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What Are Barbiturates?
Commonly prescribed as a sedative for anxiety, seizures, migraines, and insomnia, Barbiturates are some of the most addictive substance on earth. Although individuals of high school age or younger ingest Barbiturates, these drugs are more commonly prescribed to older people versus younger people. They are highly addictive and were popularized in the 1960s and 1970s, quickly becoming a recreationally-used drug.
Most barbiturates aren’t harmful when taken as prescribed, but excessive amounts or combining Barbiturates with other drugs or alcohol creates a harmful experience. Barbiturates have also been used as date rape drugs, most prominently in the many accusations against comedian Bill Cosby. They are becoming less and less prescribed by doctors as Benzodiazepines have replaced them. This is because Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are considerably less addictive and carry a much lower risk of accidental overdose.
In 2013, Barbiturates caused 396 deaths, including Barbiturates in connection to other drugs, suicide, or mental illnesses. 1 in 3 US households contained at least 1 bottle of Barbiturates. A survey of high school students revealed 2.8% of students used Barbiturates in 2001.
Commonly known as “downers,” street names for Barbiturates include:
- Red birds
- Yellow jacket
- Christmas trees
- Double trouble
- Gorilla pills
- Goof balls
Examples of Barbiturates include:
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Symptoms of Barbiturate Abuse
Barbiturates are taken orally in both pill and liquid form and can be injected in veins. These drugs can also be crushed up and snorted. Barbiturates are popular to take, creating feelings of relaxation, calmness, and euphoria as they depress the central nervous system and reduce the heart rate and high blood pressure. The effects of pills can begin in 15 minutes, but usually take 30-60 minutes to begin working. Overuse of Barbiturates can result in symptoms such as:
- Feelings of euphoria
- Altered mental state
- Mood changes
When ingested in larger quantities, long-term side effects include:
- Slurred speech
- Emotional instability
- Impaired judgement
- Clammy skin
- Reduced breathing rate
- Paranoid ideation
- Shallow breathing
- Suicidal ideation
Once someone develops a dependence on Barbiturates, they exhibit noticeable side effects and any attempts to stop using the drug results in adverse effects. This is because the mind and body have become dependent on the presence of Barbiturates to function “normally,” and they struggle to cope when the drugs are no longer present. These effects are collectively known as Barbiturate withdrawal. Barbiturate withdrawal can be highly distressing and include:
- Lack of appetite
- Increased blood pressure
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Thoughts of suicide
Attempting to go cold turkey for Barbiturates is not advised without professional assistance. People who experience dependency for substances are advised to seek medical treatment where they can be medically supervised. Fortunately, detox is available for patients suffering from Barbiturate addiction in many rehab facilities.
Detox treatments safely eliminate harmful chemicals to restore the body to a state prior to substance abuse. Detox takes into account the length of time someone has been using Barbiturates, the level of dependency, and any withdrawal symptoms that have occurred. Patients are also examined for other drugs they may have used in combination with Barbiturates. Detox even can be performed for pregnant mothers combatting substance abuse.
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Seeking Treatment for Barbiturate Dependency
Treatment facilities offer patients in recovery support and access to healing modalities, including:
- Art therapy
- Music therapy
- Diagnosis for co-occurring disorders
- Equine therapy
- Nutritional plans
- Nature walks
Additionally, treatment facilities give patients access to support groups, which deepen bonds with people who have grappled with substance or alcohol abuse.
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If you, a friend or family members experiences uncomfortable symptoms of Barbiturates abuse, know help is available for you. Contact a dedicated treatment provider now to take a step towards sobriety.
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