Brevital Addiction

Brevital is a prescription barbiturate that is the brand name for methohexital. In decades past, barbiturates like Brevital were at one point the first line of treatment for anxiety disorders, insomnia, and epilepsy.

However, as it became apparent that barbiturates had not only many dangerous side effects but also a high potential for abuse and addiction, they were largely phased out and, by the 1980s, replaced by benzodiazepines.

Currently, Brevital is one of the few barbiturates still used in medicinally and is generally limited to restricted, in-hospital use. Even with all this heavy monitoring, people still find ways to get ahold of Brevital for recreational use, sometimes as easy as purchasing it online.

Brevital is a powerful depressant, which means that misuse can escalate to abuse and addiction with alarming speed, and also that there is a high risk of fatally overdosing before even having the chance to become addicted.



How Does Brevital Work?

While barbiturates are chemically distinct from benzodiazepines, they still work in much the same way. This includes Brevital, which creates an excess of a brain chemical called gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA).

Naturally produced GABA helps keep the body calm and regulate feelings of anxiety, fear, and stress by slowing down activity in the central nervous system to inhibit the nerve signals carrying these feelings and block them off from the brain.

Brevital mimics the natural GABA and enters the brain to bind with what are known as GABA receptors, stimulating them to overproduce GABA until it floods the brain and nervous system, creating incredibly powerful feelings of sedation that can be used to induce sleep.

What Are the Signs of Brevital Addiction?

While it might seem like the signs of Brevital abuse or addiction would be fairly easy to spot, this often not the case. What eventually emerges as a recognizable pattern of behavior can all-too-easily go unnoticed when separated into isolated signs.

Even the person who is misusing Brevital may not realize they are sliding from misuse to abuse and dependence until it’s too late, and the negative consequences of addiction have become too significant to ignore.

However, there are some side effects of regular Brevital abuse that are noticeable enough to acts as clues to a growing addiction. Some common side effects of long-term Brevital abuse include:

  • Impaired sexual performance
  • Increased sensitivity to sounds and pain
  • Memory problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Periods of confusion
  • Chronic respiratory problems
  • Increased risk of bronchitis and pneumonia
  • Kidney-related problems (blood in urine, swollen feet, etc.)

The transition from Brevital abuse to addiction is marked by a loss of control over usage. Someone addicted to Brevital will seek it out and use it compulsively. At this point, using Brevital will become their highest priority and the motivation behind the majority of their decisions, even in the face of deteriorating relationships, financial problems, legal issues, and more.

This manifests as abnormal behavior consistent with a substance use disorder and can serve as signs of Brevital addiction, including:

  • Increasing tolerance to the effects of Brevital
  • Taking Brevital more often or in larger amounts than prescribed
  • Experiencing cravings and withdrawal symptoms when not using Brevital
  • Forging Brevital prescriptions or trying to get multiple prescriptions
  • Taking Brevital without a prescription
  • Missing money and valuables to obtain Brevital
  • A significant decline in work or school performance
  • Noticeable lack of personal hygiene
  • Lying about or hiding Brevital use
  • Inability to feel “normal” without using Brevital
  • Being unable to stop using Brevital after trying to quit

If you have recognized these symptoms in someone you care about or are experiencing them yourself, do not wait to seek out the help of a professional addiction treatment center. The longer you wait, the greater the risk of permanent health complications and potential overdose.

What Is Involved in Brevital Treatment?

Medical detox is the process of removing drugs or alcohol from someone’s body to achieve sobriety and stabilization. A side effect of detox is the onset of withdrawal symptoms. As with other depressants, such as benzodiazepines, barbiturate withdrawal can be a dangerous process with unpredictable, potentially life-threatening symptoms.

This is why the first step in Brevital addiction treatment isn’t just undergoing detox, making sure to do so in the care of an experienced medical detox team. Common Brevital withdrawal symptoms include hallucinations, delirium, suicidal behavior, and seizures, which can prove to be a deadly combination without proper treatment from a medical detox professional.

After detox is finished any danger from the symptoms of Brevital has passed, the next phase in Brevital addiction treatment is moving forward with ongoing care in an addiction recovery treatment program. Depending on factors like the severity of someone’s addiction, whether they have a history of relapse, and the state of their overall health, they may choose to opt for an inpatient or outpatient program.

Whichever choice they make, they will address the issues at the root of their Brevital addiction during treatment to gain a better understanding of them. They also will work toward managing their addiction in an effective and positive manner so that they maintain sobriety in the long-term.

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This is done through various therapies and treatment modalities, and while each person’s treatment plan will be at least somewhat customized to best meet their specific needs, some common elements include:

How Dangerous Is Brevital?

As with most barbiturates, Brevital is so dangerous that even taking it is as prescribed can still lead to serious health complications. It has potentially negative interactions with literally dozens of other common medications and can cause extreme reactions, including:

  • Severe rashes
  • Uncontrolled vomiting
  • Skeletal muscle twitching
  • Seizures

Brevital is also such a potent sedative that it is extremely easy to accidentally overdose on, especially when mixed with other depressants, such as benzos and alcohol. The signs of a Brevital overdose include:

  • Impaired reflexes
  • Confusion
  • Dilated pupils
  • Dangerously slow and shallow breathing
  • Inability to maintain consciousness
  • Extremely weak pulse
  • Blue skin around lips and fingernails
  • Coma

If someone is exhibiting the symptoms of a Brevital overdose, it is critical that they receive emergency medical attention as soon as possible. Overdoses often prove fatal due to the resulting complications commonly associated with a Brevital overdose, including:

  • Pulmonary edema (excess fluid in the lungs)
  • Brain damage
  • Heart failure
  • Arrhythmia
  • Kidney failure
  • Pneumonia

Even if death is prevented, the individual who overdoses is highly likely to be left with several major, potentially permanent health problems.

Brevital Abuse Statistics

  • Despite their limited use, barbiturate-related overdoses still account for roughly one-third of drug-related fatalities in the U.S.
  • According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), there are currently only 12 barbiturate substances still being prescribed for medical use.
  • An estimated 1 in 10 barbiturate-related overdoses is fatal, generally as a result of heart or lung complications.

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Start Your Journey to Recovery Today

If you or a loved one is dealing with an addiction to Brevital, quitting can sometimes feel impossible. And while we know that it’s never easy, with Arete Recovery in your corner, we can make it a reality.

At Arete, we provide the full continuum of care, with a seamless transition from detox to ongoing treatment and beyond, using time-tested, evidence-based therapies designed to help you or your loved one make a successful recovery.

Call (855) 781-9939 any time, day or night, for a free and confidential consultation with one of our specialists, who can help you find the treatment that’s right for you, as well as answer any questions or concerns you might have. You can also contact us online to learn more.