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The History of Amytal (Amobarbital): Its Uses, Addictive Potential and Treatment Options

Amytal or Amobarbital is a drug that is more recognizable by the term, truth serum. It has been called a drug of abuse, and it is possible to form an addiction to it.

There is a fascinating history behind this drug, which is most likely what draws current users to it. It’s important to know if you’re addicted and how to get help. We’d like to provide you with information about Amobarbital so that you’re educated. If have addiction to it, we can also assist you with treatment options.

What is Amobarbital?

Amobarbital is a barbiturate drug that has both sedative and hypnotic properties. The drug is also known by its chemical name, Sodium Amytal. It’s well known as a drug that was freely distributed to soldiers during World War II. For the men who suffered from shell shock, it helped to calm them down. The problem was that its effects were so potent that it rendered them inefficient in battle. Because of that, the drug had to be discontinued.

Today, this drug is available on the street, even though it’s mostly used in hospitals prior to surgical procedures. It can be found under a few different street names, such as:
  • Blue Heavens
  • Blue Velvet
  • Blue Devils
  • Blues
  • Downers
  • Red
  • Red Birds

The History of Amytal

For a long time, the only available drugs with sedative-hypnotic effects were opium and alcohol. In the 1800s, a liquid solution of bromide salts was introduced. In 1869, chloral hydrate (also known as knock out drops) became popular, followed by Paraldehyde in the 1880s. Barbital wasn’t synthesized until 1903. Afterwards, a series of barbiturate drugs was introduced.

Amytal was first created in 1923 in Germany. It is a white powder and it has no odor and only a slightly bitter taste. It can be given in IV form, which is the most common method of administration. It can also be taken as a time-release capsule.

This drug has been used in several different ways. Its sedative effects once made it a popular choice to help people with anxiety. It can also be used to treat insomnia, but should only be prescribed short-term. Today, it’s mostly used as a pre-anesthetic prior to surgery.

In the past, many psychiatrists found Amobarbital to be quite useful in treating their patients. They used its truth serum qualities to help people struggling with the symptoms of PTSD. Many weren’t able to recall parts of their past, and this medication made that possible.

The problem was that many people believed that it was being abused for this purpose. There were also a lot of doubts that it was actually working. Some criticized psychiatrists, saying that they were feeding the memories into their patients’ minds. Today, the drug’s use for this reason is considered to be a form of torture.

Terry Jo Duperrault was eleven years old when her entire life changed. She sailed on a ship called Bluebelle with her parents, brother and sister. The plan was to sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to The Bahamas. A man by the name of Julian Harvey was the skipper, and his wife was along for the trip as well.

On the return voyage, Terry Jo was awakened by screaming in the middle of the night. She saw bodies in the ship’s cabin with a bloody knife lying nearby. Harvey yelled at her to stay below the deck. He planned to sink the ship and then leave in a dinghy.

Terry Jo escaped the sinking ship in a cork float. She stayed adrift for four days without any food or water. By the time she was rescued in the Northwest Providence Channel, she was near death.

Harvey had been picked up three days before the girl was found. He told the Coast Guard that a storm had sank the ship. He said that the gas tank was pierced by the ship’s hull, which started a fire. He claimed that he had found his wife floating in the water, and tried to revive her.

Once he found out that Terry Jo had been rescued, he checked into a motel under a false name and committed suicide.

Terri Jo wrote a book about her experience surviving this brutal quadruple homicide. However, her memories were locked away for some time, and she was unable to recall what happened. It was only because she was given Amytal that she was able to finally remember the events of that time.

Why do People Abuse Amobarbital Today?

Today, most people who abuse Amobarbital aren’t doing so accidentally. This is a drug that isn’t prescribed as often as it once was because it’s so potent. The risks of dependence are very high when compared to other drugs, like benzodiazepines. This means that when people use it, they’re only doing so because of the high it produces.

The relaxing effects that Amytal creates are quite desirable. The high that people experience is very similar to that of alcohol intoxication. Some people may also use it along with other, more stimulating drugs to counteract many of those effects.

