Downers depress (or shut down) parts of the
Central Nervous system.
Here's how they work:
If you step on a piece of glass, before you can
scream "OWWW!" lots of stuff has already happened.
- Your foot feels the sharp object.
- It sends a message to the brain.
- The brain shoots a pain message back down to
the foot and tells you to get off the glass!
If it still hurts, your brain tries to make
things easier to take. It sends out chemicals
called endorphins (see sidebar) which block
most, but not all, of the pain messages. Anyway,
you start feeling better. Ahhhh!
Find out more about
these common downers:
When pain is really intense doctors
prescribe certain kinds of downers (called
opiates). These drugs act like endorphins
but instead of blocking only some of the
pain messages, they block all of
them. Downers can be dangerous,
though, because they slow down many of the
body's functions like heart rate, blood
pressure, breathing, speech, and movement.
They even lower your body temperature.
It's also really easy to get hooked on
downers, and when that happens people
continue taking them just to feel normal.
are the body's own natural pain
blockers. They are also natural
mellowing and "feel good"
chemicals. The brain releases
them when we've hurt ourselves.
The brain also produces
endorphins when we're having fun,
falling in love, or doing
something that makes us feel
proud of ourselves.
- The oldest drug in the world.
- A highly addictive drug from poppies
- A muscle relaxer that shuts down parts of the
- A sedative-hypnotic that shuts down the central
- or Roofies...the date rape drug.