What are Tranquilizers? - Rehab Guide

What are Tranquilizers?

Tranquillizers: treatment for anxiety, fear, tension, agitation, and disturbances of the mind

Before we can discuss anything else about tranquillizers, we first have to understand what a tranquillizer is. A tranquillizer is any medication that can be prescribed or obtained by someone that has a sedative effect.

Some of the most common types of tranquillizers that people use are barbiturates or benzodiazepines. There are some street names for the drug that are essential to know, including:

  • Candy
  • Circles
  • Special K
  • Super Valium

In recent years, barbiturates in medical use have been mainly replaced by benzodiazepines, including Librium, Valium, Xanax and Halcion. Benzodiazepines have an extensive therapeutic ratio, making them less likely to cause a fatal overdose, and they are much safer overall.

While there are various names under which a tranquillizer can be found, remember that some names refer to particular types. When asking whether or not they are legal, the answer is yes and no.

Some tranquillizers are legal because a physician has prescribed them to a patient for a specific use. If someone is using it but has not been prescribed the drug, then it’s not legal for them to be using it.

If you’re caught illegally using a tranquillizer, you could not only face hefty fines, but in severe cases, you may also face some prison time. If you’re caught distributing them to others, that can increase the penalty that you face as well.

Now that we’ve some background on what a tranquillizer is, we can move on to the types of tranquillizers.

Different Types of Tranquilizers

When it comes to the types of tranquillizers that people use, there are only two types. The first is what’s known as a minor tranquillizer. A minor tranquillizer is a mixture of both depressants and feature medications.

The most common types of minor tranquillizers include:

Quite a few make the list of minor tranquillizers, but on the opposite end of the minor tranquillizers are significant tranquillizers. A major tranquillizer is also known and used as an antipsychotic.

Some common types of significant tranquillizers include:

  • Butyrophenones
  • Thioxanthenes

With so many tranquillizers under each list, you may wonder which category of tranquillizer is more addictive. The simple answer is that a minor tranquillizer is a category that most people are more likely to become addicted to when using it.

Although some tranquillizers are highly addictive, there are several reasons why someone may be using or prescribed a tranquillizer.



When you’re overcome with anxiety, it can cause you to put your life on hold when it comes to completing tasks like speaking in front of people or going out to specific events. Using a tranquillizer can help to calm the feelings of anxiety and help symptoms become more manageable.

If you’ve been seeing a doctor, chances are they may already have you taking antidepressant medications as a solution to combat anxiety issues that you’re suffering from.

This is the most common issue that tranquillizers are used for.

Improve Sleep

23% of adults have insomnia issues. There are tons of people across the world who suffer or experience issues related to insomnia. As a result of severe insomnia symptoms, a person may begin taking tranquillizers.

The tranquillizer will help calm and relax a person, making slipping into a deeper and more restful sleep cycle easier. However, the dangers come when someone begins to abuse the tranquillizers, which can lead to an overdose in the most severe cases.

Helps Control Psychosis

Unfortunately for some people, when they repeatedly abuse drugs such as psychedelics or meth, it can lead to drug-related psychosis. Psychosis is when the brain suffers a break from reality in which a person can experience both visual and auditory hallucinations.

They may begin to say things that don’t make sense and can be dangerous to themselves and the people around them. A person may be given a tranquillizer to help calm them and make them less threatening as medical staff do their best to help them through their drug-related psychosis.

There’s no specific timetable on how long psychosis can last or how long someone will remain on tranquillizers to treat the condition.

Ways to Take Tranquilizers

There are several ways that a person can take a tranquillizer. The first way is through injection. This would make the most sense if someone is going through psychosis and can’t be trusted to take the medication on their own.

A common way to take a tranquillizer when it’s being used illegally is through the ingestion of a pill or capsule. Taking it this way will take a long time for it to begin to work, but this also means that the tranquillizer’s effects will last longer than taking it in other ways.

The last way that you can take a tranquillizer is through the use of a suppository. A suppository is not one of the most comfortable ways to take a tranquillizer because it’s typically inserted into the anal cavalry.

Once it’s been placed in the anal cavity, it will slowly be absorbed into the bloodstream. People using it illegally may use it this way if they want to reach a high without any delay in the effects they feel.

Side Effects of Tranquilizers

The first side effect that we’re going to discuss is sluggishness. This side effect shouldn’t be surprising because tranquillizers are known to have a soothing effect on the user.

The issue with this is the more someone uses it, the more the sedative effect takes over. In severe cases, it can lead to the user becoming unconscious. It can also lead to things like respiratory failure or cardiac arrest.

The reason for this is that the nervous system becomes sedated, and a person can have challenges breathing while they’re unconscious and in that sedated state. Another side effect of using it as a tranquillizer is disorientation.

People may become so high that they have issues understanding where they are, what they’re saying, or what they’re doing. When people are under the influence, most accidents occur. People aren’t in the right mind to understand the decisions that they’re making.

Psychological Problems

Along with the physical effects that take place when someone is using tranquillizers, there are also a ton of psychological problems that can arise. The first is increased mood disorder problems.

Often, once people with an addiction enter into recovery and are no longer under the influence of drugs, they find that they have underlying mental health problems that need to be addressed. When using a tranquillizer can enhance the mental health problems that someone has. It can also cause a drastic shift in their personality.

The more that someone uses the drug, it can also cause them to have issues with memory loss as a result of sedation. Because of memory loss, it can cause their emotions to become dull over time, which may also increase the mood disorders that they’ve been suffering from.

Much like users of psychedelics, someone under the influence of a tranquillizer may feel increasingly paranoid. This may cause them to act out and make decisions that are dangerous for both themselves and the people that are around them.

What Are Tranquilizers: Everything You Needed to Know

When answering what tranquillisers tranquillizers are, we feel we’ve responded to that and much more. Tranquillizers can be used legally, but there are also tons of people who choose to use them illegally to achieve that sedative high that they’ve felt before.

Whenever you’re chasing a feeling or a high, it’s a sign that you’ve got some issues that could turn into a full-blown addiction. If you or someone else in your life has become addicted to tranquillizers, it’s time to contact the Rehab Guide for information regarding addiction treatment.

We’ve got the expertise and knowledge that you need on your side to stop chasing this high and replace it with more positive habits and ways of thinking.

Author 'John


Trained in addictionology in the Johnson Model, and specializing in substance abuse for individual and couple counselling. John's personal experience has given him a wealth of insights, which he integrates into practice. His extensive training has allowed him to gain expertise in individual and group counselling, concurrent disorders, case management, executing treatment plans and relapse prevention. He started this free helpline as a result of a life change and to help others get sober and live a life free from drugs and alcohol. John covers a variety of topics relating to addiction and recovery in his articles.


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