Pentobarbital, also known as the brand name Nembutal, is a strong barbiturate. It is a short-acting drug that has sedative properties used in the treatment of specific conditions. It has a variety of uses, which are all dependent on the dosage. It can be used as a sedative before surgery, and it can be used to treat convulsions in an emergency situation.

While prescription medications are gripping the United States, it’s evident that abuse can occur even when being medically prescribed. Nembutal is one of the medicines in question that can be easily abused and ruin a person’s life.

Nembutal is not as common as other drugs, but the anti-anxiety properties of the drug make it an easy choice to turn to when dealing with great levels of stress.

A common form of misuse is those who use other people’s medications. This is a grim realization due to how easily Nembutal can lead to dependence despite having a prescription. It’s used recreationally for the calming effects that barbiturates became popular for, and because of these reasons, it can lead to a Nembutal addiction.

Barbiturate drugs are less commonly prescribed in the United States, but for decades, these drugs were often given to those in need. Barbiturate use reached all-time highs in the 1950s before a lot of research was put into how addictive the drugs were, and the usage rate began to steadily decline.

As the numbers have decreased immensely over the years, there has been somewhat of a resurgence of barbiturates in recent years. It is quite difficult to obtain Nembutal in the U.S., but it can be smuggled into the country or purchased at a black market.

What is Nembutal?

Nembutal is a short-acting barbiturate medication that is prescribed for a variety of health conditions. These range from sleeping ailments, or as anticonvulsants for someone that struggles from seizures. Barbiturates are classified as sedative-hypnotics with the sole purpose of inducing feelings of relaxation. The drug slows motor activity and impairs one’s balance and coordination. The common symptoms associated with Nembutal are drowsiness, sedation, and hypnosis.

This drug can be administered by medical professionals as an oral capsule or by an injection into the muscle. It also can be taken as an oral elixir or a rectal suppository.

While Nembutal is the official name, it is referred to by many other names from recreational users. These slang names include reds, red bird, barbs, phennies, or yellow jackets.

How Addictive is Nembutal?

As a barbiturate, it is classified as a highly addictive substance. Barbiturates are non-selective activators of GABA, which is a neurotransmitter that slows brain activity. When someone ingests Nembutal, they will feel relaxed. It is also possible that they feel extremely pleasant and euphoric. The desirable effects are often why the drug is abused. It contributes to the reward center in the brain.

Nembutal use can lead to physical dependence. When someone is dependent on the substance, and they stop using it, they will likely experience withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms that barbiturates produce are often severe, and in some cases, deadly. Seizures are frequent during this time. Nembutal has a high risk of overdose. When individuals abuse barbiturates, they put themselves at risk of accidental overdose.

What are the Signs of Nembutal Addiction?

Nembutal is a powerful drug that holds a high risk of becoming habit-forming. Those who consume this drug in excess are at risk of developing a barbiturate addiction. Some people abuse this drug for the pleasant side effects that are similar to alcohol. If you suspect either you or a loved one is abusing Nembutal, some side effects attributed to its misuse include:

  • Memory loss
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Motor coordination loss
  • Intoxication similar to alcohol
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Poor decision making
  • Mood swings
  • Uncontrolled eye movement

More General Signs of Nembutal Addiction Include:

  • High Nembutal tolerance
  • Strong Nembutal cravings
  • Constantly thinking about Nembutal
  • Consuming for nonmedical purposes
  • Exceeding prescribed dosage
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
  • Taking Nembutal only to avoid withdrawal
  • Feeling unable to quit Nembutal
  • Using Nembutal with other drugs

Those who abuse Nembutal may want to stop taking it suddenly. This is known as quitting cold turkey, which is defined as “the abrupt and complete cessation of taking a drug to which one is addicted.” It is not the recommended way to quit any substance as the sudden cessation of barbiturates can result in fatal consequences.

After using drugs for an extended time, there is a much more involved process of transitioning into sobriety safely. This process occurs in steps and phases that progress gradually to ensure a safe detox.

