Phenobarbital is a widely used anticonvulsant that is prescribed to treat or prevent seizures. It also has hypnotic and sedative properties and may be prescribed to treat insomnia or given to patients prior to surgery. It is classified as a Schedule IV drug because of its abuse potential.
If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction to phenobarbital, we can help you find a phenobarbital addiction treatment center. Call our confidential toll-free helpline at to speak to a treatment support specialist today.
Factoid: Phenobarbital is used to treat idiopathic epilepsy in dogs and cats. It is not officially approved by the FDA for use in this manner. However, veterinarians can write off-label prescriptions for the drug if they feel it will improve the animal’s condition.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that phenobarbital be used as a first-line treatment for generalized and partial tonic-clonic seizures (formally known as grand mal seizures) in developing countries.
Barbiturate Abuse Statistics
Phenobarbital is classified as a barbiturate. This type of drug induces feelings of euphoria, unusual excitement, feelings of well-being, and reduces anxiety in people who use it for non-medical purposes. Oral administration is the most common way people consume the drug. However, it can also be injected.
According to HCUP (Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project), barbiturate abuse accounted for 4.3 percent of all hospital stays in 2005. The highest rate of admissions was for people between the ages of 45 and 64. However, barbiturate abuse has been in decline for several decades due to the development of alternative central nervous system depressants like benzodiazepine.
People admitted to a hospital for phenobarbital abuse are typically counseled about obtaining phenobarbital addiction treatment. For assistance in finding an appropriate treatment facility, call our toll-free helpline at .
Drug abuse is often associated with young people. However, prescription drug abuse among senior citizens is a growing problem. Census data indicates that 17 percent of people over the age of 60 have a substance abuse problem. That number is expected to double by the year 2020.
The Dangers of Phenobarbital Misuse
Phenobarbital is a central nervous system depressant. It works by slowing down activity in the brain and nervous system. The effect can last for up to 12 hours. Taking more than the recommended dose can compound the effects of the drug and lead to the development of serious medical problems and even death. Potential health consequences of phenobarbital misuse include lowered blood pressure, slowed breathing, and respiratory distress.
The drug can cause physical and psychological dependence. Because of its affect on the central nervous system, abrupt cessation of phenobarbital use can lead to serious and possibly fatal withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Increased heart rate
- Feelings of anxiety
Drug tolerance can also occur. After a certain amount of time the body becomes accustomed to the drug, which leads to a progressively reduced reaction to it. A person would need to consume higher amounts of the drug to achieve the same effect. The condition is reversible with the right phenobarbital addiction treatment. Until the person obtains this treatment, however, he or she is at an increased risk of overdosing on the drug.
Drug and Alcohol Tolerance
Drug and alcohol dependence are related to drug and alcohol tolerance, but there are a few differences between the two. When someone is diagnosed with drug or alcohol dependence or addiction, he or she is also likely to have tolerance to the substance in question. However, someone who develops tolerance is not necessarily dependent on the substance. Tolerance is merely one possible symptom of addiction.Read More
Phenobarbital overdose can cause severe medical complications such as decreased consciousness (including coma), bradypnea, hypotension, bradycardia, hypothermia, pulmonary edema, and acute renal failure. Signs of phenobarbital overdose include confusion, low blood pressure, slurred speech, unsteady gait, weak pulse, slowed or stopped breathing, delirium, and coma. A person who has overdosed on phenobarbital requires immediate medical attention and should be taken to a hospital or other emergency medical facility.
Many times people who abuse phenobarbital will consume the medication in combination with other illicit drugs or alcohol. This can compound the negative side effects of all substances involved. For example, consuming phenobarbital with alcohol will further depress the central nervous system. Additionally, the person’s metabolism may slow down, which can lead to increased amounts of phenobarbital in his or her blood.
The FDA has put phenobarbital into pregnancy category D. The drug can harm unborn babies and cause newborns to develop addiction and withdrawal symptoms. It can also make birth control pills less effective. However, the medication is sometimes used to treat neonatal seizures.
Signs of Phenobarbital Abuse and Addiction
A person who misuses phenobarbital may not recognize or acknowledge that he or she is addicted to the prescription drug. The person may downplay or conceal his or her use of the drug. It is important for friends and family members of the addicted person to recognize the signs of phenobarbital abuse and addiction, so they can assist the person in obtaining phenobarbital addiction treatment. For help with finding a facility, call our toll-free hotline at .
Signs of phenobarbital abuse and addiction include:
- Onset of withdrawal symptoms after not using the drug for a period of time
- Continuing to consume the drug after the medical need for the drug has passed
- Consuming the prescription at a faster rate than recommended
- Frequently requesting refills from the doctor
- Visiting multiple doctors to obtain a prescription for the same medical problem
- Stealing medication from others
- Stealing or forging prescriptions
- Increased tolerance to the drug’s affects
- Uncontrolled consumption of phenobarbital
- Irresponsible or dangerous behavior while under the influence of the drug
- Abandonment of previously enjoyable activities
- Obsessive thoughts about the next dose of the drug
- Continuing to use the drug despite its negative effects
Many experts agree that drug addiction is a disease. However, that does not mean you are helpless and cannot overcome the addiction. With the right treatment and support, you can stop using phenobarbital and become sober.
