Barbiturates effects are widespread. Similar to other CNS depressants, they make the brain and body functions slower. Most notably, they are so powerful that it may not take more than just a few doses to change the sedation into death.
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A Quick Overview Of Barbiturates
Barbiturates are a class of sedative medications. They affect the levels of a brain chemical. They call it Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (GABA). Consequently, taking them makes one less stressed and more likely to fall asleep. A doctor’s prescription to buy them is required.
Till a few decades back, they used to prescribe it to treat a number of medical conditions. In some cases, they might include insomnia, anxiety, and epilepsy.
However, their use in the current medical practice has declined a lot. It is because they are very addictive and cause severe toxicities. Regrettably, this may occur even if one takes a bit more than the normal dose.
What is the Current Status Of Barbiturates?
Currently, safer options such as Benzos have mostly replaced them. Nonetheless, doctors still use them during a major surgery and to reduce seizures. Furthermore, they may also use them to reduce increased pressure inside the head. Such conditions may arise when a patient has a brain injury due to some accidents or falls.
Early Barbiturates Effects: What It Feels Like
When one takes a Barbiturate, it is possible to feel a kind of high. It produces euphoria and relaxed feelings and helps to calm down. For this reason, they bring desirable results when the patients have seizures or anxiety.
Unfortunately, these are the same reasons why they may abuse it and become addicted to barbiturates.
A recent study suggests their use among high school students has surged over the past decade. People have a theory about the most probable underlying cause for such alarming rise. In some cases, they take them to counteract the effects of stimulant medications.
Strangely enough, the effects are similar to those produced due to alcohol intoxication. This is because barbiturates effects include depressing the activity of CNS. For this reason, one should never mix barbiturates with alcohol.
Other effects may include:
- Slowed heartbeat
- Reduced rate of respiration
- Problems with focus and decision-making
- Muscle relaxation
- Heightened sense of well-being and enhanced self-confidence
These effects will go away if one stops taking more of it. What will determine how long these effects will persist? In fact, they will depend on the type of Barbiturates taken.
Barbiturates Side Effects On Large Doses
A common problem with any form of addiction is the addicts fail to sense how much is too much. Regrettably, this impaired judgment often results in overdoses or development of severe symptoms.
In the same manner, Barbiturates effects become more dangerous as one takes more of it. To make things worse, there is a very thin line between the effective and toxic dose.
When a patient takes large doses of Barbiturates, one may develop one or more of the following symptoms:
- Slurred speech
- Loss of consciousness
- Excessive tiredness
- Facial changes
- Changes in perception
- Erratic behavior
What are Toxic Barbiturates Effects?
Barbiturates have a very low safety margin. That way, it can cause severe toxicities even with a slightly increased dose. At higher doses, they also block the activity of a major brain chemical. They call it Glutamate.
Paradoxically, they have a dual action. They will increase the GABA activity and cut down on Glutamate activity. As a result, this may cause death. This is more probable if one does not get an immediate medical care.
Actually, the fatal results occur as an exaggeration of the sedative effects.
What are Long-term Barbiturates Effects?
The long-term use of Barbiturates may result in a number of other health problems. This is apart from an increased risk of addiction.
Of the Barbiturates Effects, a weakened heart and liver failure are likely life-threatening. Other effects may include:
- Memory or concentration problems
- Mental depression
- Slowed reflexes
- Speech problems
Barbiturates are not safe medication even a normal doses. Now, it is possible to imagine what could be the consequences of an abuse or barbiturates overdose.
Combining it with alcohol or any other CNS depressant can result in a likely fatal sedation.
Barbiturates can be very addictive. Notably, the addiction may develop with a normal dose too. Therefore, watch for the physical and psychological signs of addiction. Then, consult a doctor right away.
Regular use may result in tolerance. That is when one needs more to experience the effects. This can be fatal considering the deaths overdoses have caused. Barbiturates account for about 33% of all drug-related deaths in the US.
There are so many things one can do to get out of the addiction. Remember, the road to recovery starts with one’s desire to get rid of the drug. Therefore, do not think anymore, take the first step and good changes will usually follow. Seek professional help as the solo efforts may not be enough to defeat urges.
Addiction is a chronic disorder that requires a team effort. One will need to get it from family, friends and concerned healthcare staffs. A combination of medications and a strong support system often works wonders. Presumably, they will help live a drug-free life.
Addiction centers should have a qualified team. Some of them more than others. They will dedicate themselves to provide all kinds of necessary services. They will help to get back to normal life from these Barbiturates withdrawal effects. The team comprises of well trained and qualified personnel. They include physicians, counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists and auxiliary health care staff. Notably, they all work together to design addiction treatment plans. These will be specific to personal needs of a patient.
- Marek Majdan, Walter Mauritz, Ingrid Wilbacher, Alexandra Brazinova, Martin Rusnak, Johannes Leitgeb. Barbiturates Use and Its Effects in Patients with Severe Traumatic Brain Injury in Five European Countries. J Neurotrauma. 2013 Jan 1; 30(1): 23–29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3530930/
- Report on the Behavioral Side Effects of Barbiturate Antiepileptic Drugs. State Of Minnesota Office Of The Ombudsman For Mental Health And Mental Retardation. https://mn.gov/omhdd/assets/bul95_3_barbiturate_side_effects_tcm23-27847.pdf