Luminal Addiction

Phenobarbital, also known as Luminal, is a barbiturate medication that the World Health Organization recommends for treatment of certain types of epilepsy. It was brought into existence in 1912 by the drug company Bayer as the brand Luminal. For many decades, it remained a commonly prescribed hypnotic and sedative until the introduction of benzodiazepines. It was popular for insomnia, seizures, and epilepsy until the adverse effects from the drug became more prominent in a society that sought out relief from their ailments.

Luminal produces sedative and nervous system suppressing effects on the human brain. It can be highly addictive, and when taken in high doses, it can be fatal. The drug was used by Nazi scientists as a means of euthanasia at one point. Over time, researchers became aware of its dangers, and it began to decrease in popularity.

The drug is no longer prescribed in the treatment of sleep disorders. In fact, Luminal use is extremely rare. It is still used in very specific cases of epilepsy and other disorders that have the tendency to cause seizures. By the time the 1960s came around, the emergence of benzodiazepines had lowered the demand for these drugs. They were an alternative that provided medical benefits that didn’t cause addiction. This, however, proved not to be true as benzodiazepines were rendered just as addictive.

Drugs like Luminal are used recreationally for their euphoric effects. Barbiturates are known to stimulate feelings of relaxation and sedation. Those who suffer from anxiety and sleep disorders use the drug so they can feel a sense of normalcy. Abusing these depressants, however, can lead to a substance use disorder and even addiction, which can lead to an overdose. If you or a loved one has used Luminal, it is helpful to know the signs and symptoms of addiction. Early detection is key to any disease, and addiction is no different.

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What Is Luminal?

Luminal is a psychoactive substance that falls under the category of barbiturate drugs. These medications are used to treat epilepsy, sleep disorders and anxiety. It was popular for the hypnotic and sedative effects it produces, but they fell out of the rotation of doctors’ prescription pads once benzodiazepines were created. Luminal falls under the broad category of drugs known as central nervous system depressants (CNS). It aligns with other drugs like benzodiazepines, other barbiturates, and alcohol. Depressant drugs work on the body by suppressing the central nervous system and limiting the excitability. As with all depressants, Luminal has the power to make you feel relaxed, sluggish, sleepy, and depressed.

All depressants, Luminal specifically, affect neurochemicals in the brain called gamma-Aminobutyric acid, which is a chemical that regulates excitability in the central nervous system. If you ever have feelings of excitement, anger, irritation, or energy, GABA will naturally relax the body when it is time to unwind.

Luminal

There are many disorders that cause an overactive nervous system. These include anxiety, sleep disorders, muscle spasms, and seizures. This is where depressants like Luminal come into play. These drugs will bind to GABA receptors in the brain and increase the efficiency of the neurochemical leading to increased effects.

Luminal is different because it also acts in another way to decrease excitability by releasing more GABA.

The result? The body experiences an overwhelming sense of relaxation due to the overstimulation of GABA in the body. This is also known as the high.

Luminal was taken out of the rotation in the 1960s because of the high probability of substance abuse that relates to barbiturates as a whole. Benzodiazepines were meant to offer the same medical properties with lesser risks. There are side effects attributed to Luminal that include muscle twitching, dizziness, ataxia, confusion, and hyperactivity. The drug poses more dangers to senior adults. Medical professionals haven’t determined a link, however, but the senior population is more prone to falls and accident, and the strong effects that result in loss of balance can exaggerate this.

Luminal was taken out of the rotation in the 1960s because of the high probability of substance abuse that relates to barbiturates as a whole. Benzodiazepines were meant to offer the same medical properties with lesser risks. There are side effects attributed to Luminal that include muscle twitching, dizziness, ataxia, confusion, and hyperactivity. The drug poses more dangers to senior adults. Medical professionals haven’t determined a link, however, but the senior population is more prone to falls and accident, and the strong effects that result in loss of balance can exaggerate this.