Abrupt discontinuation can be extremely uncomfortable, and because of this, a user could go back to Nembutal just to avoid these symptoms. A possible outcome of returning after a brief break is that a user’s tolerance has been decreased significantly, and taking a dose you were once accustomed to can put you at risk of an overdose.

Other conditions that are associated with the sudden stoppage of the drug are hallucinations, convulsions, vomiting, seizures, and thoughts of suicide.

If you or someone you know wants to stop using Nembutal, they must seek treatment at a licensed and reputable treatment center.

Side Effects of Nembutal Abuse

When Nembutal is abused, it can be an incredibly dangerous drug that affects someone’s physical and mental health.

Some of These Side Effects Include:

  • Bradycardia
  • Hypotension
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Joint pain
  • Hypersensitivity

Of course, the most significant risk is an addiction, dependence, an overdose. The more Nembutal is abused, the more likely they will develop a substance use disorder (SUD). The likelihood of an overdose when someone abuses Nembutal is high, and they should immediately consider receiving treatment for their addiction.

How is Nembutal Addiction Treated?

The treatment of Nembutal addiction starts with medical detoxification. This process safely removes all traces of the drug and/or other substances from the body. This reduces the chance that the user will relapse, or return to Nembutal use, upon completion of either detox or a treatment program.

During medical detox, you will be supervised 24 hours a day to ensure all goes according to plan, and that your withdrawal symptoms are kept at a minimum. The medications used will combat and counteract the worst symptoms of withdrawal.

While all cases are unique, the average time spent in detox is seven days, but a person could spend more time in detox depending on the severity of the addiction and the dose the user was consuming. During this span, clients will be kept as comfortable as possible. The medical team will determine if a tapering schedule is needed to allow the body to adjust to the drug’s absence.

While all cases are unique, the average time spent in detox is seven days, but a person could spend more time in detox depending on the severity of the addiction and the dose the user was consuming. During this span, clients will be kept as comfortable as possible. The medical team will determine if a tapering schedule is needed to allow the body to adjust to the drug’s absence.

A medical team, at this point, will thoroughly assess your condition and also will determine if a mental health illness is fueling your drug use. If so, they may recommend dual diagnosis treatment. This period will also determine which therapies will be given, and what form of treatment you will enter into. If any changes do not go according to plan, the team will revise the initial plan to meet your most current needs.

Upon completion of detox, your medical team will have determined the proper treatment path best suited for your unique needs. These options will include inpatient or residential treatment, partial hospitalization programs, and intensive outpatient treatment. These programs will allow the client to decide what works best for their lives and take hold of their addiction.

As the continuum of care is gradually decreased, depending on the individual’s progress, being released from treatment doesn’t mean the process is over. Addiction is a disease that requires lifelong management. It is entirely possible to live a long and healthy life with addiction, but it is up to you to make sure of this with the proper aftercare.

There are options such as the 12-step fellowship program that keeps you in touch with other recovering users as a means of support. You can participate in activities and enjoy the benefits of sobriety. There are also other therapies you can take such as, holistic therapy, motivational therapy, and trauma therapy. Other effective programs include:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Addiction education class
  • Family therapy
  • Relapse prevention planning

Those recovering from Nembutal addiction are typically instructed to take full advantage of these services. These services offer motivational support to help them achieve their recovery goals. Alumni programs set in place by the treatment center will also connect you with people who will help encourage one another to rebuild their lives during these new and uncharted waters.

How Dangerous is Nembutal Abuse?

Barbiturates such as Nembutal offer a tiny window for therapeutic use. This means it doesn’t take a lot to overdose on the drug. Those who take more Nembutal than prescribed run a higher risk of overdosing. This can be fatal. Nembutal overdoses can result in slowed breathing to the point of suffocation. This can, in turn, result in a coma, brain damage, and in some cases, death. Nembutal is not a drug that should be used in higher doses than prescribed for these reasons listed above.

Nembutal Abuse Statistics

  • In 2001, 2.8% of high school seniors reported their use of barbiturates.
  • Barbiturates caused 396 deaths in 2014.
  • Barbiturates may be a factor in up to 33% of all drug-related deaths that are tracked in any given year.
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