Outside of alcohol and Marijuana, prescription medication is the most commonly abused substance for those above the age of 14 in the United States. Within the realm of prescription medication is a class of drugs known as barbiturates, one type of chemical that can lead to devastating effects when abused. When a parent feels as if their child may be displaying barbiturate abuse, it is important to take action as quickly as possible to avoid lifelong or life-threatening consequences.
The Effects of Barbiturates
Barbiturates were first used as medicine just over 100 years ago, but it would take almost 50 years before medical professionals realized the danger of barbiturate abuse. Classified as a downer, barbiturates have effects that are similar to a sedative. This is the opposite of illegal stimulants such as cocaine and prescription stimulants such as Adderall. After being taken, barbiturates will cause effects such as drowsiness, euphoria, alcohol-like intoxication, and memory loss within a short period of time.
Drug Abuse and the Teenage Brain
A teenager’s brain is just finishing up its final stages of development, and this means that the use of any powerful chemicals can have a permanent effect. Teenagers are often experiencing changes to their hormones as various areas of their brain are developing at an astonishing rate, and almost any drug will change their brain chemistry after prolonged use. Teenagers also have a higher likelihood of overdosing or engaging in dangerous activities while under the influence of barbiturate abuse.
Why Teens Abuse Barbiturates
There are a number of reasons that prescription medications such as barbiturates have become popular with teenagers, leading to the act of barbiturate abuse. Generally, these drugs are relatively easy to acquire, especially when compared to illegal narcotics. Many teenagers can simply rummage through the medicine cabinets of family and friends in order to steal the medication. These drugs are also easy to administer and cause very strong effects in a short period of time. Finally, many teenagers feel that drugs prescribed by a doctor are safer than their illegal counterparts, but this can be a deadly mistake.
Getting Your Teen Help
If a parent begins to notice signs that their child is abusing drugs, most commonly medication that has gone missing or the teenager is acting out in a strange fashion, it is time to take action. First, parents must begin by removing any potentially harmful drugs from the reach of their children and regulating how their child is acquiring and spending money. Then it is time to contact a drug abuse specialist that will help parents explore their next options for helping the child. If the drug abuse problem is serious enough, this may require a detox period, one step of the rehabilitation process that should never be undertaken alone.
Making Lifelong Changes
Detoxing is the process in which the body will begin to flush out the various lingering chemicals from barbiturate abuse. It can be relatively difficult as it often causes a wide array of side effects. The period can last for as long as 15 days and some of the most common symptoms include dizziness, weakness, hostility, violence, seizures, and hallucinations. Once this has taken place, parents and the rehab specialists will need to begin exploring their options for long-term care.
There are a variety of facilities and organizations that specialize in rehabilitating individuals that have been struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. Each and every organization is slightly different with their own unique advantages and disadvantages, and this is why it is so vital to speak with a drug abuse specialist immediately in order to begin this process today.