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Drugs inducing calmness and sleepiness by inhibiting the activation of the central nervous system. Also referred to as downers or tranquilizers, sedatives are frequently used to relieve states of anxiety and tension. The opposite of stimulants, sedatives can be classified as barbiturates and nonbarbiturates. Similar to the effects of alcohol, barbiturates can make individuals feel intoxicated and cause slurred speech. Barbiturates can cause decreased heart beat and blood pressure in a person, and when taken in excess, they lead to accidental death.