Many people get a false sense of security when it comes to taking prescription medications. They feel safe taking anything prescribed by a doctor for them or a loved one. They may not even notice when use becomes a habit or need. However, many of these drugs are highly addictive, such as the case with the various barbiturates. In spite of this fact, they are often prescribed to people who then develop a dependency on them. Even if you or someone you love is in this situation, you can get help and overcome your drug addiction.
In the very beginning, barbiturates like Barbital, Veronal and Medinal were developed for the purpose of anesthesia, or to use to calm and sedate patients who required it. This group of drugs became widely used for surgery and many medical conditions until the addictive effects were recognized. Even today, it's used for different medical purposes. Some of the most common of these drugs have the following brand names:
Thiopental includes sodium amytal, which is often thought of as truth serum. It has been used in various situations to encourage people to divulge information. It's thought to reduce inhibitions as well as dull creative thinking so the person is more likely to tell the truth. Other versions of the drug may be prescribed to treat acute migraines or even cluster headaches.
Over the years, this classification of drugs has been widely prescribed without much thought to its addictive tendencies and risks, and it's been used for conditions like anxiety, insomnia and behavioral disorders. It wasn't until the 1950s that it was discovered that barbiturates carried some dangerous side effects. For one, when it is used in conjunction with other drugs, the result can be life threatening. It's also easily addictive, and the risk of overdosing is quite high.
Perhaps you've been using barbiturates for a long time, and you realize that you've moved into behaviors of abuse. It's critical to learn about the dangers associated with this class of drugs so that you can know what to do to stop using them safely.
This type of drug provides a sense of calm and relieves tension for the patient when taken as prescribed. It also has a mild sense of euphoria for the user. This same feeling of relaxation and being stress-free is appealing to the person seeking a high. While it's not the same energetic high that other drugs provide, it makes the user feel good, which is often the desired effect.
This drug is highly addictive, meaning the body will become tolerant of the dosage so that more must be taken to achieve the same effect. As the dosage is increased, the body becomes dependent on it because it isn't producing the natural hormones to relieve tension and be relaxed. It needs the drug to achieve those feelings.
If you hear your loved one talking to someone using one of these labels, it may be an indication they are abusing barbiturates. This drug comes in numerous forms from pills to elixirs. It can be swallowed, snorted or injected with each method providing a different type of high. Using pills takes the longest time to achieve a high, but it can last longer as well.
Drug abuse has several short- and long-term effects, even if the drug of choice is a prescription medication. Some of the impacts of barbiturates abuse include the risk of overdose along with short- and long-term health issues. As you understand how dangerous and deadly this drug can be, it will help you see the need for treatment.
Because barbiturates are given for sedation and anesthesia, one of the most serious and common dangers of taking this drug is overdose. Overdosing on barbiturates can happen quicker than you think. As your body becomes tolerant of it, the dosage must be increased to get that high. Many times, the deadly dose is just slightly above what is used to get high, which makes it extra dangerous for users, especially when their judgment is impaired.
Since this drug slows down the central nervous system, you may not even notice any problems until they become severe. It slows down your breathing and heart rate, which can lead to respiratory arrest or cardiac arrest. It's important to know the signs of barbiturates overdose so you can get medical help immediately. They include the following:
Overdosing on this drug can happen before you realize it. Get help immediately if you suspect someone has overdosed because death is a real risk in these cases.
The street names that have been thought of for barbiturates make them sound as though they're completely harmless. However, they are certainly not without their risks. Whether you've been using them and you're not sure if your use could be considered abuse, or you have a family member who uses them, it's crucial to understand what abuse looks like. Short-term usage can produce effects like having trouble concentrating, slurring speech, feeling drowsy all the time, exhibiting impaired judgment, low-grade fever, staggering and a lack of coordination. A doctor's visit might also reveal low blood pressure.
One of the most immediate risks for abusing this drug is an increased likelihood of falls and injuries. Because you have trouble with coordination and impaired judgment, you're more likely to engage in risky behaviors or just fall and cause an injury. Since it impairs your central nervous system, you may not even be aware that you're hurt.
As you can probably imagine, the long-term addiction behaviors and symptoms are much more dangerous than short term abuse indicators. For those who use barbiturates long-term, they can experience problems with breathing, memory loss, heart damage, liver damage, and even death if they overdose. Pregnant women are at a great risk of miscarriage if they use barbiturates while they're pregnant, and if they do carry to full-term, there is an increased risk of birth defects.
