Amobarbital Addiction and Abuse
Amobarbital belongs to the addictive class of central nervous system (CNS) depressants known as barbiturates. It is used for sedation or to treat anxiety, insomnia and seizure disorders. The high risk of amobarbital addiction and abuse has caused the healthcare community to significantly reduce its usage over the last several decades. The brand name drugs Amytal and Tuinal contain amobarbital.
Common Street Names
- blue velvet
- blue devils
- blue heavens
- double trouble
- gorilla pills
The Drug Enforcement Administration has placed amobarbital (including Amytal and Tuinal) on its list of Schedule II controlled substances. This means amobarbital has a high potential for abuse and can cause psychological or physical dependence. Two other versions of amobarbital, one in suppository dosage form and the other combined with a non-controlled active ingredient, are classified as Schedule III controlled substances.
History and Trends in Amobarbital Addiction and Abuse
Amobarbital has been utilized for many purposes since its first synthesis in Germany in 1923. As a barbiturate derivative, amobarbital suppresses the central nervous system. Its effects wear off in 6-8 hours. For a time during World War II, the United States military attempted to use amobarbital on soldiers suffering from shell shock. The drug did not create the desired results as its side effects hindered soldiers’ effectiveness instead of more speedily readying them to go back to the front lines.
In the 1940s, psychiatrists treated border-line neuropsychiatric disorders with prolonged sodium amytal narcosis. For a variety of treatments, barbiturates grew in usage up until the 1970s. One study noted that the United States produced 2,000 tons of barbiturates annually in the 1960s.
In the last thirty to forty years, prescription usage of amobarbital has decreased significantly. While it was used to treat anxiety, insomnia and epilepsy, its addictive nature and that of the barbiturate family overall caused growing concern. The medical community searched for a less risky option. Safer alternative drugs were developed and became widely prescribed, thus minimizing the popularity of all barbiturates as prescription medicines.
At one point in its history, amobarbital became known as a “truth serum” for seeming to draw out truthful, unguarded answers from an individual when injected over a prolonged amount of time. This method of administering amobarbital lost its credibility when it was discovered that it was also possible to trigger false memories (memories of events that did not actually take place).
Doctors use amobarbital during a procedure known as the Wada test, which allows them to determine important factors about an individual’s brain function prior to undergoing neurosurgery. This test can also be performed utilizing a different drug, called propofol. As the Wada test is an invasive procedure, alternative test methods have been under development.
Overall, amobarbital is now largely outdated and minimally used in the medical community. Legally, it must be prescribed and administered by a physician. While it was prescribed in pill form previously, it is now administered via injection.
Side Effects of Amobarbital Addiction and Abuse
Amobarbital can interact with a variety of different drugs. Since it is a CNS depressant, it can dangerously enhance the effects of many other CNS depressants, such as alcohol and opioid analgesics. Amobarbital can also lower the effectiveness of hormonal birth controls. It may interact with other drugs and supplements (like St. John’s wort) as well. Tuinal is known to interact with 1013 other drugs. A patient should always inform their doctor of all current medications and supplements in use to ensure no negative interactions may take place.
The side effects of amobarbital and barbiturate use include the following:
- Abnormal Dreams
- Abnormality in thinking
- Nausea, vomiting and constipation
- Shortness of breath
- Slowed heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Psychiatric disturbance
- Hepatic Injury
Amobarbital is considered to have a high risk of physical and psychological dependence. Overdose from amobarbital is also possible and can result in death. Other effects of amobarbital overdose include shallow respiration, clammy skin, dilated pupils, weak and rapid pulse, and coma. Seek medical treatment for amobarbital overdose.
Signs of Amobarbital Addiction and Abuse
Dependence on a prescription drug can begin to form when a patient who has been prescribed a medication begins to either misuse or abuse it. When a patient uses the drug for the purpose it was prescribed but in a way outside the scope of the doctor’s instruction, such as a higher dosage for more immediate relief, that is misuse. When a patient uses the drug intentionally to elicit a euphoria or high, then it’s considered to be abuse. When it comes to amobarbital, both misuse and abuse can lead to amobarbital addiction.
Signs of barbiturate, amobarbital or amytal addiction and abuse include fatigue, mood swings, anger or tantrums, slurred speech, poor motor control, executive function impairment, self-injury, depression, sedation, reduced anxiety, memory impairment, disorderly vocalizations, noncompliance, shallow breathing, lying and stealing.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Amobarbital
Withdrawal symptoms from depressants like amobarbital can be life-threatening. A sudden stop in drug intake after amobarbital addiction has developed can have serious consequences, including death. Treatment for amobarbital addiction should be sought from trained professionals.
Symptoms of amobarbital withdrawal include anxiety, nausea, convulsions, hostility, restlessness, low blood pressure, memory lapse, weakness and fatigue, intention tremors, hallucinations, psychosis, circulatory failure, hyperthermia, seizures, lack of motor coordination, violent behavior, shallow breathing and fainting, delirium and death.
Treatment for Amobarbital Addiction and Abuse
Amobarbital or amytal addiction should be taken seriously. Dangerous health risks are associated with short-term or long-term abuse, overdose, dependence and even attempts to cease use.
Our medical staff a White Sands Tampa are well-trained in barbiturate detox protocol will assist and oversee an individual’s gradual withdrawal process. Seek the assistance of our drug addiction specialists for treatment for amobarbital addiction at White Sands Tampa. Don’t hesitate. Call now at 1-877-640-7820.