Amytal Addiction, Abuse and Treatment

Amytal is the prescription name for amobarbital, a barbiturate. There is a high risk of dependence and many people seek treatment for this addiction.

Understanding Amytal

Amytal is the popular brand name for the barbiturate derivative amobarbital. Barbiturates are sedative-hypnotics generally prescribed to treat sleep disorders or as a preanesthetic for surgeries. In smaller doses, barbiturates can be used as anticonvulsants. Amytal is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, soothing brain activity in order to relieve severe stress.

Barbiturates have begun to be replaced by the use of benzodiazepines, which are thought to be safer and have a lower risk of dependence in chronic users. However, some medical professionals still administer Amytal because of its potency. Amytal is typically injected intravenously as a clear liquid or can be taken orally as a time-release capsule. Street names for Amytal include downers, red, redbirds, and blue velvets.

Amytal Abuse and Effects

Amytal is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning it has medically designated purposes but runs a high risk of abuse and dependence.

Amytal was given to American soldiers who fought during World War II to treat “shell shock” until officials realized the drug heavily impaired soldiers’ efficiency in battle.

Amytal may be abused for its sedative effects just like many sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medications are. Amytal induces an intoxicating “buzz” similar to that of alcohol when taken at unprescribed doses.

Due to heavy federal regulation and the drug’s abnormal strength, using Amytal without a prescription or in a manner other than prescribed is considered abuse. Even though there are therapeutic uses for Amytal, it can easily cause overdose due to its potency. Amytal depresses brain functioning until the user “forgets” to breathe, triggering coma and sometimes death. Combining Amytal with other CNS depressants increases the odds of overdose.

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Signs of an Amytal Addiction

An addiction to Amytal can develop rapidly without the user recognizing the problem. Over the last decade, doctors have become keenly aware of Amytal’s addictive power. As a result of severe federal regulation, doctor-supervised intravenous injection has become the only legal means of using Amytal.

If a friend or family member is using Amytal in any form outside a doctor’s personal care, it may be time to intervene.

Someone suffering from an Amytal addiction might visit multiple physicians to acquire more of the drug. Others may try to get illicit Amytal pills from a street dealer. This generally indicates that a physical and psychological dependence on the drug has developed. Amytal alters the brain’s natural chemistry, building a tolerance in the user so that they crave it to feel “normal.”

Medical professionals and addiction specialists lean on criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to spot behaviors that indicate a problem. Learn how to recognize an addiction today.

Amytal Addiction Treatment

Because of the chemical changes they cause to the brain, barbiturates, like Amytal, are extremely risky to quit “cold turkey”. To suddenly stop using Amytal can shock the body with severe, life-threatening withdrawal symptoms depending on the length and intensity of use. Muscle pains, nausea and vomiting, anxiety and mental confusion can arise in less drastic cases.

At their most pronounced level, Amytal withdrawal symptoms can include hallucinations, seizures, and even death.

Amytal Abuse Statistics

1 in 10 overdose

Approximately 1 out of every 10 people who overdose on barbiturates or barbiturate mixtures will die.

9% of students

Approximately 9% of high school students have abused barbiturates in their lifetime.

Although Amytal addiction is less common than some other addictions, there are still many treatment options available. Doctor-administered detoxification is the safest process of eliminating Amytal (and any other drugs that may be present) from a abuser’s system and reducing the negative side effects.

Begin your Trek Toward Recovery

If you think you or someone you may have an addiction to Amytal, find the help you need to diagnose and treat it. Many recovering addicts find invaluable support through help groups and counseling after leaving inpatient therapy. It is important to continue to build strong, healthy relationships with people who can help you stay clean. Move forward today.