Barbiturates are a type of central nervous system depressant that is generally used for the treatment of anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, and seizures. This type of medication gained popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, and around that same time barbiturates were widely used for recreational purposes. However, it was soon discovered that this type of medication had an exceptionally high propensity for abuse, and when benzodiazepines hit the scenes, medical professionals turned to those (which served essentially the same function).
Still, barbiturates are available throughout the United States, and while rates of barbiturate abuse and addiction have been on the decline since the 1970s, there are thousands of men and women who abuse this prescription medication daily. Some examples of barbiturates that are still available include Amytal, Butisol, Seconal, and Nembutal. If you have no experience with barbiturates, you might be wondering, “What do barbiturates feel like?” While the effects of the drug vary on a person-to-person basis, the physical and psychological effects are generally the same.
What Are the Signs of Barbiturate Abuse?
Barbiturates are habit-forming for several reasons – partially because of the “high” or calm and relaxed state they produce. People who use barbiturates experience a sense of euphoria when they take the medication in extremely high doses. this feeling subsides rather quickly and is almost instantaneously replaced with feelings of anxiety and restlessness. Withdrawal symptoms can also occur after extremely short periods of use. Even men and women who take the medication exactly as prescribed by a medical professional can experience withdrawal symptoms after several weeks.
Barbiturates Are Addictive and Habit-Forming
The effects of barbiturates depend heavily on the dosage. In small doses, the individual who is taking the drug will start to feel a lack of inhibitions. He or she will feel drowsy, experience a lack of coordination, and feel somewhat fatigued, almost as if he or she is drunk or slightly intoxicated. when barbiturates are taken and slightly higher doses, the individual who is taking the drug will stagger around as if he or she is drunk. The speech will be slurred, inhibitions will be essentially gone and the person will act confused or bewildered. At even higher doses, barbiturates can cause people to experience respiratory depression or to slip into a coma. Taking these drugs at high doses is extremely dangerous and can be life-threatening. Overdose is probable.
Symptoms of a Barbiturate Overdose
Two of the predominant dangers involved in taking high doses of barbiturates are becoming dependent or overdosing. Those who become physically and psychologically dependent on the drugs have a much higher risk of overdose. As tolerance develops, higher doses are taken and the likelihood of an overdose increases. Some common symptoms associated with barbiturate overdose include:
- Cognitive dysfunction
- An altered level of consciousness
- Extreme drowsiness or fatigue
- A lack of coordination
- Respiratory depression
- Slurred speech
- Seeming intoxication
If you know someone who has been struggling with a barbiturate abuse disorder, professional help must be sought immediately to prevent overdose.
Barbiturate Addiction Treatment and Recovery
At Garden State Treatment Center we have extensive experience treating barbiturate abuse disorders of all severities. Our team of highly experienced and dedicated medical and clinical professionals has developed a comprehensive rehab program that is truly unlike any other throughout the state of New Jersey.
Not only do we treat the root causes of barbiturate addiction, but we focus on intensive relapse prevention training and a thorough introduction to the 12 step method of recovery. Our main goal is to ensure that every one of our clients has the tools he or she needs to overcome substance abuse long-term. For more information on our recovery program or to learn more about barbiturate abuse and addiction, reach out to Garden State Treatment Center today.