Brevital is part of a class of drugs known as barbiturates. Brevital is among the sedative and sleep-inducing drugs that are used to treat symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, and in some cases seizures. Barbiturates are an older class of medications with many variations for a plethora of ailments. With such a high risk of abuse, barbiturates were slowly phased out by benzodiazepines in the 1980s. The active ingredient in Brevital is methohexital.
Brevital is confined strictly for in-hospital use as an intravenous anesthetic. There are some occasions when it is prescribed outside of a clinical setting in the form of Brevital Sodium, but this is few and far in between. The drug has been deemed too addictive, and its medical properties do not outweigh the risks associated with use.
Despite the restrictions on Brevital, it still finds its way into the black market for illicit use. It is commonly found on the dark web online and still circulates on the street. While the popularity has decreased over the years, it still can affect someone’s life if they begin using it recreationally. When it is prescribed, it is always for a short time.
Brevital is a powerful depressant that runs a high risk of overdose when abused, and knowing facts about the drug could potentially save yourself or a loved one from falling victim to Brevital addiction. In the following sections, we will indicate signs to look for in a Brevital addiction.
How Does Brevital Work?
Barbiturates are similar to benzodiazepines in how they affect GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid but are chemically different. GABA is naturally produced within the body to regulate fear, stress, and anxiety by blocking the nerve signals that carry these feelings in the central nervous system (CNS).
Brevital acts as the natural GABA within the brain. It enters the brain and binds to the GABA receptors. By doing so, it activates the receptors that produce a flood of the chemical that increases feelings of sedation. This is especially effective in people who produce lower levels of this chemical naturally in their brains. Those who struggle with and sleep disorders typically produce less which, in turn, causes their ailments.
Brevital is different from other barbiturates in that it boasts a short half-life. This means it takes effect in a short time and cycles through the system in the same manner. When Brevital is used for anesthesia, its full effects will be felt in as little as a minute and conclude around seven to 10 minutes.
The main issue with Brevital having a short half-life is that the short duration requires the user to redose quicker. What happens is you begin consuming large amounts of the drug in a short time. This is a recipe for overdose, and those consuming the drug need to be informed about the negative consequences of taking this substance in high doses.
What Are the Signs of Brevital Addiction?
While spotting substance abuse can often be difficult in earlier stages of addiction, barbiturates offer their own unique signs of abuse. If you are unaware of what to look for, it may be harder to notice, but becoming familiar and informing yourself about these warning signs can be the difference between life and death.
As someone who may be using the drug themselves, you may find that you have no sign of when use suddenly developed into a full-blown addiction. As mentioned above, someone that engages in consistent Brevital use has outward signs that should be looked for. If you suspect either you or a loved one is becoming increasingly dependent on the drug, here is what to look for:
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Impaired sexual performance
- Breathing problems
- Sensitivity to pain and sound
- Frequent periods of confusion
- Kidney problems
- Memory problems
These are some common signs of Brevital and barbiturate abuse. There are other behaviors that may be shown by the user that are consistent with substance use disorders as a whole. A complete loss of control will back up these facts.
The major shift into addiction is when the drug completely controls the user’s life. Their primary objective in life is to obtain the drug by any means necessary. They will start abandoning relationships, friendships, and family by becoming isolated. Other signs of Brevital addiction become more apparent as use dramatically increases. These include:
- Doctor shopping to get multiple prescriptions
- Using Brevital without a prescription
- Using the drug in higher doses than prescribed
- Taking risks to illegally obtain the substance Increased tolerance to its effects
- A significant decline in performance at work or school
- A lack of personal hygiene Isolation as a result of the drug
- An inability to function without the drug
- Lying about Brevital use
- Unsuccessful attempts to quit despite multiple attempts
If you have personally witnessed any of the signs listed above in yourself or someone you love, you must immediately consider professional addiction treatment. This will restore faith in your life, and save you from a potential overdose from abusing this dangerous drug.
What Is Involved in Brevital Addiction Treatment?
While some drugs can result in moderate-to-uncomfortable withdrawals, barbiturates like Brevital are not one of them. To ensure a safe transition into a treatment center, professionals in the addiction community strongly encourage recovering Brevital users to undergo a medical detox at a reputable facility. The purpose of detox is to cleanse the toxins out of your system and mitigate the deadly symptoms associated with barbiturate withdrawal.
Not only does the individual risk relapse, but they risk their lives. Detox consists of an approximate week-long episode of 24-hour supervised care. Medical professionals will administer medications that alleviate the worst symptoms of withdrawal and monitor the client to ensure their safety. Safety is first and foremost, and your livelihood is always a top priority. This will balance the mind and body by getting the client ready for the next stage of care.
The severity of addiction predicates the length of stay and the next level of care, but in most cases, because of the nature of barbiturate abuse, the client likely will be placed in a residential treatment center. The principles of effective treatment demonstrate that success and sobriety are linked to longer stays in treatment centers. The longer you stay in treatment, the better the outcome will be. Treatment is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and success is never guaranteed, but if the client takes achieving sobriety seriously and puts in the time, successful outcomes are more likely.
During residential treatment, the client will participate in various therapies that help facilitate the understanding of the root of addiction, including why the person turned to drug use in the first place. These therapies are also designed to give recovering users tools and strategies to manage their response to triggers that could lead to use again, such as stress. The client will be placed with other individuals on the same paths to sobriety, and this process will not be a lonely one. There will also be therapies that help relapse prevention for long-term success.
How Dangerous Is Brevital?
Consuming Brevital under doctor’s orders can still pose dangers. Brevital and its short half-life have the users continually dosing to maintain their high. In some cases, it can invoke dangerous reactions to those who use other medications. They also can experience allergic reactions such as:
- Skeletal muscle twitching
- Severe rashes
- Uncontrollable vomiting
As mentioned previously, the drug’s short half-life means it is easy to overdose on this drug than others. Overdose can result in severe complications such as:
- Kidney failure
- Heart failure
- Brain damage
- Pulmonary edema
If you suspect someone is having an overdose from Brevital use, you should immediately call 911. There could be irreversible damage as a result. Here are some signs to look out for:
- Falling in and out of consciousness
- Slowed breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Weak pulse
- Slowed reflexes
- Confusion or delirium
Brevital Abuse Statistics
- Barbiturates like Brevital are classified as Schedule II, III, and IV depressants under the Controlled Substances Act in the U.S.
- According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), roughly 1 in 10 barbiturate-related overdoses are fatal, usually due to lung or heart complications.
- Roughly 300 tons of barbiturates, including Brevital, are produced annually in the U.S.