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They increase tractability and compliance of children or troublesome or demanding patients.Some sedatives can cause psychological and physical dependence when taken regularly over a period of time, even at therapeutic doses.

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Dependent users may get withdrawal symptoms ranging from restlessness and insomnia to convulsions and death.When users become psychologically dependent, they feel as if they need the drug to function, although physical dependence does not necessarily occur, particularly with a short course of use.A second study noted that a total of 70,982 sedative exposures were reported to U. poison control centers in 1998, of which 2310 (3.2%) resulted in major toxicity and 89 (0.1%) resulted in death.About half of all the people admitted to emergency rooms in the U. as a result of nonmedical use of sedatives have a legitimate prescription for the drug, but have taken an excessive dose or combined it with alcohol or other drugs.There are also serious paradoxical reactions that may occur in conjunction with the use of sedatives that lead to unexpected results in some individuals.

Malcolm Lader at the Institute of Psychiatry in London estimates the incidence of these adverse reactions at about 5%, even in short-term use of the drugs.Sedatives — most commonly alcohol — have been reported for their use as date rape drugs (also called a Mickey) and being administered to unsuspecting patrons in bars or guests at parties to reduce the intended victims' defenses. Statistical overviews suggest that the use of sedative-spiked drinks for robbing people is actually much more common than their use for rape., as the loss of inhibitions from the drug may increase their confidence to commit the offence, and the amnesia produced by the drug makes it difficult for police to interrogate them if they are caught.sedate - dignified and somber in manner or character and committed to keeping promises; "a grave God-fearing man"; "a quiet sedate nature"; "as sober as a judge"; "a solemn promise"; "the judge was solemn as he pronounced sentence"serious - concerned with work or important matters rather than play or trivialities; "a serious student of history"; "a serious attempt to learn to ski"; "gave me a serious look"; "a serious young man"; "are you serious or joking? Accidental deaths sometimes occur when a drowsy, confused user repeats doses, or when sedatives are taken with alcohol.A study from the United States found that in 2011, sedatives and hypnotics were a leading source of adverse drug events (ADEs) seen in the hospital setting: Approximately 2.8% of all ADEs present on admission and 4.4% of ADEs that originated during a hospital stay were caused by a sedative or hypnotic drug.Advances in pharmacology have permitted more specific targeting of receptors, and greater selectivity of agents, which necessitates greater precision when describing these agents and their effects: Doctors often administer sedatives to patients in order to dull the patient's anxiety related to painful or anxiety-provoking procedures.