This report will emphasize the states of intoxication or physical dependence, or both, which can result from abuse of certain sedative-hypnotic drugs. Chemically these drugs are not barbiturates, but the untoward effects of their excess use are like those of barbiturate abuse.1,2
The term intoxication refers to the various degrees of drowsiness, impaired thinking, or motor incoordination (ataxia) that can be attributed to excess use of the drugs to be discussed. Physical dependence is defined as an altered biological state caused by repeated and chronic consumption of a drug so that its use must be continued in order to prevent emergence of a specific group of symptoms and signs known as the withdrawal syndrome. Either intoxication or physical dependence can be serious medical complications of the use of sedative drugs.
The drugs to be discussed are meprobamate, glutethimide, methyprylon, ethchlorvynol, chlordiazepoxide, diazepam, and ethinamate. A more detailed review of
Essig CF. Newer Sedative Drugs That Can Cause States of Intoxication and Dependence of Barbiturate Type. JAMA. 1966;196(8):714-717. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100210084023