Meaning of sedating
Both physical and psychological dependence can be treated with therapy. Many sedatives can be misused, but barbiturates and benzodiazepines are responsible for most of the problems with sedative use due to their widespread recreational or non-medical use.People who have difficulty dealing with stress, anxiety or sleeplessness may overuse or become dependent on sedatives.Some heroin users may take them either to supplement their drug or to substitute for it.At higher doses it may result in slurred speech, staggering gait, poor judgment, and slow, uncertain reflexes.Doses of sedatives such as benzodiazepines, when used as a hypnotic to induce sleep, tend to be higher than amounts used to relieve anxiety, whereas only low doses are needed to provide a peaceful effect.
There is some overlap between the terms "sedative" and "hypnotic".Advances in pharmacology have permitted more specific targeting of receptors, and greater selectivity of agents, which necessitates greater precision when describing these agents and their effects: Doctors often administer sedatives to patients in order to dull the patient's anxiety related to painful or anxiety-provoking procedures.Although sedatives do not relieve pain in themselves, they can be a useful adjunct to analgesics in preparing patients for surgery, and are commonly given to patients before they are anaesthetized, or before other highly uncomfortable and invasive procedures like cardiac catheterization, colonoscopy or MRI.They increase tractability and compliance of children or troublesome or demanding patients.
Sedatives can be misused to produce an overly-calming effect (alcohol being the classic and most common sedating drug).In the event of an overdose or if combined with another sedative, many of these drugs can cause unconsciousness (see hypnotic) and even death.