Like with other drugs, you can form a tolerance to Amytal very quickly. When this happens, people will usually increase how much they’re taking, which is very dangerous. There is a very fine line between causing drowsiness and leading to death.

Most people who abuse this drug will do so by injecting it. If they have tablets, they may dissolve them in liquid and then inject them. It’s also possible for them to chew the tablets to get high.

It’s important to note that any use of this drug outside of a doctor’s orders is considered abuse. People tend to think it’s safe because it’s a prescribed drug. That belief in itself makes barbiturates some of the most dangerous medications on the market.

The Common Side Effects

Any drug is going to have side effects when you use it, and Sodium Amytal is no different. When people abuse it, they’re generally doing so for the euphoric effects that can result. What they don’t realize is that they’re likely to experience a lot more issues when they take it.

Amytal Rehab Information
Some of the more common side effects that can result from misusing this drug include:
  • Fatigue and sleepiness
  • Bouts of confusion
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Sleep difficulties, including nightmares
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Bouts of constipation
  • Painful headaches
  • A low-grade fever
  • Agitation and irritability
  • The onset of sleep apnea
  • Fainting spells
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle spasms
  • Slow heart rate
  • Loss of coordination

These and other side effects may vary, depending on how long you’re using this drug. It makes sense that the longer you use it, the more severe the effects will be.

If you’ve been abusing this drug for a short period of time, you’re likely to experience the following effects:

  • Slowed and slurred speech patterns
  • Slowed thinking abilities
  • An impaired reasoning process
  • Difficulties with walking that make you appear intoxicated
  • Euphoria due to the high you experience
  • Slower reflexes than normal
  • Feeling lethargic and confused

The long-term effects of Amytal abuse are quite serious. They can include:

  • Significant problems with everyday functioning and activities
  • Difficulties in relationships
  • Severe liver damage
  • Mental health issues
  • Reactions at the injection site
  • Infections of the blood
  • Slower breathing rates than normal
  • Hypersensitive skin reactions (swelling, rashes or peeling skin)

Regardless of how long you’ve been abusing this drug, now is the time to stop. You may have already developed an addiction to it. If you have, it’s important to get the help you need.

How do People Develop an Addiction?

If you are addicted to Sodium Amytal, it happened because of your consistent drug use. Taking any type of drug over time is going to result is significant changes in your brain. The euphoria you experience when you take this medication is the result of increased dopamine levels. Dopamine is the chemical in your brain that makes you feel good. It’s normal experience higher levels of it when you are spending time with friends, or when you eat a good meal.

As time goes on, your brain will eventually be unable to create dopamine on its own. This will lead you to continue using Amobarbital because it’s the only thing that makes you feel good. At that point, it’s safe to say you have an addiction that needs to be treated.

If you’re like most people, you never meant to get addicted to Amytal at all. That was never your intention. You may have been using it just for the high, but now, you worry that your misuse of it has gone too far.

You may be asking, how do I know if I’m addicted? This is a common question we hear from people in your situation. It’s normal to be completely unaware that your drug abuse has become a more serious problem. Still, it’s important to get the right answer because that’s the only way you’ll be able to take action.

There are a few different ways you can determine if you have an addiction that needs to be treated. You can do any one of the following.

Start by Taking an Addiction Quiz

You may have come across addiction quizzes online, and we have one that can help you get some answers. All you need to do is answer the questions, and you’ll immediately be taken to your results. They will tell you if you need to consider getting help, and what type of assistance might be best.

Talk with a Professional

Sometimes there is no substitution for talking with another human being about the challenges you’re facing. That’s why so many drug rehabs offer free phone assessments for people in your situation. This will allow you to talk with an expert and explain your substance abuse issues. They’ll be able to tell you if you’re an addict or if you are still in the abuse stage. If you’re addicted, you’ll be able to get the help you need to stop using.

