Barbiturates – See Related Topics

In the past, barbiturates were prescribed for many conditions. Now, they are generally only prescribed for seizure disorders, conditions related to anxiety or insomnia (trouble sleeping), or for use as a sedative before surgical procedures. Barbiturates fall in the class of drugs called central nervous system (CNS) depressants. They work on the user’s CNS by affecting gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which is a neurotransmitter in body that nerves use to transmit signals to each other. When taken as prescribed, barbiturates have a sedative or tranquilizing effect on the user as it slows brain functions that control voluntary actions. However, if a person takes these drugs by means other than prescribed (more often or in higher doses), the drug can then act on their body’s automatic functions, affecting their blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing.

Barbiturates take effect on the body differently according to the time to onset and the length of time the effects are felt. There are four groups identifying these: ultra-short acting – where the drug is used for anesthesia during surgery, is injected, and produces its effect in one minute or less; short acting / intermediate acting – used for sedation, produces effects in 15 to 40 minutes, and has the potential to last for up to 6 hours; and long-acting – used for sedation, seizure treatment, and mild anxiety, produces effects in up to 60 minutes with those lasting for roughly 12 hours.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there is a high likelihood of abuse and overdose with barbiturate use. Abuse happens when a user chooses to self-regulate their doses. They may take more of the drug, take it more frequently, or modify its structure in hopes of achieving a more rapid effect (usually by making the pill into an injectable). Addiction as a result of abuse is likely and recovery can be quite difficult as withdrawal symptoms can be very strong – plus mental cravings for barbiturates can last several months or years.

Have questions about barbiturate addiction? Whether you want to know what’s in these drugs that makes them addictive, how they react with the body, or how to tell if someone is addicted to them, you’ll find the answers you need here. Read more in our related topics or call The Recovery Village today to speak with someone who can help.


Barbiturates Related Topics

Barbiturates While Pregnant: What You Need to KnowWhile barbiturates are regularly used for their anti-anxiety effects, taking them during pregnancy can be dangerous. Many studies have linked barbiturate use to birth defects, infant dependency on the drug, and other health issues.