Definition and Description
Barbiturates are sedatives or sleep-inducing drugs made up of barbituric acid. Barbiturates are central nervous system depressants. They are typically used to control seizures in people with epilepsy, and they help relieve anxiety and tension before medical procedures such as surgery. In the past, people with anxiety during the day or insomnia at night took Barbiturates. Now, safer medications have taken their place.
The following prescription drugs are common Barbiturates prescribed in the US and Canada:
Butisol Sodium, Mebaral, Mysoline, Seconal and Nova Rectal.
What does it look like and how is it taken?
Barbiturates come in a variety of colored pills and tablets. They also come in capsule, tablet, and liquid forms. People take Barbiturates orally, as a suppository, or as injected.
Illegal or Legal?
Barbituarates are legal only when prescribed by a doctor.
Street names for illegal Barbiturates include:
Street names for barbiturates include: barbs, downers, sleepers, stumblers, yellow jackets, red dolls, tootsies, rainbows
Why are Barbiturates taken?
Barbiturates provide feelings of relaxation, well-being and mild euphoria. After continual use the desired feelings come less and less. This can lead to abuse of the drug as people will take more to achieve the same initial feelings of relaxation. Doctors prescribed a specific dose of the medicine for the patient. When taken in larger doses or more often, it becomes addictive.
Dangers and side effects
Barbiturates are dangerous because of the risk of overdose which can lead to death. Addicts have the desire to take more and more to achieve the same effects of original use. The combination of barbiturates and alcohol or other medications can also lead to unconsciousness and even death.
Side effects of barbiturates include:
Drowsiness, lightheadedness and dizziness. Anyone taking these drugs should not drive or operate machinery unless approved by a doctor.
Barbiturate abuse has the following side effects:
Severe weakness, confusion, memory impairment, slurred speech, staggering, problems breathing and a slow heart rate. If you notice any of these symptoms in a friend, colleague or family member, encourage them to take a drug test.
Drug Testing for Barbiturates
The dangers and risks when abusing Barbiturates can have life threatening consequences.
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You can also read our blogs, Drug Testing Benefits Your Employees and Your Company in Five Ways and Pre-Employment Drug Testing and Why You Should Do It