A depressant, or central depressant, is a drug that lowers neurotransmission levels, which is to depress or reduce arousal or stimulation, in various areas of the brain
Depressants are also occasionally referred to as “downers” as they lower the level of arousal when taken. Stimulants or “uppers” increase mental and/or physical function, hence the opposite drug class of depressants is stimulants, not antidepressants.
Depressants are widely used throughout the world as prescription medicines and as illicit substances. Alcohol is a very prominent depressant. Alcohol can be and is more likely to be a large problem between teenagers and young adults. When depressants are used, effects often include ataxia, anxiolysis, pain relief, sedation or somnolence, and cognitive/memory impairment, as well as in some instances euphoria, dissociation, muscle relaxation, lowered blood pressure or heart rate, respiratory depression, and anticonvulsant effects, and even complete anesthesia or death at high doses.