Prescription drugs are just as dangerous as street drugs if taken in the wrong way.  Certain medications or drugs taken in certain ways can be even more dangerous.  Alcohol in combination with prescription drugs is extremely dangerous and often fatal.  Some people begin abusing prescription drugs on purpose for the relaxed or euphoric feelings they provide.  However, it is more common for people to become addicted after a period of legitimate use.

Barbiturates and benzodiazepines are separated into long-acting and short acting groups.  Short-acting means the drug produces effects sooner and that the effects wear off sooner.  The shorter-acting drugs are more quickly addictive than the longer-acting drugs.  Withdrawal from short-acting tranquilizers can be more severe than withdrawal from the longer-acting ones.

After a short period (sometimes as short as a week or two) of using the drug exactly as directed, tolerance can develop.  The brain will become adjusted to a certain level of the drug in it and will adjust its functioning to that level.  More of the drug will need to be taken to achieve the same effects.

Some of the effects of tranquilizer abuse include slurred speech, constricted pupils, slowed breathing rate and possibly death.