Barbiturates are a class of depressants that includes drugs such as phenobarbital and sodium amytal, also known as a truth serum. Barbiturates are anti-convulsants and general anesthesia. Taken recreationally, barbiturates produce a sense of contentment and relaxation, but they are very addictive and long-term abuse is often deadly. For this reason, a barbiturate addiction requires barbiturate addiction treatment at a women’s drug rehab.

Barbiturate Addiction Treatment: How Barbiturates Work

Barbiturates were first synthesized in 1864, but it wasn’t until 1903 when its sleep-inducing effects were actually discovered on dogs.  During World War II, soldiers took barbiturates or “goofballs” to help them deal with the heat and humidity in the Pacific region. However, many of the soldiers returned with deep addictions that required months of treatment. Today, doctors often prescribe benzodiazepines instead of barbiturates. However, barbiturates are still used to treat the following:woman lays on a couch while talking to a counselor during barbiturate addiction treatment

  • Extreme insomnia
  • Anxiety treatment
  • Seizures
  • Anesthesia
  • To relieve headaches when combined with acetaminophen
  • Capital punishment in prison to induce death.
  • Sodium amytal – truth serum

Barbiturates work by enhancing the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA. This neurotransmitter then slows down brain activity, causing sedation and relaxation.

Barbiturates are highly addictive with powerful opioid withdrawal symptoms. In addition, over time users develop a tolerance to barbiturates, requiring a higher dose to achieve the same effect. Ending barbiturate addiction almost always requires a barbiturate addiction treatment program.

Barbiturate Addiction Treatment:  Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

Barbiturates are highly addictive, although the exact mechanism of addiction is unknown. Risk factors for barbiturates include:

  • Genetics
  • Brain chemistry
  • Environment – people exposed to drugs early in life are more susceptible to addiction as adults
  • Psychological

The signs of barbiturate addiction include a variety of mood and behavioral alterations, as well as physical and psychological changes. Examples include:

Mood

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability

Behavioral 

  • Slurred Speech
  • Sluggishness
  • Poor Concentration

Physical

  • Slow Pulse
  • Dilated pupils
  • Respiratory arrest

Psychological

  • Hallucinogens
  • Impaired judgment
  • Confusion

Barbiturates are typically abused by people to achieve a sense of calm and relaxation or to come down from stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamine.

Barbiturate overdose occurs both accidentally and intentionally. In some cases, an intentional overdose is often the result of a suicide attempt. The signs of a barbiturate overdose include:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Issues with judgment
  • Slurred speech
  • Depressed respiration

Barbiturates get abused in conjunction with other drugs such as alcohol, or stimulants such as cocaine. Tell the physician what other drugs have been used in order to best determine treatment. Additionally, cocaine addiction treatment or treatment for other substances will help with comprehensive care. The standard treatment for a barbiturate overdose is Naloxone, which is an opioid antagonist.

Barbiturate Addiction Treatment: Withdrawal Symptoms

The symptoms of barbiturate withdrawal can be severe, which often serves as a barrier to recovery. The signs and symptoms of barbiturate withdrawal include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tremors
  • High fevers
  • Hallucinations

Barbiturate withdrawal can be very dangerous because of the likelihood of seizures. Thus, people struggling with barbiturate addiction are almost always treated in inpatient rehab programs. A longer acting barbiturate such as phenobarbital treats the symptoms of barbiturate withdrawal. The physician will use phenobarbital to wean you off barbiturates in order to avoid the worst of the withdrawal symptoms.

Barbiturate Addiction Treatment

Women are more likely to fall victim to barbiturate addiction and overdose because they are more likely to seek treatment for conditions like anxiety and insomnia.

Soledad House offers barbiturate addiction treatment through a combination of withdrawal management, counseling and post-rehab support. Patients typically spend 90 plus days in our program. We offer personalized addiction treatment, group therapy, and others. We also offer addiction relapse prevention education to prevent relapse. Call us today at 866.314.3222 to begin the recovery process.