Many people will begin abusing barbiturates before they become addicted. Abuse is defined as taking a drug that isn't prescribed or in a way other than how it was prescribed. Often, this means the person takes a higher dosage or takes it at a higher frequency.
As the body adjusts to the use of barbiturates, it becomes dependent on the feelings they provide. The system produces less of the natural hormones for stress management and sleep as it relies on the drug to provide those feelings. When the drug isn't available, the body sends out warning signals to get more through withdrawal symptoms. The person then seeks out more of the drug to feel "normal" again. At this point, you can say the person is addicted.
Addiction shows in several ways. The person will focus much of their time either on using or figuring out how to get the drug to use. They will withdraw from family events and other activities where they cannot use. They may resort to stealing to get money for the drug. Often, they will show up to work late or not even go in until they lose their job. Drug addiction often leads to financial problems, job loss, family and relationship problems and homelessness. However, you don't have to keep going down this road. Help is available.
Fighting an addiction can be challenging on its own. If there are complicating factors, you may feel like you're fighting a losing battle. However, the first step is to recognize the challenges and then figure out how to overcome them.
Barbiturates are often combined with other drugs either to intensify the effect or to relieve some of the symptoms which occur when a person is coming down. One of the most common combinations which can also be one of the deadliest is barbiturates and alcohol.
Both of these substances depress the central nervous system which can create a toxicity. The brain slows down, which means many of your core functions fail to work properly. If it slows down too much, death is the result. It can slow your breathing and your heart rate. It also slows down your ability to move and to think. Some symptoms you may experience include the following:
Many emergency room visits for people who abuse barbiturates comes from combining them with alcohol. This is a dangerous combination which should be avoided even if you're taking the medication because of a prescription.
Barbiturates are also combined with illicit drugs for various reasons. For instance, a person may take it with heroin to increase the effect. It also works as a substitute until they can get more heroin.
Stimulants like meth are also combined with barbiturates to help the person come down without the severe side effects. It allows them to sleep after they have been high for hours or days.
When barbiturates are mixed with any of these drugs, the side effects of both types of drugs may be more severe. Because the barbiturates dull their senses, the person may not realize they have a problem until it's too late.
Since this drug is prescribed for anxiety and insomnia, it's easy to understand how a mental health condition can be combined with drug addiction to create co-occurring disorders or a dual diagnosis. These two conditions are often seen together in addicts, which makes recovery even more challenging. Two scenarios exist for how addiction to barbiturates forms from a mental health condition. In the first, the drug is prescribed to treat a condition, which leads to the addiction as higher doses are needed.
The second happens when someone with a mental health condition self-medicates by using the drug without a doctor's prescription. This is a common situation because many people who have a mental health disorder are too afraid or embarrassed to seek help. They want to avoid letting anyone know about their issue so they seek ways to hide the symptoms on their own.
Taking barbiturates can relieve the person of severe anxiety and other symptoms of mental health disorders. They may begin to feel more normal and even convince themselves they have cured the problem. However, the body will soon crave more of the drug and the symptoms of the condition will become even more severe than before in many cases.
Treating co-occurring disorders is often quite complicated, especially if the medication was prescribed. The person will need to receive therapy to address their addiction while treating the mental health disorder through a combination of therapy and medication. The doctor may need to prescribe another drug for anxiety while helping the person deal with the reasons behind their addiction.
While these issues complicate treatment for barbiturate addiction, it is still possible to obtain recovery and maintain it for the long-term. It just becomes even more essential that you find a drug treatment center that is experienced in your situation.
Perhaps you've recently realized that you're addicted to barbiturates because you've taken them for medical purposes, or maybe you've noticed how they've affected your life, and now you want to quit taking them. Whenever you're referring to an addiction to any type of drug, withdrawal symptoms are always probable, which is why it's important to understand what can happen if you choose to quit without any professional support.
When you're addicted to barbiturates and you decide to quit on your own, you will probably start to feel withdrawal symptoms within 16 hours of your last use. For some people, symptoms are demonstrated much sooner than that. You could experience these symptoms in varying degrees for up to fifteen days, or even longer, and they're definitely the most severe during the beginning of the withdrawal period.
Some users will even react with worse symptoms, such as hallucinations, psychosis, hostility and violence. Tremors and seizures can result too. Withdrawal is both physical and psychological, and it often results in relapse even with the best of intentions. However, you don't have to go through this alone.
