Barbiturates

Drug Spotlight

Barbiturates

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Barbiturates are medications that slow activity in the brain. This is useful in treating anxiety and sleep issues. Theses drugs can be in pill, capsule, and liquid form. Therefore, this type of prescription is commonly taken through injection or  swallowed. Common types of barbiturates include pentobarbital (Nembutal) and phenobarbital (Luminal). This type of prescription sedative is also referred to as barbs, phennies, downers, yellowjackets, red birds, tooies, reds, rainbows, etc. Unfortunately, these medications can be abused and not used for their intended purpose.

Abusing barbiturates can lead to depression, decreased alertness, problems with memory, and one to become emotionally unstable. More physical symptoms of abuse include lack of muscle control, intoxication and slurred speech, problems with movement, and rigidity and painful muscle contraction. One may also experience cold and clammy skin. The overuse of these drugs can lead to overdose and even death. Death is especially likely when these medications are mixed with alcohol as this causes heart rate and breathing to slow down. Furthermore, withdrawal can be dangerous in causing a serious abstinence syndrome that may even include seizures. Overall, abusing this drug can lead one on a dangerous path.

Due to the harmful effects that come along with abusing barbiturates, drug screening potential employees is essential in creating a safe workplace. Barbiturates are detected in a urine drug screen going back about 1-3 days. However, phenobarbital can be detected in a urine drug screen going back about 1-3 weeks. AMC Drug Testing offers various drug screening panels covering barbiturates. AMC also offers drug screening programs for companies as a way to create a productive workplace.

National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.