Drug Rehab Referral Service

Barbiturates

Barbiturates are also referred to as:

Barbs, Block busters, Christmas trees, Goof balls, Pinks, Red devils, Reds and blues, Yellow jackets

Barbiturates that are commonly abused include amobarbital (Amytal), pentobarbital (Nembutal), and secobarbital (Seconal).

These pills are often referred to as downers. The use of barbiturates is to “counter-act” a stimulate or upper, or they have been prescribed to provide relief from anxiety and stress. Barbiturates are central nervous system depressants. They can produce effects from mild sedation to total anesthesia.  Barbiturates are also used as anti-convulsants.  Individuals becom addicted to these drugs both physically and psychologically.

Short-Term Effects Include:

Slurred speech, shallow breathing, sluggishness, fatigue, disorientation, lack of coordination, dilated pupils. Barbiturates mimic alcohol inebriation causing mild euphoria, disinclination, relief of anxiety, and sleepiness. High doses cause distortion or impairment of memory, judgment, coordination, irritability, and paranoid or suicidal intentions.

A body quickly develops a tolerance to barbiturates, increasing the dangers of overdose. Death can occur during an overdose or when used in combination with other drugs like alcohol. The effects of habituates that cause a depression of respiratory and brain functions are very dangerous in overdose situations.

Withdrawal symptoms can include tremor, respiratory problems, and seizures. Withdrawal symptoms are due to the tolerance a body develops and a physical dependency on the drug.

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