It's best to not stop barbiturates abuse on your own. Instead, opt to talk to a drug detox facility and find out how they can help you. Detox is a process where the drug is removed from your body and the system is allowed to go back to normal function. It must get through the withdrawal stage to get to where you need to be.
A drug detox center can help you deal with the withdrawal symptoms and prevent serious medical complications. You will generally find two approaches to detox, and one will be right for you.
Many detox centers offer medical detox. This is a process which includes medications to help with the symptoms of withdrawal. Often, a doctor will prescribe lower doses of a barbiturate until the person doesn't require it anymore to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Since many people take fast-acting barbiturates to get the high quickly, a longer-acting version may be prescribed in detox. This allows the withdrawal symptoms to be spread out over time, which reduces their severity. The long-acting drug is decreased slowly until the body doesn't react when its gone from the system.
The second option for detox is gaining popularity with many drug treatment centers. With holistic detox, a natural approach is used. The person receives nutritional guidance to ensure they are getting the proper nutrients which helps reduce the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. They will also be active in regular exercise since it releases feel-good hormones which are desperately needed for the recovering addict.
Detoxing on your own can be dangerous and even life-threatening with this drug. It's best to find a detox center to help you begin this first step to overcoming addiction. You're also less likely to relapse if you have professional help.
Once you complete detox, you're probably going to be feeling pretty good. You're healthier than you've been in a long time. You may feel ready to take on the world, and definitely ready to return to your life. However, you aren't finished with treatment yet. Detox is just the first step; it prepares your body for the real work of addiction treatment.
Therapy is where the hard work begins. You must learn how to manage your addiction and understand what caused it in the first place to prevent future issues. Without therapy, your chances of relapsing go up significantly.
You'll discover there are various options when it comes to treatment. You must choose the one that best fits your needs.
One of the most popular options for treatment, inpatient therapy allows you to focus solely on getting better. You stay at a rehab center for up to 30 days where you will learn to deal with your addiction and get the support you need to stay in recovery. This is often the best option for recovering addicts because they can avoid the triggers that led to addiction in the first place.
You may have obligations at home that prevent you from staying at an inpatient rehab center. For you, the only option for treatment may be outpatient therapy. With this selection, you'll attend therapy for a few hours each week. Many rehab centers offer evening and weekend sessions for those who have a job. Parents with children may prefer to go during the day while their kids are in school. The flexibility of the program is one reason this option for treatment is popular.
Residential therapy is similar to inpatient care but extends beyond the 30 days. The recovering addict may spend weeks or months in the facility until they feel able to handle things on their own. This option is best suited to those who have a long-term addiction or have relapsed multiple times and need the extra structure and support.
This option is a hybrid of inpatient and outpatient care. The person goes to a treatment center every day all day and then returns to their home at night. Many programs put restrictions on the person to ensure they don't relapse while away from the center, such as not going anywhere but home. This option is best for those who need more intense treatment than what outpatient rehab provides but cannot stay away from home at night because they have kids or other responsibilities.
With these programs, you attend meetings with a specific group and work your way through 12 steps to recovery. Two of the most popular organizations under this label are Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. However, you can find many other groups to fit your situation and background. These 12-step programs are often used along with other programs or after treatment has finished. They provide ongoing support to help the person maintain sobriety. They may include mentors who are paired with a newly recovering addict so the person has someone to call whenever they need extra support.
It's important to choose the best option for treatment based on your needs, your support system and your history of addiction. You want to ensure long-term success and reduce the risk of relapse, and the right type of program will provide the support you need to reach your goals.
Don't let cost factor in where you go for treatment. Thanks to changes in the health care law, health insurance companies must provide benefits for drug rehab. This means you likely won't have to pay anything out of pocket, and if you do, it will be a minor co-pay. To ensure your health insurance will work with Northpoint Recovery, we will verify it before you check in. We'll let you know if there's a co-pay and how much it will be so there are no unpleasant surprises down the road.
If you don't have health insurance, you can probably find a plan under the Affordable Care Act. Otherwise, we may be able to provide financing options for you.
Drug treatment can look different for every individual. In fact, the best treatment centers will offer a variety of treatment programs that are tailored to your exact needs and situation. However, you can expect certain methods of treatment to be available, and you may want to consider these options when selecting a program.
Most treatment programs will consist of individual sessions with a counselor. You will work with them to figure out the cause of your addiction and the people, places or events that trigger drug use. You may have to deal with other issues you've been avoiding in the past. This is an essential part of recovery.
