Sedative-, hypnotic-, or anxiolytic- (SHA-) related disorders include SHA intoxication, SHA withdrawal, and SHA-use disorder. These disorders result from abuse of a class of medications known as sedatives, hypnotics, and anxiolytics.
Sedatives, hypnotics, and anxiolytics may be prescribed for a number of physical and psychological medical conditions. This class of substances includes all prescription sleeping medications and almost all prescription anti-anxiety medications (tranquilizers). Sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic substances are available by prescription but may be obtained illegally.
Prolonged use of these medications can lead to an addiction for some people. These medications have also been linked to problems with memory and depression, and some are under investigation for increasing the risk of dementia.