WHAT ARE BARBITURATES?
Barbiturates are depressants that produce a wide spectrum
of central nervous system depression from mild
sedation to coma. They also have been used as sedatives,
hypnotics, anesthetics, and anticonvulsants.
Barbiturates are classified as:
Ultrashort, Short, Intermediate, Long-acting
WHAT IS THEIR ORIGIN?
Barbiturates were first introduced for medical use in the
1900s, and today about 12 substances are in medical use.
What are common street names?
Common street names include:
Barbs, Block Busters, Christmas Trees, Goof Balls, Pinks, Red
Devils, Reds & Blues, and Yellow Jackets
What do they look like?
Barbiturates come in a variety of multicolored pills and tablets.
Users prefer the short-acting and intermediate barbiturates such
as Amytal and Seconal.
BRAND NAMES – Seconal, Seconal Sodium, Mebaral, Nembutal Sodium, Butisol Sodium, Luminal, Amytal Sodium, Nembutal
GENERIC NAMES – Secobarbital Systemic, Mephobarbital Systemic, Pentobarbital Systemic, Butabarbital Systemic, Phenobarbital Systemic, Amobarbital Systemic
How are they abused?
Barbiturates are abused by swallowing a pill or injecting a
liquid form. Barbiturates are generally abused to reduce anxiety,
decrease inhibitions, and treat unwanted effects of illicit drugs.
Barbiturates can be extremely dangerous because overdoses can
occur easily and lead to death.
What is their effect on the mind?
Mild euphoria, lack of inhibition, relief of anxiety, and sleepiness
Higher doses cause:
Impairment of memory, judgment, and coordination;
irritability; and paranoid and suicidal ideation
Tolerance develops quickly and larger doses are then needed to
produce the same effect, increasing the danger of an overdose.
What is their effect on the body?
Barbiturates slow down the central nervous system and
What are their overdose effects?
Effects of overdose include:
Shallow respiration, clammy skin, dilated pupils, weak and
rapid pulse, coma, and possible death
Which drugs cause similar effects?
Drugs with similar effects include:
Alcohol, benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax, tranquilizers,
sleeping pills, Rohypnol, and GHB
What is their legal status in the United States?
Barbiturates are Schedule II, III, and IV depressants under the
Controlled Substances Act.
SOURCE: A DEA Resource Guide 2017 Edition