Barbiturates are a form of medication known as sedative-hypnotics, but they are also associated with drug abuse. Although modern drugs such as Amytal, Seconal, Phernobarbital and Nembutal are much safer than the forms which were available thirty years ago, you should still be aware of the risks which exist.
What Are Barbiturates Used For?
Barbiturates can be used for sleep disorders and anxiety. Less commonly, they may also be prescribed for preventing seizures or administered as an anesthetic. However, the drugs can cause dependency which leads some people to carry on taking them after the prescribed period. Barbiturates are also sometimes sold illegally on the streets, because some people enjoy the mellow feeling the medication produces. Some addicts who abuse drugs such as cocaine will also take barbiturates to counteract the burst of energy and hyperactivity.
What Are The Risks?
Even when taken for medical purposes, barbiturates are considered a high risk drug. Patients must be very careful to follow the instructions exactly as a few extra pills is enough to cause a lethal overdose. This fine line between the recommended dose and an overdose also makes them highly dangerous when the drug is used to get high, as without the supervision of a doctor many people overestimate what a safe level is.
Taking an excessive level of barbiturates will cause the breathing to slow down, and in the worst case scenario the respiratory system will fail. The medication makes the user feel fatigued, but it can lead to unconsciousness and coma in large doses. Some people may also be prone to seizures.
When a persons ceases the drug, they should do so under the guidance of a doctor. This is because the withdrawal symptoms can make a person feel extremely unwell. Speak to a medical professional to learn more.