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Barbiturate Addiction Information
Barbiturate Addiction Treatment at Promises
Because withdrawal symptoms can be severe, clients who are dependent on barbiturates will undergo a drug detox program at Promises that will ensure their comfort and safety. Each client is medically monitored and will possibly be given medication to alleviate troubling symptoms.
Barbiturates are highly addicted and sudden cessation of can cause seizures, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and in some cases death, so it is critical that you undergo a medically supervised detox such as that provided at Promises. If you can not come to Promises, please contact a local hospital emergency room if you begin to detox from barbiturates so that you can be properly cared for during this process.
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After detoxification, clients participate in individual and group therapy and are given a personalized treatment plan and assigned to a core team of treatment specialists which includes a psychiatrist, therapist, family therapist, and other specialists. Both our Malibu and West Los Angeles programs also offer acupuncture, neurofeedback, massage and other alternative therapies depending on your needs and preferences.
Barbiturates are derivatives of barbituric acid and depress the central nervous system and produce a range of effects from mild sedation to anesthesia. They are most often used for sedation, muscle relaxation, and to calm anxiety symptoms. Because people often overdose on barbiturates, they have now largely been replaced with benzodiazepines. Barbiturates have a high potential for physical and psychological addiction, and can be ingested orally or injected.
Barbiturates are still widely used in surgical anesthesia, especially to induce unconsciousness. Quick-acting thiopental (Pentothal) can produce unconsciousness within about a minute of intravenous injection, and phenobarbital is used as an anticonvulsant for people with seizure disorders. Long-acting barbiturates such as Phenobarbital (Luminal) and mephobarbital (Mebaral) are prescribed to treat insomnia and anxiety. In high doses, barbiturates are used for physician-assisted suicide and for euthanasia and capital punishment by lethal injection.
Barbiturates are available in the following varities:
- Amobarbital (Amytal)
- Butabarbital (Fiorinal)
- Hexobarbital (Sombulex)
- Methylphenobarbital (Mebaral)
- Pentobarbital (Nembutal)
- Phenobarbital (Luminal)
- Secobarbital (Seconal)
- Talbutal (Lotusate)
- Tuinal (equal proportions of amobarbital and secobarbital)
Short-Term Effects of Barbiturates
Barbiturates enhance and amplify the activities of GABA (gamma amino butyric acid), one of the brain’s primary neurotrasmitters. When activated by barbiturates, GABA shuts off large portions of the brain, producing sedative, relaxing effects. Recreational doses produce similar effects to alcohol intoxication, including slurred speech, unusual excitement, dizziness, confusion, impaired judgment, and decreased motor control, dependency, and respiratory arrest which can lead to death. When combined with another depressant like alcohol, barbiturates are even more dangerous.
Long-Term Effects of Barbiturates
Recreational users of barbiturates say that the drug gives them feelings of relaxed contentment and euphoria. Tolerance to the drug occurs quickly, and people will take higher and higher doses to get the same effect. Physical and psychological dependency may also develop with repeated use. Barbiturate abusers are prone to fatal overdose because the difference between an effective dose and a lethal dose narrows as the length of use increases.