Psychotropics and the Central Nervous System

Psychotropic medications are drugs that are typically prescribed to treat mental health conditions. These include depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and attention deficit disorder. The term, psychotropic refers to a drug whose primary or significant effects are on the central nervous system.

Psychotropic medications are designed to reduce and alleviate the crippling affects of a psychiatric conditions which can include an inability to concentration, sleeplessness, paranoia, hallucinations, manic states or depression. These drugs can significantly improve the mood, health, well-being and quality of life for individuals who suffer from these conditions as well as their friends and families.

Psychotropic Medications and Substance Abuse

Psychotropic drugs have been found to provide effective relief to people who are suffering from substance abuse issues. This may be because many people who have an addiction to a substance also have a co-occurring condition such as depression or anxiety. Additionally, some psychotropic medications provide relief to painful detoxification or withdrawals. Benzodiazepines are a commonly prescribed medication for substance abuse treatment as the sedative and anti-anxiety properties are some of the symptoms that require attention during rehabilitation.


Depression is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide and the condition is also one that is often associated with drug or alcohol abuse. Many people who suffer depression use alcohol or drugs to self-medicate their condition. Self medication is the term used to describe the use of alcohol or illicit drugs to treat health conditions. Alcohol is the most common used drug in a self-medication setting as it is readily available, cheap and socially acceptable. People may find that alcohol or drugs silence fears, thoughts or anxieties.

Psychotropic medications have been used successfully and effectively treat depression. There is a large variety of anti-depressant medications that can be prescribed to help those who suffer from depression. These include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin-nonrepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, monoamine oxidase inhibitors and, tricyclic antidepressant. The two main antidepressants that are prescribed are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin nonrepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Anti-depressant medications are commonly prescribed to people who are undergoing treatment for alcoholism or substance abuse issues. This it to enable them to overcome the underlying issues that may be associated with their addiction while they also go through detoxification from the substances.

Anti-Anxiety Medications

Anxiolytic medications are prescribed to people to treat serious anxiety issues. These issues may be associated with substance abuse or contributed to by alcohol or other drugs. There are a number of drug families in this group which include benzodiazepines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and barbiturates. Anxiolytics have been found to provide some benefit to individuals who suffer from substance abuse issues.

Anxiety can cause people to undergo significant mood changes which is related to fear and stress. It is characterized by physical and psychological manifestations which can be mild or extreme. The physical manifestations of anxiety can include tension, fatigue, nausea, chest pain, heart palpitations and headaches. People often report an increase in sweat, trembling and an impending sense of fear of dread. Individuals who suffer from anxiety as well as a substance abuse issue often find that the medication they are prescribed can effectively help during their recovery process.

Benzodiazepines are the most commonly prescribed anxiolytics in conjunction with substance abuse treatment. These drugs have been found to provide beneficial relief to some of the more severe symptoms of detoxification and withdrawal. This is because the medication can alleviate agitation, insomnia and anxiety.