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Barbiturates Withdrawal Symptoms & Treatment
Who Gets Addicted To Barbiturates?
It can happen to almost anyone. Kids who experiment with drugs, professionals seeking stress relief and insomniacs who use the drug to help them sleep can all become addicted.
Over time barbiturates produce dependence, even at therapeutic doses. The phenomena of tolerance means more of the drug is needed to get the same effect, and many doctors raise the dose accordingly. The problem is that there's very little difference between an effective dose and a lethal dose. Barbiturates are also very dangerous when combined with other depressants like alcohol.
What Are Barbiturates Withdrawal Symptoms?
Someone who is addicted to barbiturates will begin to feel acute withdrawal symptoms within 8-16 hours after the last dose. Symptoms can be present for as long as 15 days and are most severe at the beginning of withdrawal.
Barbiturates withdrawal symptoms can include restlessness, insomnia, weakness, dizziness, nausea, sweating and anxiety. There may be tremors, seizures, hallucinations and psychosis. Users may become hostile and violent. Without proper treatment, hyperthermia, circulatory failure, and death can result.
What Does Barbiturate Withdrawal Treatment Involve?
Barbiturate withdrawal treatment should be done gradually under a doctor's care, preferably in an inpatient treatment facility. The patient must adapt to small decreases in the dosage before being completely weaned. During the withdrawal process, medical monitoring is essential. Abrupt withdrawal from barbiturates can be fatal.
Detox from barbiturates is just the first step in recovery. There is still the psychological dependence to deal with. Once weaned, the patient should continue with psychological treatment and counseling to maintain a drug-free state and address any underlying issues that fed the addiction.
In barbiturate withdrawal treatment, patients get support from professionals and other patients. They learn about tools they can use to replace drugs and maintain a clean and sober state. After treatment, regular attendance at 12-step meetings helps former users to continue a drug free lifestyle.