Barbiturates Information


Barbiturates are a class of drug that is prescribed primarily for sleep, anxiety or seizures. The class includes amobarbital, pentobarbital, phenobarbital, and secobarbital. The brand names of these drugs include Seconal, Nembutal, Luminal, and Amytal.

They have been a popular drug since the 1950s. The addictiveness and dangers of these drugs have long been known. They became less relied on when benzodiazepines became available but there are still plenty circulating through American medicine chests.

In the UK, these were previously popular drugs of abuse, but lower prescribing rates have lowered abuse rates. The quantity of barbiturates being abused dropped after doctors campaigned against heavy prescribing because of the number of overdose deaths. It was estimated that 27,000 people died from barbiturate overdoses in the UK between 1959 and 1974.

At this point, it’s estimated that 9 percent of Americans will abuse a barbiturate at some point in their life, which includes using a drug prescribed for someone else or taking more than was prescribed.

guy passed out from sedatives

These drugs are classed as sedative-hypnotics. When there’s too much of the drug in a person’s body, it will suppress breathing, potentially to the point of death, especially if it is mixed with another drug with a similar action, like alcohol or opiates.

Current Abuse Patterns

woman on barbiturates

While there are fewer cases of abuse, they may currently be used by a person who has been abusing a stimulant to help them come down and rest after a night of partying. This means that users of drugs like Ecstasy, methamphetamine or cocaine could be abusers of barbiturates.

People will also abuse this drug for the drunken feeling they get. But it is a dangerous drug to abuse. The “normal” dosage for this drug is not very far from the fatal dose. If a person does take a normal dose and then adds other depressant drugs, he may accidentally end his own life.

A person who takes these drugs regularly can easily develop tolerance (meaning that more of the drug is needed to get the same effect) and physical dependence. When a person reaches dependence, this means he is going to go through withdrawal symptoms on the way to getting free of this drug.

Some people become physically addicted to this drug without being psychologically addicted. They may just need support to get safely off the drug and then they can return to a normal life. But if the drug has been heavily abused for recreational purposes, they will need rehabilitation to get back to a sober life. He (or she) must learn to enjoy a sober, productive life again without the oblivion of barbiturates. This recovery very often takes time as addiction takes its toll, mentally, emotionally and physically. There are feelings of guilt and an addicted person normally hits depression hard as soon as he tries to get off the drugs that were keeping those feelings away.

And then there are the cravings that must be dealt with. This is a major reason that a person gets locked into an addiction. As soon as he tries to get off drugs, the cravings drive him back to the drug again and again, even when he really wants to stop using. A solution to this lies in the Narconon drug and alcohol recovery program.

In dozens of locations around the world, a person who has fallen into this trap can achieve lasting freedom from addiction. On the thorough and precise Narconon program, the individual takes the time he or she needs to achieve their goal, an average of eight to ten weeks, but there is no set time limit to this program, unlike the many “30-day” programs. A person graduates from Narconon when they are drug-free, stable and ready to build or rebuild a productive and responsible life.

The Narconon New Life Detoxification, one phase of the overall recovery program, is a major factor for the Narconon program success. Each time a person abuses drugs, drug residues are left behind in the fatty tissues. These residues have been found to contribute to the triggering of cravings, even years later. This detoxification action uses a sauna, a nutritional and vitamin regimen and moderate daily exercise to flush out these residues, brightening one’s outlook and restoring the ability to think clearly again. Those completing this step commonly report dramatically lowered cravings or even no cravings. When cravings are gone, it is much easier to focus on learning how to steer a drug-free path in life.

Instruction in the skills needed to steer this path follow the detoxification action. Addiction normally causes a deterioration in self-respect, ability to solve problems, and ability to decide who is a friend and who is not. These are all skills offered in the component of the Narconon program that follows detoxification.


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