Amytal Symptoms and Warning Signs

Amytal is a prescription medication for the treatment of conditions that include epilepsy, insomnia, and anxiety. It is also often given to patients to calm them down before surgical procedures. As it is a central nervous system depressant, the drug stabilises brain activity and thus helps to relieve feelings of stress and anxiety.

Amytal is a barbiturate type drug but because of the elevated risk of dependence, it has for the most part been replaced by benzodiazepines, particularly for those who require regular long-term medication. Nevertheless, it is still prescribed by some medical professionals who believe this stronger drug will be more effective in certain cases.

The potential for abuse and the risk for addiction is quite high when amytal is taken in high doses or for an extended period. In the UK, amytal is not permitted to be prescribed to those not already taking barbiturates because the risk for addiction is so high.

Addiction can occur quite quickly when using this drug, with many users developing intense cravings for it after just a few weeks of use. Suddenly stopping amytal can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, some of which can even be life-threatening.

Other Names for Amytal

Amytal is a brand name for the generic drug Amobarbital. It is also sold under other brand names, including:

  • Amytal Sodium
  • Amylobarbitone
  • Barbamylum
  • Amylobarbital

Recognising the Common Warning Signs of Amytal Abuse

Drug abuse can often occur without the user even realising. As mentioned above, if you are taking a prescription drug such as Amytal, the potential for abuse is very high. This is mainly because a tolerance to it develops quite quickly, meaning that you are not achieving the same feelings you initially did when first taking Amytal.

If you are not getting the same relief from amytal that you did before, you might be tempted to take higher doses of it or take it more frequently to achieve the desired results. This is classified as abuse raises the risk of a full-blown addiction considerably.

If your use of amytal is starting to interfere with everyday life, you need to consider the possibility that you have a problem. The sooner you can come to terms with this reality, the sooner you can get help and start to turn your life around once more.

So taking more of the medication than advised to by a doctor or taking it for reasons other than those for which it was prescribed, makes you guilty of prescription drug abuse. Perhaps you are at the stage where you feel as though you cannot function without your medication. You might be getting irritable when in need of Amytal or you may be getting panicky or anxious at the thought of the medication running out.

If you find yourself increasingly relying on your medication to function or to make you feel better, you are in imminent danger of crossing the line from drug abuse to drug addiction.

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The Dangers of Amytal Abuse

Perhaps the most significant danger of amytal abuse is the risk of physical and psychological dependence. When the drug is taken at unprescribed doses, it can induce feelings of sedation and relaxation similar to those produced by alcohol.

If you allow your use of amytal to spiral out of control, you may start exhibiting drug-seeking behaviour that could result in you taking desperate measures to get your hands on the substance. Maybe you are visiting lots of different doctors to get the drugs you crave, or perhaps you have begun sourcing them elsewhere?

Your need for amytal might also be crowding out everything else in your life. If you are becoming preoccupied with your use of this medication, you may start neglecting other important responsibilities at home, at work, or at school. You could start to take unnecessary risks while under the influence such as driving, operating heavy machinery, or having unprotected sex.

The way in which amytal affects your ability to function will definitely have negative consequences for your overall wellbeing. It could affect your relationships with others while it can impinge on your ability to earn an income. This can then leave you struggling financially and result in calamitous consequences for you and your loved ones.

As well as the negative implications to your quality of life, amytal abuse can lead to physical and mental health problems. It is highly unlikely that your health would not be negatively affected with the chronic use of any mood-altering substance – amytal use is no different.

There is also an elevated risk of accidental overdose with higher doses of this drug.

While small doses can induce feelings of intoxication and drowsiness, larger doses can actually cause life-threatening complications. Amytal slows the breathing rate and heartbeat, potentially leading to coma and death.

Recognising an Amytal Addiction

It is hard to tell when drug abuse has progressed to drug addiction, but there are certain signs that indicate the use of amytal is serious and requires help. For example, if you have developed an addiction to amytal, you are likely to crave it and will use it even when doing so is causing negative consequences for you and those around you.

Tolerance to amytal develops quite quickly, meaning that your brain will release fewer dopamine chemicals in response to taking it. The upshot of this is that you do not achieve the same pleasurable feelings that you once did when you take it. Most users then respond by increasing their dose of the substance but doing so often results in the above-mentioned physical dependence.

If you experience withdrawal symptoms when in need of amytal, it is likely that you already have a physical dependence and more than likely need detox to help you quit.

By far the most obvious sign of an amytal addiction is when your use of this drug starts to have a negative impact on your life. If you are placing the use of amytal above everything else in your life, it is because you have an overwhelming need for the drug and are struggling to resist its pull.

