What Is Nembutal, and How Is It Abused?

Nembutal (pentobarbital) is in the class of drugs known as the barbiturates.

Barbiturates are central nervous system depressant drugs that are often considered as sedative-hypnotic drugs because, the initiate sleep at low doses (sedative effects), and the treat issues with anxiety (hypnotic effects) at higher doses.

The most important uses of Nembutal are as a short-term treatment for insomnia (it helps people to fall asleep but not as useful in helping people stay asleep), in the treatment of anxiety, as an anticonvulsant in emergency situations, and as a preanesthetic prior to surgery. The drug has also been used to decrease pressure within the skull in cases of traumatic brain injury and as a euthanasia drug for both animals and humans, also use in state executions of criminals. Any drug that can be used to euthanize animals or people is actually potentially dangerous in high doses.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration classifies Nembutal as a Schedule II controlled substance, acknowledging  that the drug has some important medical uses but is also a major candidate for the development of abuse and physical dependence.

Nembutal Abuse
Thebenzo federal government set out restrictions on the use of barbiturates in 1970 as a result to their extreme potential for abuse and physical dependence. Benzodiazepines, which were a newer class of drugs at that time which were believed to be less prone to abuse, have considered most of the uses that were assigned to barbiturates prior to 1970.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) estimates for 2015, only about 452,000 individuals over the age of 12 in the United States used barbiturate drugs, and was approximated 46,000 of these individuals may have misused a barbiturate at least once. Misuse of a drug is not thesame as abuse. The kind of drug abuse that occurs in individuals with substance use disorders indicate a chronic and longstanding misuse of a drug that can leads to significant distress and/or impairment in the person’s ability to function normally. Primary misuse often happens a few times ot

The type of drug abuse that occurs in individuals with substance use disorders represents a chronic and longstanding misuse of a drug that leads to significant distress and/or impairment in the person’s ability to function normally. Simple misuse often only occurs a few times or on an occasional basis when an individual uses a drug in a way that is inconsistent with its intended purposes.

SAMHSA also reports that barbiturates are most often used in hospital settings or clinics. When they are prescribed, barbiturates are more often prescribed to elderly people or women.

Abuse of barbiturates commonly occurs in individuals who do not have a prescription for the drug, but get it illegally. Young ones, such as adolescents, demonstrated a minor trend of increasing barbiturate abuse previously, but this trend has levelled off. Adolescents likely get barbiturate drugs like Nembutal from their parents, someone with a prescription, or an elderly relative with a prescription (most often by stealing it).

Barbiturates are not normally the basic drug of abuse for individuals who abuse these substances. Instead, barbiturates and even benzodiazepines are more frequently abused in conjunction with other drugs. . The most frequently drug that is abused with barbiturates is alcohol, although it is not uncommon for abusers to mix barbiturates with other barbiturates, benzodiazepines, narcotic pain medications, or nonprescription drugs involving cannabis products. . Because these drugs are commonly abused in conjunction with other drugs, the ability to develop very complicated issues with substance use disorders is increased.

Effects of Nembutal Abuse
Abuse of Nembutal can result in:

Familiar effects that occur with intoxication to alcohol, such as slow and slurred speech; a shuffling or staggering gate; problems with motor coordination; problems with reasoning and logic;  problems with balance; decreases in breathing rate, heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature; slowed rate of thought; aggression; sedation and lethargy; and unconsciousness and/or coma

The development of physical dependence (having both tolerance and withdrawal)
The development of a sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic use disorder, a specific substance use disorder identified in the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition
Long-term effects that involves significant issues with one’s respiratory system (as a result of chronic respiratory suppression), cardiovascular system, and liver as well as and potential damage to the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord)

Damage to the brain that can leads in cognitive problems, such as issues with attention, memory, and reasoning, or the development of long-term emotional issues, including depression, anxiety, and even psychosis
Significant problems in one’s personal life, including issues at work, in school, with relationships, etc.

Potential overdose, which can be fatal
Individuals under the influence of barbiturates often have similar issues with reasoning and functioning as individuals who are highly intoxicated from alcohol. This  expose the person to a greater risk for him\her to be involved in accidents, to make poor decisions that can be potentially dangerous, and to engage in manners that are risky, such as having unprotected sex. Chronic abuse of Nembutal can result to various dangerous events that can affect both physical and mental health in the long run.

Overdose and Withdrawal

An overdose of Nembutal can be fatal as a result to the drug’s ability to shut down areas of the brain that control breathing and heart rate. People can fall into a comma and die, or they may likely survive but develop severe brain damage due to decreased oxygen to important areas of the brain.

People who overdose on Nembutal often become very lethargic and confused, display significantly decreased breathing, and may become unconscious or comatose. Recall that Nembutal has been used to euthanize animals and even people. An overdose of Nembutal would have similar effect as the dose used for euthanasia.

When people mix central nervous system depressant drugs like barbiturates and benzodiazepines or barbiturates like Nembutal with alcohol, they are likely enhancing the suppressing effects of these drugs on the central nervous system.  This makes overdose far more likely; hence, combining central nervous system depressant drugs is extremely harmful.

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