It can be very helpful to know what the symptoms of Amytal addiction are. You might not be aware of them, and they include:

  • Feeling obsessed with using the drug.
  • Doctor shopping to obtain multiple prescriptions for it.
  • Purchasing it on the street and making sure you always have enough on hand.
  • Having frequent cravings for Amytal.
  • Going through withdrawal whenever you miss a dose.
  • Realizing that it takes a larger amount of the drug to get high than it once did.

Getting Treatment for Your Amytal Addiction

If you’re addicted to barbiturates, it’s very important for you to get professional help to quit. Please, don’t attempt to stop using on your own.

When you go to an Amytal rehab, they’ll talk with you about the unique circumstances surrounding your addiction. It’s critical for you to receive personalized care.

Your addiction has two sides. It is both psychological and physical. The right type of treatment will address both of them. This is going to provide you with a more well-rounded treatment plan. It will also help to prevent you from relapsing once you finish rehab.

Sometimes people wonder about inpatient treatment vs. outpatient rehab. For many, the idea of going into a rehab center to stay for 30 days isn’t ideal. They may have small children at home, or they may work full time. While we can certainly understand that, we’d like you to take a moment and consider the severity of your addiction.

There is a good reason why this particular barbiturate drug was all but pulled from the market. Today, it’s rarely prescribed, and it’s mostly used in hospital settings. That’s because it’s very dangerous. When you stop taking it, your body may go into shock, which could result in dangerous withdrawals. You want to be in a medical setting in the event of an emergency. This is purely for your safety and well-being.

Inpatient Amytal rehab is highly recommended when stopping your use of this medication for a number of reasons. These include:

  • Recovery is a difficult process, and you’ll benefit from having the time to focus on getting better.
  • You’ll be able to meet new people and talk about your recovery and addiction experiences.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to talk with your family and work on those important relationships.
  • You’ll have access to professional resources to make recovery easier on your body.
  • You’ll be able to put a plan of action in place to prevent a relapse.

You should talk with a professional about whether or not inpatient treatment is right for you. They can guide you, and even provide you with information on alternatives if you decide you need them.

For anyone who is addicted to Amobarbital, detoxing is the very first step in recovery. It’s vital for them to treat the physical part of your addiction first. This will be done during the drug detox part of your treatment.

drug detox is a place where you can receive treatment for your withdrawal symptoms. There are many different ways that you can get help to reduce their severity. Your doctor will talk with you about the methods that they feel will be best suited for you.

You may believe that you don’t need to go through the detoxification process. Many people view it as an unnecessary step. They think they have enough willpower to simply stop using. Please don’t underestimate the power of this drug over you. Even if you quit using it on your own before, this time could be vastly different. You never know when you might experience a dangerous complication.

Quitting Barbiturates on Your Own and Going Through Withdrawal

If you’re contemplating quitting your use of barbiturates on your own, you need to know what could happen. With a drug that is as powerful and potent as Amytal, it’s easy to understand why you would have withdrawal symptoms when it is stopped. Stopping it abruptly has a lot of risks. You may only have minor symptoms at first, and then they should progress in their levels of severity.

These withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Abrupt states of delirium
  • Debilitating levels of insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Becoming sensitive to light
  • Convulsions
  • Extreme fatigue

Some experts indicate that Amytal withdrawal is very similar to what people experience with delirium tremens. In taking a look at the comparison between the two, we’d have to agree that this is an accurate assessment.

Stopping Amytal abruptly is not recommended under any circumstances. Doing so can result in death. Regardless of how badly you want to stop taking it, it’s so important to stop your use of it the right way. Going through detox can help you with that, and keep you safe as you recover.

How to Find the Best Drug Rehab Center to Meet Your Needs

Amytal addiction treatment centers are not all the same, and it’s so important to be sure you’re making the right choice. When it comes to finding the best barbiturate rehab facility, you want to know that they can tell you:

  • That they have a certain procedure they follow for detoxification.
  • That they have a higher than average success rate.
  • That they offer family sessions to incorporate your family into your recovery.
  • That your Amytal rehab cost will be cut down because they participate with your health insurance plan.
  • That they are an accredited facility.

