Anti-anxiety & Sedative Hypnotics Drug Abuse Prevention & Treatment Programs

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  • 0:01 Anxiolytics & Sedatives
  • 0:57 Prevention Strategies
  • 3:18 Treatments
  • 4:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

In this lesson you will learn about anxiolytics and sedatives. We'll discuss the prevention strategies people of all ages can undertake to avoid abusing these drugs and the major treatment strategies involved in their discontinuation.

Anxiolytics & Sedatives

Because of their calming effects, some people take to abusing anxiolytics and sedatives, especially when they feel particularly stressed as a result of life, school, or work troubles. An anxiolytic is a drug that relieves anxiety, and a sedative is a drug that depresses the central nervous system, produces calm, and suppresses bodily reactions but is not intended to cause a person to fall asleep; although this often does happen indirectly because a sedative calms a person so much.

Since abusing any drug, including an anxiolytic and sedative, can cause so many adverse effects upon a person's mental, physical, and social well being, it's important that their abuse is prevented in the first place and, if that's too late, that treatment programs are available to help a person free themselves from the mires of their addiction.

Prevention Strategies

Depending on the person's age, quite a few different preventions strategies can be used to try and prevent the abuse of anxiolytics and sedatives.

Let's meet little Timmy. Timmy is a 14-year-old boy who just entered high school. This is a very impressionable stage of his life. It's not uncommon that kids try their first drugs and perhaps become addicted to drugs in high school, including anxiolytics and sedatives. So, what can be done to prevent Timmy's abuse of these substances? There are two major strategies available. The first one involves his family, and the other one involves his school.

When it comes to family, a nurturing close family unit, where safe and civil discussions on a wide range of topics can be fostered, is going to be important for Timmy. It's important for him to be able to open up to his family if something troubling arises, so he can discuss it with them instead of turning to drugs in order to cope.

When it comes to school, it will be up to Timmy's teachers to present evidence-based information that gets Timmy to understand that turning to drugs is not the answer, that there are alternatives, and that if he does turn to drug abuse, the consequences can be dire. School-based programs should also empower Timmy with appropriate social and personal communication skills and coping mechanisms that will allow him to turn away from drug use and turn to more appropriate means of expression or coping.

But, what about adults? What about Tommy? Tommy is a bit older than Timmy. He's a working adult in his late 30s. He doesn't remember much of what he learned at Timmy's age in school. Besides nurturing a strong support network via a family unit, how else can society as a whole try and lessen the chances that Tommy will turn to substance abuse?

This is where workplace prevention strategies can help. There are quite a few strategies that can be employed by the workplace, but probably the best possible way that an employer can signal to their employees, including Tommy, that substance abuse prevention is critical to the company is to write it up. That is to say, make a written policy everyone is aware of. Informational meetings and messages about the company's policy on drugs, the health risks involved with substance abuse, and assessments employees can fill out to find out if they may have a problem will be important. Information on where an employee can go get help so their work and personal life don't spiral out of control will be important as well.

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