Barbiturate Abuse and its Impact on Teenagers

September 11, 2018

The thought of your teen abusing barbiturates can be traumatizing. Sadly, the rate at which teens are abusing drugs, barbiturates included is increasing each day. With increasing technology and exposure, teenagers can access drugs easily via the internet. But, what are barbiturates?

Barbiturates are depressants that produce a relaxing effect on the body when used. The effects are similar to those of alcohol and can be short or long-lasting, depending on how the drugs are consumed. When taken in by mouth, the user experiences the feelings after 30 minutes, and the effects can last between 4-16 hours.

The user experiences a feeling of mild relaxation, inability to feel pain, unconsciousness, reduced inhibition, and confusion. Barbiturates are prescribed by doctors to manage convulsions, epilepsy, and pressure in the skull. However, they are not recommended as such due to their adverse side effects. They are available in tablet and liquid forms, injections, and rectal options.

Reasons Why Teens Abuse Barbiturates

Raising adolescents in this era can be a headache, especially if you don’t understand what they are going through. The teenage stage has been considered the most dramatic period of an individual’s life. At that age, the kids are discovering themselves and want to experiment with everything and will be most interested in things that are prohibited. The following are some of the reasons why teenagers abuse barbiturates:


Whenever the kid is stressed, probably because of exams or the tight schedule at school and the lack of a confidant with whom they can share their problems with, they will use drugs such as barbiturates to help them relax. The effects of the drug make them happy, contented, and calm. As a parent, you should note that kids are more vulnerable to emotional stress that can lead to depression. So, always create openness with your kids to allow them to share their worries with you instead of seeking help from the depressants. Teens don’t have skills for managing stress, and so, may end up finding solace in drugs. They think that the consumption of the drug is helpful, but it only worsens the situation.


This is one of the major causes of barbiturate abuse in teens. It is strange that barbiturates have clear labels and guidelines, outlining that they should be kept away from teens. However, some parents keep them in open places where teens can reach them easily. Since the teens have seen their parents consume the drugs, they assume that they not harmful. Note that the abuse of prescription drugs is a gateway to the use of other substances.

Peer Pressure

Most parents know that this a great influencing factor in the growth of teens. However, because of its widespread nature, few parents take it seriously. It is at this point that teens are introduced to barbiturates.

Consequences of Barbiturate Use in Teens

Barbiturates are being used at school, the outside environment, and at home. The following are some of the effects it has on teens:

Emotional Effects

Barbiturates abuse can cause emotional problems such as stress, anxiety, mood swings, and suicidal thoughts. Emotional problems can affect the kid’s behavior and performance at school. Many parents ignore the mental problems that the teen might be going through.

Brain Damage

The drug contains elements that alter the functioning of the brain. Researchers claim that the brain develops until a person reaches 25. The consumption of barbiturates slows down the development of the brain considerably. The teen may have a problem in making decisions and in the ability to concentrate on their studies.

Academic Performance

All drugs affect the teen’s academic performance. They damage the brain, leading to temporal or permanent loss of memory. A teen who is using barbiturates will not be able to recall what was taught in class or even concentrate during lessons. Additionally, the teen can refuse to engage in co-curricular activities.

Health Problems

Teens who abuse barbiturates put their mental and physical health at risk. Barbiturate use can cause heart and lung complications. Mentally, the kid can experience depression, stress, and other mental problems. A single attempt to use the substance leads to the second and third use, and later, the kid becomes dependent on the substance.


Although barbiturate use can help in relaxation, they cause dangerous side effects to the user such as loss of coordination, slurred speech, and confusion. Teens start using the substance to help them manage stress. Barbiturate abuse affects the mental and physical health of the teen. Fortunately, help is always available and you can count on Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center.

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