Barbiturates were introduced to the general population over a century ago. In 1904, Farbwerke Fr Bayer and Co brought barbiturates to the market as a new pharmacological approach to the neurological disorders that some individuals were experiencing. A large number of patients were dealing with major issues like psychosis, but they had no relief in site. However, once these untreated patients were given Brevital, there were serious improvements in their prognoses. 

Between the 1920s and 1950s, the only drugs used as sedatives and hypnotics were barbiturates, but the devastating effects they could have on humans soon became apparent. In fact, they became the most commonly abused drugs, which caused drug companies to search for alternatives. In the 1980s, barbiturates were slowly phased out as benzodiazepines became the new miracle drug for treating similar ailments. 

Brevital is only used as an intravenous anesthetic in hospitals. It is seldom prescribed outside of a clinical setting, but there are still rare instances when it is. The drug has been classified as too addictive, and its medical properties simply don’t outweigh the risks that Brevital can pose. Even though many restrictions are imposed, people still manages to recreationally use it. 

Methohexital (or Brevital) is a powerful depressant that can cause an overdose if used improperly. By learning about the signs of Brevital abuse, you can help yourself or your loved one escape the throes of addiction. The following sections highlight the signs of Brevital addiction:

How Does Brevital Work?

The functioning of barbiturates is similar to benzodiazepines. They both work in the same part of the brain, and they affect GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). However, their chemical structures differ greatly.

GABA is a naturally produced chemical within the brain that regulates stress, anxiety, and fear by blocking nerve signals that carry these feelings to our central nervous system (CNS). Brevital acts in a way that mimics the natural GABA in the brain, and it starts by binding to those receptors. This activity activates the receptors, which results in a flood of chemicals that increase feelings of being relaxed and sedated. Individuals who suffer from disorders such as anxiety, insomnia, and epilepsy respond very well to this kind of treatment, due to their natural chemical imbalances. 

Due to Brevital’s short half-life, it affects individuals who consume it differently than other barbiturates. It affects the person in a short amount of time, and it cycles through the system in the same fashion. In some cases, it can start having an impact within seven minutes, which is why it can be effective in the treatment of sleep disorders.

However, one problem with a short half-life is that it requires someone recreationally using it to take it more frequently. This problem can prove to be fatal, because the drug accumulates in your system as you keep taking more of it. Therefore, users must be cognizant of the negative consequences of taking large doses of  Brevital.

What Are the Signs of Brevital Addiction?

Barbiturate abuse can be more easily detected than other drugs. While addiction can sometimes be hard to detect, there is a set of signs that is unique to barbiturates. Anyone unaware of the signs may not realize what’s happening. If you suspect that a loved one is abusing barbiturates, you must educate yourself about the symptoms. This knowledge can be the difference between life and death. 

It’s difficult to determine when drug use has turned into a full-blown addiction. However, individuals who consume drugs over a long period of time show outward signs, including:

  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Impaired sexual performance
  • Hallucinations
  • Sensitivity to pain and sound
  • Breathing problems
  • Frequent periods of confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Kidney problems

These are the more common problems associated with Brevital abuse, but another set of behaviors is consistent with substance use disorders. When someone has a complete loss of control, the slippery slope from recreational use to addiction can become more evident. The drug can eventually control the user’s entire life, so their main concern in life becomes obtaining more. At this point, friendships and relationships become affected, so the user will show signs of isolation. 

Here are some other signs to look for:

  • Using Brevital in higher doses than prescribed
  • Using Brevital without a prescription
  • Shopping for doctors 
  • Experiencing an increased tolerance to its effects
  • Taking risks to illegally obtain the substance
  • Experiencing a significant decline in performance at work or school
  • Ignoring personal hygiene
  • Unsuccessfully trying to quit, despite multiple attempts
  • Unsuccessfully trying to function without the drug
  • Isolating 
  • Lying about Brevital use

At this stage, treatment should be seriously considered as a way to save the user’s life. Treatment is often not sought out, due to many barriers (such as financing), but it’s covered by most private insurances. When it comes to saving your life, money should never be a factor.

What Is Involved in Treatment for Brevital Addiction?

Since Brevital has more severe withdrawal symptoms than opioids and other drugs, addiction specialists unanimously recommend treatment, due to the potential dangers attributed to detoxing from Brevital. The first stage in the continuum of rehabilitation care is medical detoxification. 

The primary purposes of detox are to rid the body of the toxins in your system and avoid deadly withdrawal symptoms. When attempting to achieve these goals on their own, individuals risk relapsing because they could face withdrawals as severe as seizures. These potential consequences highlight the importance of detox. 

Medical professionals will continually monitor your health 24/7 throughout your stay. You could be in the detox for three to seven days, depending on the severity of your addiction and other medical problems that may be present. During your stay, you will become prepared for the level of care you’ll complete after detox.

Upon entry, you will go through an assessment phase that will dictate your outcome in treatment. The principles of effective treatment indicate that success and sobriety are linked to longer stints in treatment. The longer you commit to a program, the better the results will be. During the assessment, the staff will determine which course of action best suits you. Addiction treatment is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and requires a customized approach, which  depends on the severity of your addiction, past history with relapse, and any underlying medical conditions.

The staff could place you into residential treatment, which would consist of up to 90 days of on-site care. You will be placed with other clients on their own road to recovery, and you’ll be introduced to many therapies, which will allow a better understanding of addiction while getting to the root of the problem. These therapies provide tools and strategies to cope with triggers that could lead to relapse. 

Brevital Abuse Statistics

  • According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), roughly 1 in 10 barbiturate-related overdoses are fatal, usually due to lung or heart complications.
  • Roughly 300 tons of barbiturates (including Brevital) are annually produced in the U.S.
  • In the U.S., Brevital is classified as a Schedule II, III, and IV depressant under the Controlled Substances Act
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