Barbiturates are a class of synthetic drugs that suppress the central nervous system. Drugs that impact the central nervous system are typically divided into two categories: suppressants and stimulants. Suppressants, such as barbiturates, narcotics, and alcohol, act by slowing down brain activity and inducing a drowsy or calming state. People who use barbiturates or other depressants regularly over an extended period of time are likely to develop a tolerance, causing them to increase their dosage and risk accidental overdosing.
Barbiturates are one of the oldest forms of sedatives, and they were one of the first medicinal treatments employed for schizophrenia, psychosis, neurosis and epilepsy. The effects of barbiturates range from mild sedation to complete anesthesia.
Barbiturates are rarely prescribed today due to safety concerns. Improper use of these drugs can be incredibly dangerous. Like other suppressants, barbiturates cause drowsiness, impaired motor function and dulled mental awareness. Small doses may cause reactions similar to intoxication, such as slurred speech, stumbling and confusion. Because the drug interacts with the central nervous system, improper dosage of barbiturates can cause severe brain damage, comas and even death.
Barbiturates can also be very addictive, especially when people who stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine also use barbiturates to counteract the effect. People use suppressants to “come down” from a high created by stimulants in an attempt to negate the negative side effects. However, this is extremely dangerous due to the possibility of overwhelming the central nervous system and causing severe, irreparable damage.
Other people abuse barbiturates to experience the drowsy, “drunken” feeling they cause. Young people, especially, seek the loss of inhibitions and euphoria caused by barbiturates suppressing the thought centers of the brain, often unaware of the dangers of abuse. People suffering from severe anxiety or neurosis may find themselves dependent on barbiturates to properly function on a daily basis. Those prescribed barbiturates for physical pain or management of psychological problems are especially prone to becoming dependent and may require drug rehab to begin recovery.
The effects of barbiturates are far reaching and can become debilitating. Between physical and psychological symptoms, barbiturate addiction may be relatively rare – only nine percent of the U.S. population – but it is a severe condition requiring medical attention to address and remedy.
Because barbiturates are a class of drugs that include many forms, they are known by an assortment of street names. Some of the more popular names include:
Physically, barbiturate abuse is devastating. Gangrene and skin abscesses spread among those who share needles for barbiturate injections. Barbiturate addiction causes damage and deterioration to major internal organs such as the brain, lungs, liver, heart, and cause physical symptoms interfering with daily living.
Impacts of barbiturates addiction include:
If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction to barbiturates, don’t hesitate to seek addiction help immediately. Our team of clinicians, therapists, and counselors at Harbor Village are trained to help you recover from your addiction as safely and comfortably as possible.