Barbiturates (Barbs, Blues, Seccies, Nembies, Dolls)

Freehold, Monmouth County, New Jersey Barbiturates Drug Possession and Distribution Defense Attorneys

Drug Facts About Barbiturates

Street names:  Barbs, Barbies, Nembies, Blues, Seccies, Dolls, Tooties

BarbituratesBrand names (street names): Amytal (blue velvet, blue heavens, blue devils), Nembutal (Nembies, yellow jackets, abbots), Luminal (purple hearts, goof balls), Seconal (reds, red birds, red devils, pinks, seggy), Tuinal (rainbows, reds and blues)

Drug Classification:  The most commonly abused barbiturates are amobarbital (Amytal), pentobarbital (Nembutal), and secobarbital (Seconal) which are Schedule II substances in the US. Other slower-acting and less commonly abused barbiturates are Schedule III and Schedule IV under the Controlled Substances Act.

General Drug Information

Barbiturates are a class of sedative-hypnotic drug used to treat anxiety, nervousness, and sleep problems. While other classes of drugs have largely replaced Barbiturate use for these purposes, they still see use in anesthesiology and in preparation for surgery. Barbiturates are sold in capsule, liquid, tablet, and injectable form and range from ultra-short acting (onset of effects within minutes causing unconsciousness) to short and intermediate acting versions that are more popular among barbiturate abusers.

Effects and Side Effects

The effects of barbiturates make people feel drowsy, dizzy, light headed, clumsy, and less alert. These effects may carry over to the morning after the medicine was taken, but usually go away as the body adjusts to the medicine. Barbiturates may cause physical or mental dependence as tolerance to the drug develops, requiring larger and larger doses that may reach a potentially fatal level.

Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms

Detox from barbiturates is generally handled in a clinic or treatment center due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms and health dangers and complications they pose. Depending on the length of use and the dosage, withdrawal symptoms range from anxiety, restlessness, nausea, vomiting, and insomnia to the more severe muscle twitches, vision problems, and increased body temperature to severe symptoms like hallucinations, convulsions, and even death.

Overdose and Risk of Death

Barbiturates suppress the central nervous system and should not be combined with other depressants like alcohol, as this can lead to unconsciousness, respiratory depression, and even death. Common signs of barbiturate overdose or combination with alcohol are severe drowsiness, slurred speech, staggering, slow heartbeat, and difficulty breathing. Those exhibiting these signs should be given immediate medical attention.

Barbiturates are “brain relaxers” and their effects are very similar to alcohol. In small doses, a user may feel drowsy and disinhibited and may stagger and slur speech as if drunk. But in larger doses, coma may result and respiratory depression may result in death. The difference between the dose causing drowsiness and the dose causing death may be small, which is what makes barbiturates so dangerous and why they are not often prescribed nowadays. Barbiturates have now been mostly replaced by benzodiazepines (i.e., Ambien) in routine medical treatment, which have lower overdose risks while treating insomnia and anxiety. But they still are used sometimes almost interchangeably with benzodiazepines to treat the “comedown” from stimulants like cocaine and MDMA and to end a “bad trip” or experience from substances like LSD (acid).

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