Meeting all of the above qualifications is not out of the realm of possibility. Please don’t settle for less than you deserve. Ask a lot of questions before you make any type of commitment. We want your recovery to be successful in the long-term.

Additional Amobarbital FAQs

You may have additional questions that you would like to have answered. We’re happy to provide you with the information you’re looking for. To help, we’ve put together a list of some of our most commonly asked questions.

The duration of your withdrawal is likely to be different for every person. There are a lot of different factors that can influence it. For instance, you should detox faster if you have only been using the drug for a short time. If you’ve been using it long-term, it might take you longer.

For most people, it can take around seven to ten days to detox from Amobarbital. There are some who will start to feel better within the first three days or so. Others may experience complications and need to be treated for as long as two weeks.

Regardless, please remember that you’re investing this time for your health. It really doesn’t matter how long it takes. What matters is that your detoxification is done the right way.

You may find some rehab centers that will be willing to treat you without detoxing first. However, you should think long and hard before deciding to refuse Amytal detox. Even if you think that you can get through withdrawal on your own, there is a chance you could be wrong.

In this situation, it’s wiser to err on the side of caution. The worst that could happen is that you experience mild withdrawal symptoms and get to leave detox early. That would be better than putting yourself in a dangerous situation.

The Amytal interview refers to the use of this drug in emergency psychiatric settings. At one time, it was common to use it to treat patients with a range of severe psychiatric illnesses. For example, it has been used to manage catatonia, unexplained muteness and hysterical stupor. At one time, it was believed that this drug helped patients regain their memories and become functional.

As we’ve discussed, this practice has been largely abandoned. There are serious ethical concerns with using this drug to treat patients with mental illnesses. Other medications have been found to be much more effective.

Sometimes people feel nervous about going to rehab because they assume that it isn’t going to work. Maybe you’ve known others who have had drug treatment, but they ended up relapsing. This could make you skeptical about whether or not it would work for you.

It’s very important to keep in mind that your addiction is a disease. Because of this, it is a relapsing condition. When compared to other treatable diseases, the relapse rate is about the same.

There is a 40%-60% chance that you will relapse after you go to rehab. However, the opposite is also true. The same chance exists that you will be successful. Drug addiction recovery can be successful as long as you have the right kind of treatment. You also need to be committed to the healing process from beginning to end.

This is a common concern for many with addictions. They worry that they’re going to be stuck in a rehabilitation facility forever. While it’s true that you will need to have ongoing care, it’s going to look much different as your recovery progresses.

Many people start out by going through detox and then going to an inpatient treatment center. Afterwards, they’re given instructions about their aftercare, and they’re urged to follow them. This might mean that they start going to an intensive outpatient treatment program for 12 weeks. Or, it could mean attending an outpatient rehab with an addiction therapist.

Eventually, you might progress to attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings. You may still need therapy, but only on a monthly basis.

Whatever your recommendations are, please follow them to the letter. If you’re compliant, you’ll have a better chance of staying in recovery.

barbiturate overdose can occur when you take too much Amobarbital at one time. Unfortunately, it’s most common among those who are addicted, and then try to quit using on their own. They will often take too much of it when they relapse. This is a potentially fatal condition, so it’s important for you to get medical help right away.

Some of the symptoms you’ll experience include:

  • Clouded thinking abilities
  • Difficulties with coordination
  • Coming in and out of consciousness
  • Respiratory depression
  • Dangerously low blood pressure
Amytal Addiction Treatment

Amobarbital Rehab Programs are Available to Help You

At this point, you may be experiencing a lot of fear. It’s possible that you’re afraid of the thought of being addicted to any type of substance. You may also be afraid of going to recovery. We want you to know that you’re not alone, and you have nothing to fear.

At Northpoint Washington, we have a lot of experience dealing with Amytal addiction. We know how serious your situation is, and we know the type of help you need to recover. Our helpful and caring staff members will ensure that you receive the best care available.

The alternative is continuing in your addiction and putting your life at risk with every single use. It is our hope that you will choose recovery.

Do you have any other questions about Amytal addiction and recovery? If you do, please contact us right away so we can further assist you.

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