Barbiturates are a type of drug that is known as a sedative-hypnotic, as they contain properties that are sleep-inducing which serves to lessen the effects of anxiety. Sometimes barbiturates are prescribed but more often they are taken for recreational purposes which often lead to dependence or addiction developing as a consequence. Addiction to barbiturates is less common than it was in the 1970s, mainly because there are other drugs with similar effects available such as benzodiazepine being prescribed more frequently. Nevertheless, barbiturate addiction remains a problem no matter how small and here we take a look at the science behind why this is.
The first sign that a person is developing an addiction to drugs is that they will find themselves using progressively more to get the desired effects. This is due to a developing tolerance that leads to the person increasing the dose of a substance to satisfy ever-increasing cravings for drugs or alcohol. The issue that tolerance introduces is withdrawal. This means that whenever the person stops using barbiturates, their body quickly starts to crave more which is displayed by flu-like symptoms of withdrawal.
Perhaps the most significant cause of tolerance is the way in which barbiturates work on the brain to create their effects. Barbiturates interrupt the communication system in the brain which involves neurotransmitters sending signals to the central nervous system. These signals determine what the person feels when they use the drug and the intensity of the sensation barbiturates create and also signals a building tolerance.
Once a person has become tolerant to barbiturates, they will then become “locked” into addictive behavior that sees them using more and more of the drug to ease withdrawal symptoms. In this way, substance use becomes more about preventing withdrawal rather than the person consciously choosing to get high. Once someone is caught in this cycle, it is very difficult to break free from without professional rehab treatment.
Substance abuse is an increasing problem in the US and so it is important to know that you are not alone in your struggles. CASA Recovery offers completely personalized treatment for barbiturate dependence and addiction in San Juan Capistrano, CA. Contact us in confidence to find out more about your personal path to recovery with CASA Recovery.