Tuinal Abuse

Tuinal contains two active ingredients – amobarbital sodium and secobarbital sodium. Both of these drugs belong to a group of medicines known as barbiturates. Such medications are known to cause drowsiness and are often used to induce sleep in those with insomnia issues. When Tuinal is used to treat insomnia, it is generally only prescribed to people who are already taking barbiturate medications as health care professionals tend to avoid prescribing Tuinal to new patients. This process is in place simply due to the high potential for dependence and addiction Tuinal presents to patients.

Abuses of Tuinal

As a barbiturate, Tuinal could easily be known as a brain relaxer. Alcohol is known as the same thing, meaning the effects of both on the brain are very similar. People will often use barbiturates, such as Tuinal, to try and achieve the same “high” they can generally achieve with alcohol intoxication. Tuinal can be very dangerous when abused as the window between the dose causing drowsiness and the one causing death can be very small Addiction generally emerges when Tuinal has been taken for longer than just a couple of weeks or when taken recreationally for non-medical purposes. Such users tend to take more than the safe amount to achieve a desired “high”, resulting in abuse of the drug. Over time, the brain develops a need for Tuinal, making it very difficult for the user to function without it.

Effects of Tuinal

A chemical that occurs naturally in the body is Gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA). When this chemical is released in the brain, it acts to decrease nerve activity in the brain. This chemical is released by the medications in Tuinal, which increase the actions of GABA in the brain. This results in sleepiness. Tuinal remains active in the body for many hours, therefore may cause drowsiness the next day. Tuinal can cause specific side effects, including headache; dizziness or loss of balance; difficulties with breathing; slow, shallow breathing (respiratory depression); confusion; allergy to active ingredients (hypersensitivity); agitation; drowsiness and lightheadedness the next day; unexpected excitement (paradoxical excitement); and gastric disturbances including nausea, vomiting, gastric discomfort, constipation, diarrhea.

Withdrawal of Tuinal

As Tuinal depresses the respiratory and nervous system functions, it increases the risk of building a tolerance to the drug very rapidly. For a person who is dependent or addicted to Tuinal, withdrawal symptoms can occur 12-20 hours after the last dose. Withdrawal symptoms associated with cessation of Tuinal can include, but are not limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Muscle pain
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Elevated respiration rate
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Treatment of Tuinal Addiction

The treatment of a Tuinal addiction can vary depending upon the patient and the level of addiction. The first step is for a patient to be evaluated by a physician and a psychiatrist to determine the proper method for treatment. Detoxification is necessary, and the doctor most likely will recommend 24/7 treatment. A quality center will use a comfortable detox that will ensure the patient can rid their body of the drug without dangerous or painful side effects. Tuinal addicts are also likely to work on their relationship with sleep as part of their treatment. They can be taught how to use specific tools like yoga, meditation and exercise as well as diet and nutrition, changing caffeine intake, creating new patterns and counseling to determine the cause for taking Tuinal in the first place. In taking such an approach, a quality treatment center identifies the problems linked to the Tuinal use and abuse to increase the likelihood of a full recovery from the addiction.

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