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Barbiturate Abuse


Barbiturate abuse

means you take too much of this medicine, or take it even though you are not supposed to.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Small doses make you feel drowsy, bold, or drunk
  • Higher doses make you stagger, slur your speech, or be confused
  • Trouble fulfilling work, home, or school responsibilities
  • Doing dangerous activities when you use barbiturates
  • Trouble getting along with others when you use barbiturates

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have chest pain, sweating, or breathing problems.
  • You feel like hurting or killing yourself or someone else.
  • You pass out or have a seizure.
  • You have hallucinations.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You cannot fight the need to take barbiturates.
  • You feel you cannot cope with your problems.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment for barbiturate abuse:

  • A detox program includes medicine and treatment to reduce withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking barbiturates. You will be in the hospital with close monitoring and care.
  • Your dose will be gradually decreased by your healthcare provider to help prevent withdrawal symptoms.
  • Antianxiety medicine may be given to decrease anxiety and help you feel calm and relaxed.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may help you change your thinking and behavior. It can help you manage depression and anxiety caused by barbiturate abuse. CBT can help you learn good coping skills and ways to manage stress. CBT can be done with you and a talk therapist or in a group with others.
  • Motivational enhancement therapy may help you change your behavior and stop barbiturate abuse. A therapist or counselor helps motivate you and set goals.
  • Twelve-step facilitation (TSF) is a short, structured approach to reach early recovery from drug abuse. It is done one-to-one in 12 to 15 sessions. Goals of the program include accepting that you have a problem that you need to overcome, and being willing to take certain steps to overcome it.

Cope with barbiturate abuse:

  • Be honest and open with family and close friends. Ask for help.
  • Stay active.
  • Join a support group and go to the meetings.
  • Stay away from people who use and abuse barbiturates.
  • If you use barbiturates, do not drink alcohol. This may be life-threatening.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Barbiturate Abuse (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.