Addiction To Barbiturates

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At one time, Barbiturates were one of the most popular and heavily prescribed drugs in the United States of America. A lot has changed since then, mostly because we now know Barbiturates are a dangerous, potentially lethal, and highly addictive substance. But, what exactly are they?

What Are Barbiturates ?

Barbiturates are in a class of drugs known as sedative-hypnotics. Drugs within this category are known for inducing sleep and for decreasing anxiety. Examples of popular, prescribed Barbiturates are Amytal, Seconal, and Nembutal. Because the correct dosage of Barbiturates an individual requires is often difficult to predict, this drug can be very dangerous. Even a slight overdose of Barbiturates can lead to coma or death. Not to mention, Barbiturates are highly addictive and when an addicted individual stops using them, they will go through withdrawal, which can be life-threatening.


The History Of Barbiturates

When talking about Barbiturates, it’s important to recognize their history as a prescribed drug in the United States of America. Barbiturates, as medicine, were first introduced in the early 1900s. By the 1960s and 1970s, they were popular and heavily prescribed as treatment for anxiety, insomnia, and seizure disorders. Soon, Barbiturates evolved from a medicinal, prescribed drug to a recreational drug – meaning, people started to take the drug because they liked its effects. Individuals found that their inhibitions and anxiety could be reduced with use.

By the 1970s, Barbiturate use declined because individuals and prescribers discovered the capabilities of benzodiazepines, another sedative-hypnotic. Currently, Barbiturates are prescribed in some instances, but mostly the drug has been largely replaced by benzodiazepines. To illustrate the shift in sentiment towards Barbiturates, you must understand that nowadays, if a doctor does prescribe Barbiturates, it’s usually in tandem with a medication management plan. In other words, prescribers understand the pitfalls of Barbiturates and are working to address these issues. Although both prescribed and illegal Barbiturate use has declined over the years, it is still a reality for many individuals. Seeking professional treatment is absolutely necessary for any individual experiencing abuse or addiction.

Types Of Barbiturates

  • Amobarbital
  • Pentobarbital
  • Phenobarbital
  • Secobarbital
  • Tuinal

What Are The Symptoms Of Barbiturates Addiction?

There are certain signs and symptoms commonly experienced by those using and abusing Barbiturates. Not all of the symptoms listed below apply to each person. There are a few things that influence the symptoms and severity of symptoms. Things that influence include the genetic makeup of the individual using; the height, weight, and age of the individual using; the tolerance of the individual using; how long the individual has been using; the exact dosage the individual using takes; and the way the individual takes the drug, whether orally or by injection.

Signs And Symptoms Of Use

An individual who has been using and/or abusing Barbiturates may show the following signs and symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety (during withdrawal)
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Irritation
  • Irritability
  • Mood Swings
  • Insomnia
  • Sleepiness
  • Reduction of REM sleep
  • Slowed pulse
  • Slow or shallow breathing
  • Respiratory depression
  • Impaired judgment
  • Poor decision making
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Slurred speech
  • Slowed brain function
  • Lack of or decreased motor control
  • Lack of or poor concentration
  • Lack of poor coordination
  • Sluggishness
  • Visual problems
  • Confusion
  • Inability to urinate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Tolerance
  • Dependency
  • Hypotension
  • Dizziness
  • Bradycardia

What Are The Side Effects Of Barbiturate Use?

Barbiturates are taken either by injection or orally, as a pill or liquid. When an individual uses Barbiturates, they feel a burst of euphoria, followed by relaxation and an overall sense of being happy, relaxed, and calm. The “high” associated with Barbiturate use happens anywhere from 15 minutes after dosage, to an hour or two after dosage, depending on how the drug was administered. The effects of a dose of Barbiturate can last up to a couple of days, which means Barbiturates are long lasting. There are certain long and short term side effects associated with use. The short term side effects occur during use, while the long term side effects happen with prolonged use.

Long And Short Term Side Effects

Long and short term side effects associated with Barbiturate use may include:

Short Term Side Effects

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of hand-eye coordination
  • Changes in mood
  • Changes in mental state

Long Term Side Effects

  • Changes in mental state
  • Changes in mood
  • Mood swings
  • Reckless behavior
  • Risky behavior
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Respiratory depression
  • Problems with breathing
  • Slurred speech
  • Slowed speech
  • Addiction
  • Dependency
  • Withdrawal

Virtual Treatment Center: Who Are We?

At Virtual Treatment Center, we believe quality addiction recovery and mental health services should be easily accessible to those that want or need them, because ease of accessibility is what most often leads to success. That’s why we’re committed to providing top-tier virtual mental health teletherapy and addiction recovery services to all residents of California. Although we’re located in Orange County, our online teletherapy can be accessed throughout the state. In addition to providing addiction recovery services, we treat a variety of mental health issues and offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT). Our teletherapy sessions are done via two-way, live interactive video or by telephone. Therapeutic visits are conducted on Zoom most often, or on other virtual platforms that adhere to HIPAA compliance requirements.


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