A barbiturates addiction can develop after someone uses a prescription for barbiturates or because of recreational use. This group of drugs causes a sedative and hypnotic effect. Often, doctors use barbiturates to reduce anxiety or to help with sleep. If someone uses barbiturates for an extended time period, they can develop an addiction.
Unfortunately, this group of drugs can be extremely dangerous. Getting the right dose is difficult. If someone has a slight overdose, it can lead to coma or even death. The withdrawal process can also be potentially fatal, so it is important to get professional help.
How a Barbiturates Addiction Works
During the 1960s and 1970s, doctors often prescribed barbiturates for sleep problems and anxiety. These drugs are no longer popular because of their addictive qualities. Doctors also avoid them because they have a high potential for abuse.
When barbiturates were popular, people took them to reduce their anxiety and inhibitions. Sometimes, people took barbiturates to reduce side effects of other drugs. These drugs work to boost the GABA neurotransmitter. This causes part of the brain to shut down, and it leads to a relaxing effect.
It did not take doctors long to realize that the right dose for sedation was dangerously close to a dose that could cause death. Instead of barbiturates, doctors started using benzodiazepines. Today, people use barbiturates as a recreational drug.
Depending on the type of barbiturates, the effects can last for a few minutes or several days. These drugs are fat soluble, which means that they can cross the blood-brain barrier. This also means that they can accumulate within body fat over time.
What Are the Signs of an Addiction to Barbiturates?
There are a number of signs of a barbiturates addiction that loved ones should look for. The individual may seem like they are unusually depressed or under the influence of alcohol. They may develop mood symptoms like irritability, unusual excitement, mood swings, agitation or anxiety.
Physically, the individual may suffer from dizziness, sleepiness and a slowed pulse. They can develop hypotension, breathing problems and visual problems. Loved ones may also notice symptoms like decreased motor control, sluggishness, slurred speech or poor concentration.
The Long-Term Effects
The long-term effects depend on how much the individual takes, the length of their barbiturates addiction and their physical chemistry. Over time, this addiction can strain interpersonal relationships and make it harder to maintain a job. The individual may suffer from liver and heart damage.
Loved ones may notice that the individual engages in risk behavior. If they overdose, they may develop a coma, slowed breathing or respiratory arrest. In severe cases, they can suffer from seizures or even die.
Going Through Withdrawal Symptoms
An addiction education program can help individuals learn what to expect during the withdrawal process. During detox, the client may develop anxiety, agitation, nausea, vomiting and convulsions. They may also suffer from seizures, hallucinations and severely high fevers.
Because of the dangers of a barbiturates addiction, it is important to get professional medical care during treatment. A rehab center can offer help with addiction and mental health treatment. Depending on the program, individuals can get help through options such as:
- Family therapy
- Work and trauma therapy
- Holistic therapy
- Yoga and nutrition
- A home-like atmosphere
- Residential care and detox programs
No one has to live with the ongoing pain of an barbiturates addiction. Once you or your loved one decides to quit using, help is available. To begin your personal journey toward a healthy, sober lifestyle, call the Silver Pines Treatment Center today at 866-345-2147.