What Are Barbiturates and Why Are They So Addicting?

 Barbiturates are drugs that come from barbituric acid and cause sedation effects on the central nervous system by increasing a neurotransmitter in the brain called GABA. The medical community often times uses barbituates for sedation and anesthesia.


Barbituric acid was discovered by Adolph von Baeyer and first used in 1903 for the purpose of treating anxiety and insomnia. Since then, the use of barbiturates has decreased due to the risk of addiction, abuse, and overdose.


Why barbiturates are addicting


Barbiturates have a calming effect on the central nervous system and decrease blood pressure and heart rate. Depending on the dosage, the effects can range from mild sedation to comatose states. They are used to relieve anxiety before surgery and sometimes used as anticonvulsants to help keep seizures under control. They are also prescribed for those who struggle with anxiety disorders, but for the most part benzodiazepines have replaced them due to being considered less dangerous when it comes to overdosing and abuse.


Examples of common barbiturates include allobarbital, barbital, and phenobarbital.


Barbiturates are so addicting because once taken, the central nervous system slows down and a feeling of relaxation occurs. It is similar to the effects of alcohol and one can become more sociable and feel happier, even if only temporarily. If the dose increases, chances of anxiety, slurred speech, sleepiness, or hostility increase as well. The feeling that one gets when taking barbiturates is extraordinarily pleasant - which is why they can become so addicting. 


There is a significant overdose risk when taking barbiturates. A lethal dose is not much more than the normal dose. Treatment experts like Pat Moore Foundation state that 10 tablets may cause overdose. If the drug is combined with other drugs or alcohol, the risk of death increases greatly.


It’s quite easy to become addicted to barbiturates and coming off of them will cause some withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, sleeping problems, agitation, nausea, and twitching. For those who have become addicted to high doses, more severe withdrawal symptoms like seizures, hallucinations, and delirium can occur.


Those that need professional help coming off of barbiturates can find such in detox centers, 12 step recovery groups, and through substance abuse counselors. Call Pat Moore Foundation today if you or a loved one is struggling with barbiturate addiction to get the help you need right away.


About the Author: Dominica Applegate is a writer, speaker, and poet with a deep passion for discovering and sharing authentic spiritual truth. She has been discovering herself under all sorts of odd layers and loves to share her stories and lessons learned with anyone that will listen.  She loves reading, contemplating, nature, family time, and traveling.  Connect with Dominica at her website and Facebook.  


Image: Wikipedia

Pat Moore Foundation teams up with D’Amore Healthcare. D'Amore Healthcare specializes in treating mental health and behavioral illness along with the wide variety of addictions such as alcoholism, opiate addiction, cocaine addiction, crystal meth addiction, and prescription drug abuse.

Our caring, qualified staff is here for you. If you have any questions regarding help for yourself or a loved one please contact our us anytime 24 hours a day at 714.375.1110 or fill out the contact form.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

Enter the characters shown in the image.