Signs and Symptoms of Luminal Addiction

Addiction is a chronic disease, and an addiction to Luminal can be very dangerous. In the early stages of addiction, it is difficult to pinpoint the behaviors of someone that does not show all the signs. Drugs like Luminal do offer some outward signs to look for. Early detection is the key to saving lives. If you or a loved one has been prescribed Luminal or use it recreationally, there are signs to keep an eye on to ensure you have not become addicted.

The first sign of a substance use disorder is an increased tolerance to the substance. Tolerance is the result of the brain and nervous system adapting to the presence of a foreign chemical substance. Barbiturates are often prescribed with short-term treatment in mind, and if Luminal is taken for an extended time, the dose may become less effective. The body is trying to balance brain chemistry by counteracting the Luminal with its own chemicals. When the dose is increased to make up for loss in effectiveness, you put yourself at risk of becoming chemically dependent on the drug.

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Dependence is a strong craving for a drug that can be met with withdrawal symptoms upon cessation or missing a dose. Withdrawals of this drug can cause tremors, anxiety, paranoia, panic, seizures, or a more serious condition known as delirium tremens. If you or someone you know has experienced any of the symptoms listed above, it may be time to seek medical attention before causing any more damage to your body. Addiction specialists suggest seeking professional help before trying to quit on your own. It can be deadly.

How Is Luminal Addiction Treated?

While Luminal addiction is classified as a disease, it is treatable under the supervision of medical professionals. Due to the serious nature of Luminal withdrawals, a potential client will be immediately placed into medical detoxification. If you have been using barbiturates, you must consult with a doctor before quitting on your own. Withdrawal from barbiturates can result in seizures, and in some cases, fatalities.

medical drug detox

Medical detoxification is the highest and most intensive level of treatment that requires you to stay on site at a facility for three-to-seven days as the addictive substances and other toxins are removed from your system. You will be under the 24-hour supervision of knowledgeable medical professionals who have your best interests at heart.

During your time here, you may be treated with medications that will calm the worst withdrawal symptoms you may experience. As mentioned previously, the withdrawals can be dangerous, and 24-hour supervision is necessary during this first stage.

In some cases involving Luminal, you may require more than a week in detox to rid the body of the toxins.

Once detox has been completed, you will move into the next phase in the continuum of care. Addictions to barbiturates typically will land the individual in a residential treatment. A more intense approach is necessary because of the powerful nature of this class of drugs. During residential treatment, you will spend anywhere from 30 days to 90 days living on-site with other individuals on the path to sobriety. You also may be required to attend rigorous therapies that help you understand the underlying causes of your addiction and learn coping skills that will allow you to transition back into society successfully.

If the medical team deems you fit enough to go back home after detox, an outpatient treatment program that requires nine hours or more a week of therapy may be recommended for you. Upon conclusion of the therapy sessions, you will be allowed to return home. The therapies are what you would find in a residential setting, but you can continue daily activities such as work or school during this time.

The treatment plan will be focused on your unique needs. Through the intake assessment process, you will create a tailored plan with your therapist. It will include the type of therapies suggested and the path that will net you the most success.

Luminal Abuse Statistics

  • 19 million barbiturate prescriptions are still written each year
  • About 8% of barbiturates are manufactured illegally.
  • 400 deaths involving barbiturates took place in 2013.

Start Your Luminal Addiction Treatment Today

Addiction is a serious disease, and it can easily destroy a person’s life. If you or someone you know may be suffering from a Luminal addiction, it is imperative that you seek professional treatment immediately. Since hundreds of people die every day from overdose alone, ignoring your addiction and letting it continue is among the most dangerous things you could ever do.

Arete Recovery’s unique “client first” treatment approach puts the client’s happiness, comfort, and safety first. By choosing to recover with Arete, the hard part is already done; all you have to do is call or contact us online, and we’ll take it from there.

Call Arete Recovery today at (855) 781-9939 or contact us online, and let us help you in your journey to sobriety. Our medical experts are on standby to provide the around-the-clock support you need to ensure you can live a life free from addiction.