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Downers

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.

  1. Your foot feels the sharp object.
  2. It sends a message to the brain.
  3. 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!


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.


Endorphins 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.

Find out more about these common downers:

me_somebody_drugs_capletAlcohol - The oldest drug in the world.
me_somebody_drugs_capletHeroin - A highly addictive drug from poppies (flowers).
me_somebody_drugs_capletQuaaludes - A muscle relaxer that shuts down parts of the brain.
me_somebody_drugs_capletBarbiturates - A sedative-hypnotic that shuts down the central nervous system.
me_somebody_drugs_capletRohypnol - or Roofies...the date rape drug.

 

 

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