Example: GHB, Alcohol, Cannabis, Benzodiazepines (Xanax, valium etc), Ketamine

AKA: G, Juice, booze, pot, weed, Xans, bars, Ket, K, Special K, heroin, smack, gear, oxy, codeine

Depressants are drugs that have a depressant effect on the central nervous system. They cause a decrease of electric signals in the brain and from your brain to your body, making your body more relaxed and lowering your consciousness.


Effects include:

  • Decreased heart rate

  • Decreased breathing

  • Decreased body temperature

  • Decreased muscle tension

  • Decreased sensitivity/alertness to stimuli

  • Confusion

  • Numbness

  • Loss of motor skills and coordination

  • Dissociation

  • Sense of calm and serenity

  • Abstract and disjointed thinking

Caring for someone under the influence of a depressant

  • Encourage them to seek the help of a crowd care service or medical service.

  • Find out what the person has had, how much, and when the last dose was taken

  • Encourage them to sip water – monitor, how much they consume. 250ml an hour whilst resting, and 500ml an hour whilst exercising (including dancing!) is a safe maximum.

  • Do not douse them in water – this can lead to hypothermia

  • If they are vomiting, monitor how much liquid they expel

  • Be cautious of them sleeping. If they do fall asleep, make sure they are in the recovery position (below), rouse them regularly (at least every 20 minutes) and monitor breathing

  • If they become unrousable, seek medical attention

  • Don’t give water/food to a drowsy/unconscious person

Signs of depressant overdose

If in doubt at any time do not hesitate to seek medical attention. Additional signs to escalate your response to medical may include:

  • Dropping into sudden unconsciousness or lapsing in and out.

  • Not breathing or slow laboured breathing

  • Snoring and won’t stay awake

  • Clammy face with loss of colour

  • Difficulty speaking

  • Heartrate is slow or stops

  • Body is limp

  • Breathing stops

  • Skin turns blue

Image: Recovery Position