Teen Barbituate Addiction

Barbiturates are a derivative of barbituric acid, used as a sedative or anti anxiety drug. They are potentially addictive, and can be extremely dangerous, leading to severe short and long term physical and psychological symptoms. Barbiturates can have deadly effects if abused by teens, along with alcohol, narcotics, stimulants etc.

Barbiturates are snorted after crushing, swallowed as a pill, or injected intravenously.

Signs and Symptoms

A person under barbiturate intoxication may become very talkative, feel elated, display less inhibitions, exhibit impaired judgment with incoherent speech patterns, feel confused, lack coordination, and become emotionally unstable.

Physical Health signs: These may include – enhanced sensitivity to sound and pain, erratic breathing and erratic blood pressure, sexual dysfunction, vulnerability to bronchitis, pneumonia, kidney failure, increased aggression, assault, accidental overdose and death.

Mental Health signs: These may include – anxiety, panic, restlessness, emotional instability, lack of sleep, short or long-term memory loss, hallucinations and bouts of depression, isolation, and suicidal tendencies.

Studies and Social Functioning signs: These include decreased performance in school both academic and other activities, lower grades, decrease or loss of hobbies and responsibilities, poor diet, intoxicated driving and strained relationships.

Barbiturate Withdrawal

When barbiturate use is discontinued abruptly, teenagers may suffer severe withdrawal symptoms. Multiple symptoms develop within the first few hours of stopping the use of barbiturates. Its effects in adolescents may last up to a week. Barbiturates withdrawal effects include – hallucinations, hypo tension, tremors, irritability, loss of sleep, delirium, fever, profuse sweating, and suicidal tendencies etc. Good treatment rehabilitation programs can assist with withdrawal symptoms and help to overcome the drug abuse effects in teenagers.


The causes for barbiturate usage and addiction cannot be singled out for they are multi-factorial. A person may become addicted as a result of various factors, including, genetic (family member suffers from similar addictions), biological (lack of the brain’s neurotransmitter dopamine), psychological (treatment for bipolar disorder or anxiety), and environmental (social pressures and peer influence).


There are different forms of treatment therapies for barbiturate addiction, such as:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This therapy helps to change a pattern of unhealthy thinking. Teenagers are counseled to adopt positive thinking instead of adhering to negative cyclical thoughts that no longer serve the teenager. This change of thinking helps the patient develop a more positive and confident approach to life and daily activities.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT): IPT employs the idea of exploring new ways and strategies as useful tools to lead a more healthy and balanced life. The patient learns to discuss and explore new ideas, which will help him/her deal more effectively with the barbiturate use, abuse and addiction. IPT aims to address the patient’s unresolved issues, such as, his/her social role, disputes, and relationships.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): ACT helps the patient to enhance the flexibility of emotions and mental state. This is done by integration of mindfulness and acceptance cognitive behavior types of treatment, which is helpful in maintaining the behavioral changes of the patient and ensuring more balanced transitions.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): By integrating the behavioral therapies of CBT and IPT, DBT helps the young patient in achieving emotional stability. Key aspects of stress management and mindful awareness are included into DBT therapy. Supportive Programs incorporate 12 step programs and may include processes like that of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). They can also include church support groups, group therapy, and family therapy.

Treatment at Hillcrest

Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center (Hillcrest) is a tranquil, rehabilitation oasis expertly designed to treat adolescents struggling with teen barbiturate addiction. The magnificent residential facility is based in the tropical foothills of Agoura Hills, California. Rustic, yet elegant, it is uniquely situated and designed to provide and nurture healing on all levels, while focusing on the key principles of mind-body health.

Clients participate in 3-5 weekly individual therapy sessions. Evidence-based clinical therapies are complemented by holistic and creative therapies to provide a well-rounded rehabilitation experience that is bespoke and successful.

Clients are encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings through daily journaling, and embrace new options, experiences and open-minded views, all the while guided by committed and stellar mental healthcare professionals, therapists and counselors. Due to the quality staff on board, Hillcrest clients are able to establish strong positive rapport and connections to expedite healing and cement comfortable communication and respect. These healthy relationships allow for ongoing progression and recovery both during and post treatment.

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