help people through the process. CNS Depressants Treatment may need to address multiple addictions if the person is also misusing other drugs like alcohol or opioids.

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