Barbiturate is a medication that induces relaxation and sleepiness. Individuals who are grappling with a barbiturate addiction are at an increased risk of an overdose. If left untreated, a barbiturate overdose can be fatal.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of a barbiturate overdose, call 911 immediately. You can also contact the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222. A representative of the poison control center can advise you on how to deal with an overdose.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, barbiturate overdose symptoms can include:
- Lack of coordination
- Difficulty thinking
- Shallow breathing
- Slurred speech
An overdose should be treated as a medical emergency. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdoses kill more Americans than do car crashes or firearms. Barbiturates are closely associated with overdoses because these drugs are highly addictive.
Overdosing on barbiturates can lead to accidental falls that can result in injuries to the head, neck or spine. A barbiturate overdose can also cause severe muscle damage, long-term kidney problems and miscarriage in pregnant women.
Americans of all backgrounds can experience a barbiturate overdose. Celebrities are not impervious to the effects of an overdose, and many Hollywood stars have experienced a barbiturate addiction or overdose.
Many celebrities have dealt with a barbiturate overdose, including:
- Jimi Hendrix
- Marilyn Monroe
- Judy Garland
- Alan Wilson
- Edie Sedgwick
The high potential for addiction and overdose has led many medical experts to prescribe benzodiazepines instead of barbiturates. Benzodiazepines treat anxiety and other medical conditions. While still addictive, benzodiazepines are widely viewed as less dangerous than barbiturates.
- Medicines to treat symptoms
- A breathing machine to supply oxygen
- Intravenous fluids
- Activated charcoal, through a tube through the nose into the stomach or by mouth
To prevent a barbiturate overdose, take all medications as prescribed by a health care professional. If you no longer experience the medical benefits of barbiturates, tell your doctor and they can talk to you about alternative options.
A barbiturate overdose is a telltale sign of a barbiturate addiction. People with a substance use disorder put themselves at risk for several physical and psychological health problems. Many people experiencing a barbiturate addiction also deal with a mental health problem, like depression.
If you’re simultaneously dealing with a substance use and mental health disorder, treatment may be needed. The Recovery Village operates several treatment centers throughout the United States. Each facility has trained medical experts who cater treatment plans to fit your specific needs. To learn more about the importance of treatment, contact The Recovery Village today.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
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