Group therapy consists of other recovering addicts coming together in meetings to talk about their addiction and to offer support. While it can seem intimidating to be in this situation, it's helpful and often becomes a person's favorite part of the program. They develop strong friendships with people who truly understand what they're going through. In the case of prescription medication addiction, it can help you realize you aren't alone and that it's not your fault or choice to be in this situation.
Many drug rehab programs include various alternative therapy programs to supplement the main methods of treatment. There may be many reasons one of these programs would be included in your plan. It may be to breakthrough a roadblock or help someone who has been in therapy before. It may be to watch how you interact in different situations or to help you move forward after addiction. Some of the most common types of alternative therapy include the following:
Not all of these alternatives are right for everyone. However, different approaches are beneficial to ensure you have the best chance at maintaining sobriety for the long-term.
Sometimes, a therapist may prescribe medications to help a person recovering from addiction. The drugs may be used to help deal with cravings or to treat a mental health disorder. It's important to note that medication is used along with therapy to help the person make positive changes in their life. The therapist must also be careful when prescribing a new medication that it doesn't lead to another addiction. In fact, it's important to be upfront with all your healthcare providers about your addiction so they can avoid prescribing new medications that will lead to relapse.
A method of treatment that has become quite popular in many drug rehab centers is the wellness approach. The entire person is treated instead of just the addiction. They will learn how to choose healthy meals to get the nutrition they need. For long-term addicts, they may be missing or low on several essential nutrients due to drug use. The body can only function at its best when it has everything it needs.
Exercise is also an important part of these programs. It has several benefits for drug addicts. First, endorphins are released in the body when a person exercises, which are similar to what you experience when you get high. In fact, exercise is often referred to as a natural high, but it's a healthy version. These endorphins help counteract depression and anxiety which often lead to addiction or are the result. Exercise also helps you deal with stress in a more positive way. Instead of turning to drugs when you're feeling stressed and upset, you will learn to go for a run or lift weights.
Many times, treatment consists of family as well as the addict. The family may need to learn more about the addiction and how they can support the person. They may need to heal broken relationships or deal with issues from the past that led to the addiction. This type of therapy is often emotional but necessary for healing.
As you can see from this list, there are all kinds of treatment options available. A therapist will look at your history and situation when they do an assessment to determine which types of therapy would be good for you.
With so many options available, you may wonder how to choose the right one. It's important to take your time when making this decision because you want to be successful with your first attempt. Studies show that people who relapse have less chance of a successful recovery. Now, this doesn't mean you are doomed if you relapse, but it's better to get the best treatment for your first time.
You'll want to look at the types of treatment offered and the variety of therapy to choose from. You also should take a tour of the facility and check on the reputation of the organization. You want to find a center that has a good success rate and uses the latest information to provide the best therapy programs.
It's a good idea to take someone with you along with a list of questions. Make sure you feel comfortable with your choice of treatment center and the program. You want to know what to expect so you aren't frightened or worried about what will happen. Whether you are concerned about detoxing or worried about how long treatment will take, you should make sure these issues are addressed.
Choosing an addiction treatment center is a big decision that could impact the rest of your life. Take the time to get the information you need for an informed decision. Whether it's for you or your family member, you want only the best care to help you reach your goals.
When you suffer from a barbiturate addiction, it can feel as though you're trapped with no way out. However, it doesn't have to feel that way when you know the options that are available to you. By choosing to get professional help, starting with drug detox to help you get through the withdrawal stages, you can stop using barbiturates safely, without having to worry about relapsing before the worst of withdrawal passes.
Addiction treatment programs will also address the core causes of your addiction, and they can help you heal from those things that led to it. Getting professional treatment is always the best way to quit using barbiturates, or any type of drug.
Here at Northpoint Recovery, we offer one of the top rehab programs in the Pacific Northwest, and we would be delighted to work with you to help you recover from this dangerous addiction.
Recovery is much easier at our modern, state-of-the-art facility where we have a lower number of patients so our staff can provide the best care for everyone. You will enjoy 24-hour support to help you through detox and treatment until you're ready to go out on your own. In addition to the standard therapy programs provided, we offer alternative therapies and a focus on health through nutrition and exercise to build up the whole person. We tailor our treatment plans to each individual so you can be more successful with the program.
The road that lies ahead for you might be difficult to navigate, but it's definitely much easier when you don't have to go through it on your own. By utilizing drug detox services, talking with a counselor and working with a support group of your peers, you can heal from a barbiturate addiction.