Depressants are psychoactive drugs that temporarily diminish the function or activity of a specific part of the body or mind.  Colloquially, depressants are known as "downers", and users generally take them to feel more relaxed and less tense. Examples of these kinds of effects may include anxiolysis, sedation, and hypotension. Depressants are widely used throughout the world as prescription medicines and as illicit substances . When these are used, effects may include anxiolysis (reduction of anxiety), analgesia (pain relief), sedation , somnolence , cognitive/memory impairment, dissociation , muscle relaxation, lowered blood pressure / heart rate , respiratory depression , anesthesia , and anticonvulsant effects. Depressants exert their effects through a number of different pharmacological mechanisms, the most prominent of which include facilitation of GABA or opioid activity, and inhibition of adrenergic , histamine or acetylcholine activity. Some are also capable of inducing feelings of euphoria (a happy sensation).