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Barbiturates Effects On The Body

How Do Barbiturates Affect The Body?

Barbiturates are CNS depressants. They depress the activity of nerves in the smooth muscles, thereby lowering heart rate, respiration and blood pressure. They also depress nerves in the skeletal muscles, creating problems with balance and locomotion. They interfere with brain function, producing slurred speech and impaired judgement. Barbiturates can affect areas in the brain that govern emotion, causing erratic and unpredictable behavior.

Inflamed airways can develop, leaving the lungs unable to clear out contaminants. This can lead to pneumonia. High doses can cause brain damage and respiratory failure. Because abusers react differently to barbiturates at different times, they can easily become confused and lose track of how many tablets they've taken. This increases the risk of accidental overdose.

One of the most dangerous aspects of addiction is that when barbiturates are combined with other drugs like heroin or alcohol, the depressive effects are greater than either substance would produce if taken alone. This can result in unintentional or intentional overdose and death.

Regular barbiturate use can also produce adverse effects in the liver, heart and CNS.

Liver Damage

Barbiturates can cause liver problems or worsen existing liver conditions. Side effects such as hepatitis, liver failure and bile obstruction have been reported. These are more likely to occur as a result of long-term use.

Heart Damage

Side effects from barbiturates on the heart can include pulmonary vessel dilation, weakened heart contractions and blood pooling. Low blood pressure may produce fainting.

CNS Damage

Barbiturates often produce a hangover-like effect. Users may feel fuzzy and dizzy after taking them. There may be depression, irritability and memory problems. Users have reported impotence, tics, decreased attention span and an inability to complete tasks calling for sustained performance. There may be a loss of physical coordination, slurred speech and irregular reflexes.