Barbiturate drugs are not as commonly abused as other substances, such as alcohol and marijuana, but they are still prescribed to patients dealing with anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. More recently, they are recreationally used with narcotic painkillers and stimulants.
Addiction can form from barbiturates when prescription drug misuse occurs, which may lead to multiple physical and mental health issues. If you or a loved one need help for a barbiturate addiction, recovery is possible. Below we’ll go over some steps you can take to start on the path to becoming barbiturate free.
What is a barbiturate?
Barbiturates fall under a group of substances that are sometimes called “downers.” Other drugs in the downer family are alcohol, benzodiazepines, and GHB. These drugs work on the central nervous system, slowing down body functions and causing sleepiness and relaxation. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about 425,000 people used barbiturates in the United States in 2015.
It was a go-to drug for treating anxiety disorders in the ’50s and ’60s, but it was discovered that even in small doses tolerance built up quickly. This caused many patients to become addicted, therefore the drug has since been, for the most part, replaced with safer medications.
Some side effects of barbiturate use are:
- abdominal pain
- nausea and vomiting
Barbiturates are typically taken in a pill form, but can also be injected as a liquid. Effects can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 16 hours.
How Do I Know if I’m Addicted?
Some may believe that because barbiturates are prescribed by a doctor, it’s a completely safe drug. However, if it’s being abused, it can be very harmful, inducing many long-term physical and mental health problems. But what is safe prescription use, compared to addictive behaviour?
These are some signs of precipitation drug addiction:
- taking a prescription that was intended for someone else
- taking a larger dose than needed
- improperly ingesting the drug, such as snorting or injecting
- continuing to use the drug even if the illness has subsided
- buying illicit drugs once the prescription has run dry
- mixing other substances with prescriptions
- a decrease or increase in sleep
- extreme mood swings
- avoiding other forms of therapy
- fabricating reasons to receive more of the drug
- issues at work, relationships, or finances due to use
- experiencing barbiturate intoxication and overdose
If you or a loved one have exhibited any of the above signs, then you may want to seek help. Read on to learn what you can do to start recovering.
What to do if you’re addicted
There are steps you can take to aid in the recovery of a barbiturate addiction. The path to recovery may not be easy, but it is one worth taking. Many hundreds of thousands of Americans have quit drugs by seeking treatment. Below we’ll lay out how you can do this.
Substance abuse is a mental health disorder, similar to depression and anxiety. Just because you may be addicted, doesn’t mean you have fallen too far to receive help. Addiction is an illness that requires long-form treatment and is usually not something that can be alone. By admitting and forgiving yourself for the problem, you can make the next step toward recovery.
Ask for help
This can come in the form of reaching out to medical professionals, family, or friends. By telling someone else about your addiction, others can be there for you for emotional support and assist in whatever is needed for treatment. You will also get more comfortable talking about your issues, which will help with recovery later on.
Find a treatment centre
Finding the right rehabilitation center can seem daunting, but there are many different treatment options that can fit any budget, demographic, and lifestyle. Options include detoxification centres, inpatient rehabs, and outpatient treatment.
To cover the cost of care once you find treatment, you can find a state-funded rehab or use your insurance plan.
Attend rehabilitation and aftercare services
By entering rehabilitation, you will receive counselling and therapy that can address root problems of abuse, while also learning alternatives on how to deal with stressors. Treatment centres may also help with employment opportunities and introduce you to aftercare services, such as 12-step meetings and sober living homes. These are great transitional tools for those who have completed an intensive outpatient or inpatient program and can help someone maintain lifelong recovery.
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