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Barbiturates Addiction and Abuse

What are Barbiturates?

By definition Barbiturates are any class of drugs that are produced using baribituric acid. Traditionally, Barbiturates have been prescribed as anti-anxiety medicines. Barbiturates became popular for usage in patients dealing with anxiety, insomnia, and seizure disorders in the mid 1900’s. With the passage of time, the use of barbiturates increased leading to an overall increase in barbiturate addiction.  As time went on Barbiturates were replaced with benzodiazepines as a safer medicine for treatment of similar problems.

Barbiturates are divided into different types depending on their usage and effect, commonly there are two types:

  • Effect lasts for hours
  • Effect lasts for a few minutes only

Several types of barbiturates can be viewed in the image below:

Types of Barbiturates

What are the effects of Barbituates?

When discussing the effects of barbiturates it is important to acknowledge that barbiturate prescriptions are no longer available but street usage of barbiturates have increased over the past decade. The number of people addicted to barbiturates is increasing and the general usage of barbiturate involves combining it with other drugs such as cocaine, opiates, oxycodone, hydrocodone and alcohol.

One of the most dangerous effects of Barbiturates is the death threat associated with taking a high dosage of the drug. The difference between a dosage that can get someone high or get them killed is very low, and in the past there have been several cases of death due to barbiturates overdose. Barbiturates are classified as an extremely dangerous drug precisely due to their poisonous nature and because of the possibility for other life changing effects. Moreover, it is fairly easy to get addicted to barbiturates.  The maximum amount of time it could take to develop a barbiturate dependency could be as short as a month. The effects of the drugs can be summarized as following:

Effects of Barbiturates
Barbiturates - Complete (1)

In addition to the aforementioned physical effects of barbiturates, there are common mental health issues associated with excessive usage of barbiturates such as depression, hallucinations, anxiety, personality disorders, loss of memory and more. Apart from the physical and mental issues barbiturates usage can severely affect the personal, professional and social life of an addict and their family members.

If you believe that your loved ones might be facing a problem such as barbiturate addiction then you should look for the following warning signs:

What are the warning signs of Barbiturate addiction?

Sedative drugs are extremely popular amongst teenagers, school going kids and even college kids. Although barbiturates prescriptions are not common anymore, accessing barbiturates on the street is not difficult. A person developing a barbiturates addiction could show the following warning signs:

  • Changes in Mood

A person developing a dependence on barbiturates could show extreme changes in mood such as elation, increased euphoria, frequent episodes of irritability and agitation, inability to carry out regular daily functions and generally behaving as they are high or intoxicated.

  • Changes in Behavior

Generally, a person suffering from barbiturate addiction could show signs of disorientation, and inability to complete tasks, loss of concentration, drowsiness and extreme restlessness.

In addition to the observable changes above, barbiturate addiction can cause loss of appetite and the person suffering from the addiction could behave recklessly and uncontrollably.

What are the withdrawal symptoms?

Barbiturates are dangerous drugs and could have extreme withdrawal symptoms as well. Therefore, it is always recommended to take professional help while dealing with withdrawal symptoms from barbiturates. Some of the common withdrawal effects associated with barbiturates withdrawal are as follows:

Withdrawal Symptoms
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Withdrawal from Barbiturates could possibly result in death.

Treatment

Due to the death risks associated with barbiturate withdrawal and addiction, barbiturate abuse cannot be treated at home. Treatment from barbiturates addiction requires immediate hospitalization along with a strong support system. The first step for treatment from barbiturates addiction is detoxification and stability, but the detoxification from barbiturates needs to be done in a safe and controlled environment under proper supervision.

Barbiturates are extremely addictive and treatment requires long-term care and intervention plans. For example, even if a person has not overdosed on barbiturates but has been an addict they will need to be admitted under proper medical control to ensure their full recovery.

After detoxification and stabilization regular consultation and therapeutic sessions are required to sustain lasting recovery.  In-Patient as well as outpatient treatment are highly recommended.