Tranquilizers, Not as Old School As You Think

Last Updated: Sep 20th 2019

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Tranquilizers can seem like kind of a vintage drug addiction. The 1950’s were a time of heavy tranquilizer, or barbiturate, addiction for instance. According to PBS ( Monroe died of an overdose on barbiturate known as Nembutal, We don’t hear as much about tranquilizers these days. Our time is spent watching the awful headlines scroll by about opioids or amphetamines, but many people still struggle with addictions to tranquilizer drugs, so Pompano drug rehab facilities and South Florida residential detox facilities still need to be prepared to treat them. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse says that about ⅓ of drug related deaths involve some kind of tranquilizer. (

Are Tranquilizers Legal?

There are perfectly good and legal reasons someone should be taking tranquilizers. Most of them involve some kind of mental illness, including:


  • Schizophrenia
  • Delusional disorder
  • Mania
  • Psychosis
  • Mood disorders
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Seizures
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle spasms


Some of the tranquilizers that treat these disorders have very little potential for abuse, but many of them are indeed heavily addictive. Marilyn Monroe overdosed on what appeared to be a great number of barbiturates and sleeping pills some of which were indeed prescriptions.


What Drugs are Tranquilizers?

  • Phenothiazines
  • Thioxanthenes
  • Butyrophenones
  • Phenothiazines
  • Piperazine
  • Piperidine
  • Haldol
  • Prolixin
  • Etrafon
  • Compazine
  • Alprazolam
  • Diazepam
  • Flunitrazepam
  • Quetiapine
  • Xanax
  • Klonopin
  • Valium
  • Ativan


Tranquilizers make a user feel relaxed, calm, and sleepy. They are often used to regulate emotions or moods by dulling the experience of the mood on the user. Body systems are slowed down and the person may feel a sense of calm when they would normally feel anxious, uptight, or even frantic.


Treatment for Tranquilizer Substance Abuse and Chemical Dependency


First Step Behavioral Health addiction recovery centers in Florida are available for a tranquilizer  addict to get the treatment they need to move forward with a sober and safe life. Call us today to learn more about the programs we offer that are right for you.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.