Addiction can alter the way the brain functions and can make it harder for you to think clearly. You might be neglecting the important people in your life, but this is not something you are doing intentionally. Your need for amytal has taken over and has become something you cannot resist or do without.

Amytal Addiction and the Brain

Amytal is a barbiturate drug that works by stimulating the production of the brain’s GABA neurotransmitter. GABA helps to stabilise activity in the brain, reducing among other things the occurrence of seizures and relieving stress.

Nonetheless, amytal is a mood-altering substance and as such affects the way the brain functions. It stimulates the production of dopamine, which is the brain’s way of sending the feeling of pleasure to the rest of the body.

The reward centre of the brain might also be affected in such a way that, subconsciously, the use of amytal is perceived as a ‘survival’ instinct in the same way that eating and drinking is viewed.

Learn the Immediate Side Effects of Amytal Abuse

Amytal can cause several immediate side effects, including:

  • drowsiness
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • slow heartbeat
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • constipation.

Learn the Long-Term Amytal Abuse Side Effects

Taking amytal over a prolonged period can result in quite a few side effects, such as:

  • liver disease
  • heart irregularities
  • hallucinations
  • insomnia
  • anxiety
  • memory loss
  • decreased cognitive functioning.

Intervention for an Amytal Addiction

If you know someone who is using amytal for a legitimate medical condition, it is important to be alert to the signs of addiction. It is likely that you will notice these signs before this person does. If you notice changes in the affected individual’s behaviour, such as things like neglecting his or her personal hygiene and losing interest in activities or responsibilities, it could be that substance abuse and addiction are already in the frame.

It is crucial to address the issue with the person as soon as possible as this is an illness that will not go away without help. You might believe that if you do nothing the situation will resolve itself, but this is highly unlikely.

Detox and Withdrawal from Amytal

Overcoming an amytal addiction begins with a detox. Stopping your medication suddenly can be dangerous as it is highly likely that you will experience withdrawal symptoms to some degree; some could even end up being life-threatening. Therefore, the safest way to withdraw from amytal is with a medical detox in a supervised facility.

Treatment and Next Steps

After detox, it is important to continue the treatment with a rehab programme. Rehabilitation is designed to help you get a greater understanding of your illness and the reasons you became addicted in the first place.

With the help of professional counsellors and therapists, and with the use of a variety of treatments and therapies, you will learn more about the reasons behind your addictive behaviour and then develop ways to avoid a return to it in the future.

Rehab is available from various treatment providers and typically takes place in either an inpatient or outpatient facility. The type of programme you choose will depend on how severe your illness is, how quickly you want to recover, and individual circumstances.

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Questions about Treatment

Q. What programme is best for me?

A. If you have no experience of rehab, you may be wondering what type of programme would be the best choice for you. This all depends on what your requirements and circumstances are. If you want to get started immediately then you may wish to consider a residential programme in a private inpatient facility. However, if you are willing to wait for a place on an outpatient programme, you might be able to access treatment free of charge on the NHS. It is important to consider all your needs before making your choice though.

Q. How do I know if my problem is severe enough to need rehab?

A. Many people are under the impression that they have to reach a specific point before they reach out for addiction help. This is often referred to as hitting rock-bottom, but what most do not realise is that rock-bottom is not the same for everyone and it does not mean reaching a point where you are in danger of losing everything.

Rock-bottom can be referred to as the point at which you do not want to go any lower, not the point at which you cannot go any lower. The reality is that the sooner you get help, the sooner you can get your life back on track, so there is no reason to delay. If you have a problem with amytal, getting help, as soon as you can, will be the best move you could make.

Q. Do I need to do a detox?

A. It is very important that your mind and body are clear and free from substance use before you try a programme of rehabilitation. Rehab aims to get to the heart of your problems, and depending on the cause of your addiction, this can be an emotional and at times traumatic experience.

You might be delving deep into your past and uncovering issues that you have been burying for a long time. You will need to have your wits about you, so it is essential that your mind and body are clear to do this.

Q. Will I have to do group activities?

A. A big part of rehabilitation is group therapy. If you choose a programme of inpatient rehabilitation, you will be staying in a facility with other patients and are therefore likely to have group therapy sessions.

Nevertheless, rather than seeing these sessions as something to fear, you should look at them as an opportunity to learn from others. You will not have to talk unless you want to, but you will find that after your first one or two sessions you will want to start sharing your stories with the group.

Q. What happens when rehab finishes?

A. Returning to everyday life after rehab is a huge transitional period in your life and one that you may feel apprehensive about. This is entirely natural, but you will not have to face this alone. You will have support from your counsellor or therapist and will be able to access up to a year of free aftercare support if you complete your rehab programme.

You will also be encouraged to get involved with your local recovery community. Joining a local fellowship support group will mean having plenty of support as and when you need it.

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