Amytal belongs to the barbiturate class of central nervous system (CNS) depressants. The brand name to the generic amobarbital, Amytal has been used to treat insomnia, anxiety, and seizure disorders, and for sedation. Like other barbiturates, Amytal and amobarbital can easily cause physical and psychological dependence. Amytal addiction and abuse can have life-threatening consequences. Physicians have significantly reduced its use since the creation of safer alternatives over the last forty years.
Common Street Names
- blue velvet
- blue devils
- blue heavens
- double trouble
- gorilla pills
Amytal has been classified by the DEA as a Schedule II controlled substance. Other variations of amobarbital have been classified as either Schedule II or Schedule III. This classification results from amobarbital and Amytal’s high potential for abuse and ability to cause physical or psychological dependence.
History and Trends in Amytal Addiction and Abuse
Amobarbital’s popularity within the medical community has greatly dropped over the last several decades in favor of alternative treatments like tranquilizers and benzodiazepines. Amobarbital suppresses the central nervous system like other barbiturate derivatives. Its effects last between 6-8 hours.
Amobarbital has had several uses since its initial synthesis in Germany in 1923. The United States armed forces treated soldiers for shell shock with amobarbital during World War II. This use was discontinued when it did not return the hoped-for outcome of preparing soldiers to go back to the front lines more expediently. From treatment of border-line neuropsychiatric disorders in the 1940s to use as a truth-telling serum, amobarbital has had a varied history.
The invasive procedure known as the Wada test utilizes amobarbital to gather crucial information about the brain prior to neurosurgery. The addictive nature of Amytal and barbiturates overall pushed the medical community to develop safer options for sedation and treating anxiety, insomnia and epilepsy. Since the 1970s, prescription usage has drastically diminished.
The law requires that Amytal be prescribed by a qualified physician. Though previously prescribed as a pill, Amytal is primarily administered via injection. Amobarbital is now made as a powder for solution.
Side Effects of Amytal Addiction and Abuse
Amytal and amobarbital are highly addictive. Amytal abuse can result in overdose which may cause death. The side effects of using Amytal, amobarbital and other barbiturates 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
The effects of Amytal overdose include:
- Shallow respiration
- Clammy skin
- Dilated pupils
- Weak and rapid pulse
Amobarbital can have harmful interactions with other drugs and supplements (St. John’s wort). It may reduce hormonal birth controls’ effectiveness. It can dangerously enhance the effects of alcohol, opioid analgesics and other CNS depressants with life-threatening outcomes. Treatment for Amytal abuse should be overseen by well-trained medical professionals.
Signs of Amytal Addiction and Abuse
Amytal addiction can easily form with use of the drug. When an individual begins to increase their own dosage to achieve faster or greater relief, this misuse can have dangerous repercussions including dependence. Amytal addiction and abuse should not be taken lightly as even withdrawal can be life-threatening.
Those close to someone abusing Amytal may contribute signs of Amytal addiction and abuse to the original health condition that brought on the prescription rather than the true cause. Some individuals will also intentionally use Amytal to enhance the effects of other depressants and it may become a secondary addiction. Amytal addiction treatment may be needed in conjunction with treatment for a primary addiction.
Signs of barbiturate abuse include fatigue, drunken behavior, 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 Amytal
Depressant withdrawal symptoms can result in death. Individuals dealing with amytal addiction should seek treatment for Amytal abuse for their own safety.
Amytal withdrawal symptoms are the same as barbiturates overall and 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 Amytal Addiction and Abuse
Amytal abuse and addiction can develop quickly with devastating consequences. Amytal addiction treatment requires the assistance of drug addiction specialists who understand barbiturate detox protocol and can provide the mental, physical, psychological and emotional support needed to properly deal with all aspects of the addiction.
If you or your loved one is suffering from amytal addiction, call White Sands Tampa today at 1-877-640-7820 before it’s too late.