Prescription drug abuse has been on the rise, and barbiturate abuse is one reason why people are showing up in the emergency room. While barbiturates aren’t prescribed that much anymore, the ones that are prescribed can be dangerous when not taken as prescribed.
Luminal, also known as phenobarbitone, is a barbiturate primarily used to treat seizures but is also occasionally used as a short-term aid to treat anxiety and insomnia. It’s not prescribed very much anymore because the side effects can outweigh the benefits that come from taking the drug. And, benzodiazepines have been found to treat such conditions very well with less daunting side effects.
Used as directed by a physician, one will most likely not develop an addiction to the drug. However, there are some people who use Luminal and other barbiturates recreationally to experience a euphoric and relaxed feeling. They’ll take more than the recommended dosage, which can lead to dependence and addiction. What they may not understand is the real danger of abusing Luminal, as an overdose could result in death.
When one becomes dependent on Luminal, their body is used to having a certain amount of the drug. Sometimes, one has to take more of the drug to get the same effect, resulting in a higher tolerance. Then, when a person tries to stop taking the drug, they can face withdrawal symptoms.
Barbiturates can produce some intense withdrawal symptoms – more than the other classes of drugs.
Some of them can certainly be life-threatening so it’s essential to undergo a medical detox when coming off of them so that medical experts can monitor for potential complications.
The intensity, scope, and time frame for getting through Luminal withdrawal symptoms may vary, depending on:
Common Luminal withdrawal symptoms include:
Luminal has a short half-life, which means it’s short-acting. Because of this, someone who has become dependent on the drug may begin to feel withdrawal symptoms soon after the last dose – perhaps as little as 8 to 12 hours for heavy users. Most people report that the worst of their symptoms go away after about a week or so.
The following is a generalLuminal withdrawal timeline:
The first few days can be rough, with symptoms including weakness, twitching muscles, anxiety, visual perception problems, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.
Some symptoms may intensify during days 4 and 5, including sweating, weakness, anxiety, and insomnia. It’s important to be monitored for seizures during this time and having the support of substance abuse professionals can be very helpful in getting through the first week.
Many of the physical symptoms will fade during week two, but psychological ones may arise, like cravings or mood swings. The length of time feeling symptoms will vary depending on how heavy of a user the person was and how long they’d been abusing the drug.
Keep in mind that when one enters a medical detox program, an addiction specialist or physician may be able to prescribe medications that can reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms, from anxiety to insomnia to seizures.
It’s dangerous to try to stop using Luminal or any other barbiturate cold turkey or abruptly at home. The best protocol for getting free from Luminal addiction is to detox under the care of a drug treatment facility that can monitor an individual around-the-clock. Some of the withdrawal symptoms can be serious or life-threatening, so do not try to manage such symptoms on your own.
Detoxing from Luminal is simply the first step toward recovery from addiction. The detox phase helps your body get free from the physical dependence on the drug and is best done in a medical detox facility. From there, one should undergo continued treatment in a drug treatment center that can provide intensive and comprehensive treatment.
Addiction is a disease that is best treated by a supportive network of doctors, mental health specialists, and addiction specialists that can address the addiction holistically. Detox and treatment go hand-in-hand, and those that have the best chance to recover fully mentally and physically are able to commit to long-term treatment at either an inpatient or outpatient treatment facility.
When one attends an inpatient treatment center, they’ll actually reside at the facility until their treatment is completed. The time frame varies, usually ranging from around 30 to 90 days depending on the progress and needs of the individual. While at the treatment center, they’ll be monitored around-the-clock by substance abuse professionals and have access to a physician and counselor. Sometimes medications can be given to help curb withdrawal symptoms. This type of treatment is recommended for heavy users of Luminal or those who want to leave their home environment or community to focus on their recovery.
This type of treatment is very similar to inpatient treatment, with the exception that the individual will live at home while going through treatment. They’ll attend a certain number of sessions throughout the week, ranging from three to seven. They’ll still be able to see a physician and counselor, just as they would at an inpatient center. The biggest difference is that they’ll be able to go home after each session. This is a good option for those who have responsibilities at home like caring for children or going to work.
Both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs are effective at helping people overcome addiction and contend with emotional issues they may be having. Often, underneath an addiction, there are underlying emotional or mental health issues that may need to be treated in order to continue successfully on the road of recovery. While in treatment, one has the opportunity to explore issues with a qualified counselor one-on-one and perhaps in group therapy as well. They’ll also be able to help create a relapse prevention and after-care plan to help them to stay focused on recovery once treatment is complete.
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