Phenobarbital was developed prior to the creation of the FDA drug approval process. Although the drug can be prescribed to treat medical conditions, it has failed to make it through the approval process on several occasions.
Phenobarbital Addiction Treatment Options
There is currently no pharmaceutical drug that can be used to inhibit the affects of phenobarbital. Additionally, abruptly stopping your use of the drug can lead to severe and possibly fatal withdrawal symptoms. The best approach to phenobarbital addiction treatment is to step down the dosage amount until you are no longer consuming the drug. It may take longer to get through the detoxification process, but the withdrawal symptoms may not be as severe.
Phenobarbital addiction is best treated in a phenobarbital rehab center where trained professionals can monitor your progress and help you remain safe while your body is detoxifying itself from the drugs. Additionally, the addiction specialist can provide treatment for co-occurring medical problems that may develop. For example, it is common for a person to feel depressed after stopping his or her use of an addictive substance. Medication and other beneficial therapies can be prescribed to alleviate depression.
“…complete the detoxification process even though it may be uncomfortable…”
Detoxification is the first step in phenobarbital addiction treatment. A person cannot obtain sobriety without going through this critical process. Drug residue in the body can spark cravings for the drug, which can lead to drug-seeking behaviors and relapse. To avoid this, it is important to complete the detoxification process even though it may be uncomfortable.
During phenobarbital detox, the body divests itself of all traces of the drug. The process can take a few days to a few weeks depending on the length of time and the dosage amount of phenobarbital the person consumed. Once detoxification has completed, the person usually will not experience physical cravings for the drugs any longer.
Many treatment centers, and especially luxury facilities, prescribe additional therapies that complement the detoxification process. Nutritional therapy is a popular one prescribed to patients. People who abuse drugs often suffer from nutritional deficiencies that can make it harder for the body to heal itself. A person is usually put on a special diet that alleviates this problem and provides the body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to become healthier.
Other popular therapies include the use of herbal remedies, acupuncture, and cognitive-behavioral techniques. It is important to communicate with the person who is helping you through detoxification to make sure your phenobarbital addiction treatment addresses your specific needs.
Phenobarbital is sometimes prescribed to prevent seizures in people going through alcohol and benzodiazepine detoxification. For more information about addiction treatment programs, call our free confidential helpline at .
Phenobarbital Addiction Treatment
After phenobarbital detox is over, the person continues to the next phase of his or her phenobarbital addiction treatment. Typically, this is the phase where the person’s psychological addiction to the drug is addressed. Although a person may no longer have physical cravings for the drug, unaddressed mental and emotional cravings can lead to a relapse into the addiction.
Psychological cravings for a drug can sometimes be stronger than physical cravings. A person is typically prescribed counseling or psychotherapy to tackle the underlying reasons for his or her addiction. Additionally, the person is provided with the skills he or she needs for successful reintegration into society and to handle challenges of living a drug-free life.
Some of the skills a person may be taught include:
- Recognizing situations that may trigger drug cravings or a relapse
- Learning to handle pressure from peers to take drugs
- Asking for help when the temptation to take drugs arises
- Coping skills for handling the stresses of daily life
- Maintaining mental and physical health
Phenobarbital addiction treatment may include the development of an aftercare plan. Part of this aftercare plan may be to create a support network that will help you maintain your sobriety. You may be encouraged to join a 12-step program that can provide continuing education and socialization opportunities. Many people enjoy being a part of these programs. To find the right one for you call our toll-free hotline at . All calls are completely confidential, and there is someone available to help you 24 hours a day.
After going through the process of overcoming a phenobarbital addiction, no one wants to relapse into the addiction. However, it is important to be realistic about the possibility of a relapse occurring. It is better to have a plan and never need it than to not have a plan and not know what to do if you relapse. Before leaving the phenobarbital addiction treatment center, work closely with the addiction specialist on a relapse strategy that will quickly get you back on track if one occurs.
Phenobarbital Rehab Centers
Finding a phenobarbital rehab center that aligns with your goals and needs is crucial to the success of your phenobarbital addiction treatment. It is understandable that you would want to enter treatment as soon as you recognize that you have an addiction to phenobarbital. However, entering the wrong treatment program can have a negative effect on your progress. Spend a little time researching your options and choose the facility that fits your needs.
A great way to start your search is to call our toll-free hotline at . Our operators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer questions you have about treatment. If you prefer, you can also contact us by email.
If possible, talk to someone who can provide useful feedback about your treatment options. People who are under the influence of drugs are often limited in their capacity to make good decisions. Obtaining the assistance of a sober person who loves you and only wants the best for you is a great way to ensure you get the phenobarbital addiction treatment you need to achieve and maintain sobriety.
It is possible to overcome an addiction to phenobarbital. With the right phenobarbital addiction treatment, coping skills, recovery tools, and support network, you can become sober and live a healthy life. Research all of your options and choose a treatment program that is right for you.
There are over 13,000 drug treatment centers in the United States, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.