Physical Signs of Sedative or Tranquilizer Abuse

Signs of abuse to look for may include:

  • Memory loss
  • Sleepiness
  • Slurred speech and a lack of coordination, which may disappear as tolerance to the drug increases
  • Dilated pupils
  • Paranoia and suicidal thoughts
  • Aggression or agitation
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Depression and fatigue

These drugs slow normal brain function, lowering blood pressure and slowing breathing. Abrupt stopping of the drug can induce seizure. Over time, use of these drugs can lead to addiction.


(1) Partnership for a Drug-Free America. (2010). Drug guide by name. Retrieved February 24, 2010 from

(2) National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2006, July 18). NIDA InfoFacts: Prescription pain and other medications. Retrieved July 10, 2007 from

(3) National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2011, March). Commonly Abused Drug Chart. Retrieved September 10, 2012 from

(4) National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2007, February 28). Prescription drug abuse chart. Retrieved July 10, 2007 from

This information is provided by the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services within the Department of Public Health.

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