Barbiturates Drug Test
What are Barbiturates?
Barbiturates are known as depressants or downers. Often referred to as barbs, drugs such as amobarbital, pentobarbital, secobarbital, butalbital, butabarbital, talbutal, and aprobarbital are all classed as barbiturates. Street names include red birds, downers, barbs, phennies, reds, yellows, and yellow jackets. Brand names for barbiturates include Amytal sodium, Nembutal, Seconyl sodium, Pentothal, and Butisol.
Barbiturates are central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Medically barbiturates are prescribed as a sedative that calms the patient or as a hypnotic drug that helps a person sleep. This drug can relieve symptoms of insomnia and anxiety, act as anticonvulsants for those with seizure disorders, and provide pre-surgical sedation.
Recreationally, barbiturates are used to reduce inhibitions, decrease anxiety, and to treat unwanted side effects of illicit drugs. Mostly taken in pill form, barbiturates can also be injected into the veins or muscles. The pills are capsules with powder inside them. Heavy abusers of barbiturates will often use the injection method, first dissolving the powdered drug in water. In the 40s and 50s, a unique drug habit developed around barbiturates throughout America. Barbiturates were taken to help sleep at night, and in the morning an amphetamine was taken to wake up and get going.
Marilyn Monroe died of an overdose of barbiturates in 1962 when she was just 36 years old. Judy Garland suffered from mental illness and alcoholism and later died from an overdose of sleeping pills.
In recent years, barbiturates have not been prescribed much by physicians, and the illegal use of barbiturates has also declined. A safer group of sedative-hypnotics called benzodiazepines is being prescribed and has largely replaced barbiturates in the medical profession.
Effects of Barbiturates
Barbiturates are most often misused for their intoxicating effect. Users report feelings of relaxed contentment and euphoria. Effects are similar to alcohol intoxication and can last 3 to 8 hours. A small dose is very relaxing and similar to a glass or 2 of wine. When taking a larger dose, a user will become clumsy with poor control over speech and body. Mental confusion and emotional reactions can occur along with the potential for accidental injury. When taken with alcohol, these effects and dangers are greatly increased.
Continued use of barbiturates leads to physical dependence, with the user relying emotionally on the drug. Psychological and physical dependence are also possible with barbiturate use. As more tolerance is developed there is a need for more of the drug and overdose can occur.
Barbiturates Short-Term Effects
- Feelings of well-being or euphoria
- Relaxation and sedation
- Reduced heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure
- Dizziness, sedation, headache
- Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain
- Withdrawal symptoms
Barbiturates Long-Term Effects
- Long-term brain damage
- Depression, intense tiredness, and extreme mood swings
- Delirium and seizure, especially following a sudden withdrawal
- Chronic inebriation, aggressive behavior, impaired memory, judgment and coordination, and insomnia