A barbiturates addiction can develop after someone uses a prescription for barbiturates or because of recreational use. This group of drugs causes a sedative and hypnotic effect. Often, doctors use barbiturates to reduce anxiety or to help with sleep. If someone uses barbiturates for an extended time period, they can develop an addiction.
Unfortunately, this group of drugs can be extremely dangerous. Getting the right dose is difficult. If someone has a slight overdose, it can lead to coma or even death. The withdrawal process can also be potentially fatal, so it is important to get professional help.
How a Barbiturates Addiction Works
During the 1960s and 1970s, doctors often prescribed barbiturates for sleep problems and anxiety. These drugs are no longer popular because of their addictive qualities. Doctors also avoid them because they have a high potential for abuse.
When barbiturates were popular, people took them to reduce their anxiety and inhibitions. Sometimes, people took barbiturates to reduce side effects of other drugs. These drugs work to boost the GABA neurotransmitter. This causes part of the brain to shut down, and it leads to a relaxing effect.
It did not take doctors long to realize that the right dose for sedation was dangerously close to a dose that could cause death. Instead of barbiturates, doctors started using benzodiazepines. Today, people use barbiturates as a recreational drug.
Depending on the type of barbiturates, the effects can last for a few minutes or several days. These drugs are fat soluble, which means that they can cross the blood-brain barrier. This also means that they can accumulate within body fat over time.