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Butalbital Addiction Treatment

Butalbital addiction treatment is necessary when a person shows signs and symptoms of a dependency on butalbital. Butalbital is the generic name given to certain medications that combine butalbital with acetaminophen or aspirin and caffeine to treat chronic pain and migraine headaches.

When used for short-term treatment of pain, withdrawal symptoms are often minor and short lived, but barbiturates can be habit forming; with long-term use, patients may build a tolerance to the drug, as well as a psychological and physical dependence. This means that more butalbital is needed to have the same effect, and the withdrawal symptoms become more severe as use continues.

Did You Know?

Butalbital is a barbiturate that is FDA approved and is often prescribed by physicians, but the active ingredients are addictive. Butalbital is a highly addictive barbiturate, both physically and psychologically.

The necessity of butalbital addiction treatment is determined by medical professionals, based on the presence of a number warning signs. These red flags may appear in several forms, but butalbital addiction symptoms typically will include at least one of the following:

  • Lying to doctors about pain or headache severity to convince them to prescribe a higher dose of butalbital
  • Mixing butalbital with alcohol or other drugs to achieve a better “high”
  • Taking more butalbital than prescribed or using the drug more frequently than is recommended by your physician

While the above signs are key indicators that butalbital addiction treatment may be needed, they are often visible only to the user. There are other symptoms caused by the psychological addiction to butalbital that are often visible to those around the user as well. These are primarily behavioral in nature and are similar to symptoms of addiction to other drugs, gambling, sex or alcohol. Psychological signs of butalbital addiction may include one or more of the following:

  • Isolation
  • Mood swings
  • Inexplicable hostility or aggression
  • Secretive behavior or lying
  • Stealing or borrowing money or medication from other butalbital users


Abruptly stopping the use of butalbital-containing medications results in a variety of withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms typically occur within eight to 36 hours of the last dose of medication, and last up to seven days. They typically include at least one of the following:

  • Elevated body temperature
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart and respiratory rates
  • Delirium
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Raised consciousness
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Disorientation
  • Severe headache

Although rare, more serious withdrawal symptoms can include abnormal vital signs and seizures.

Withdrawal symptoms and signs typically decrease in severity within about two weeks. Butalbital addiction treatment in a medically-supervised setting is often necessary during detoxification to manage symptoms and prevent medical complications.

Did you know?

Butalbital is the generic name for a drug called Fiorinal, and it has been around since the 1920s, when it was discovered that combining aspirin, caffeine and butalbital produced a short-acting, effective sedative.

Treatment: Methods of Detoxification and Options for Help

Withdrawing from butalbital is a necessary part of the detoxification process. Symptoms can be intense, because many detoxification treatment methods require that the patient stop using butalbital drugs entirely to rid the body of its effects as rapidly as possible. Successful detoxification is vital to long-term recovery from butalbital addiction and is best achieved in a medically supervised environment.

There are several butalbital addiction treatment options available for safely and comfortably withdrawing from butalbital, but these can be narrowed down to three basic methods.

Gradual Detox

barbiturate-alcohol-addictionIn some programs, the withdrawal and detoxification process is careful and gradual. For example, the patient is given the regular dosage of the drug for a brief amount of time, and then this dosage is decreased daily to minimize the withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can be treated in an outpatient program with the use of benzodiazepines or phenobarbital, but regular medical supervision by your physician or a treatment facility is critical to success.

Inpatient/Residential Detox

Inpatient or residential detoxification methods involve butalbital addiction treatment through rapid detoxification, where the patient stays in a medical facility and stops all doses of butalbital completely. This method is supervised by a medical professional, and the patient is given care and/or medication to treat the withdrawal symptoms until detoxification is complete. This method of butalbital detox is not recommended for outpatient programs. Severe withdrawal symptoms such as seizures or abnormal vital signs should be monitored and aggressively treated by a medical professional to ensure the patient’s safety and overall good health.

Rapid Drug Detox

Rapid drug detox treatment methods may also utilize a medical procedure in which the patient detoxes under anesthesia, which eliminates most withdrawal symptoms. The patient is given medication that enables him or her to relax and then put under general anesthesia for about an hour. When detox is completed, recovery is carried out under close medical supervision. This procedure is available only on an inpatient treatment basis and can be an ideal long-term recovery method.

Detoxification is the first stage in butalbital addiction treatment. Although it typically lasts seven days, it may extend to a few weeks. The duration depends on the level of addiction and the patient’s method of treatment.

The critical first step in recovery is butalbital detoxification and treatment of withdrawal symptoms. To learn more about detox and rehabilitation, call any time, day or night.

Rehab and Recovery

As with many addiction treatment programs, rehab and recovery are recommended after detoxing. Rehab and recovery can begin in many different settings, including a medical outpatient clinic with counseling services and group support or a private or public-funded inpatient rehab facility. The benefit of an inpatient facility is that the patient receives around-the-clock care and support to ensure a successful recovery from butalbital addiction. This treatment option depends largely on the patient’s situation and whether other commitments, such as a job, allow for inpatient care.

Did you know?

Butalbital is a short-acting drug that is related to the longer-acting phenobarbital. Both medications are prescribed to treat migraine and tension headaches, but when used daily, they are habit forming.

Following detox, an effective butalbital addiction treatment program will shift the focus from the physical withdrawal symptoms to the psychological issues faced by the patient. A butalbital rehab program that is carried out in an inpatient drug rehab center often has the best success rate. Typically, these programs should last at least 90 days and help the patient develop healthier ways of dealing with life and the pressures that accompany it. Often, the combination of an inpatient “sober living” facility, followed by an inpatient or outpatient butalbital addiction recovery program, is necessary to making a successful transition back into regular life.

Depending on your location, you may have several different options for butalbital addiction rehab and recovery, but most of these programs can be separated into two categories: inpatient and outpatient care in a private or publicly funded facility.

Inpatient butalbital addiction treatment is highly effective because patients are given constant medical care and treatment for both their psychological and physical addictions.

Outpatient butalbital addiction treatment provides care in a rehab facility, but the patient does not remain there around the clock. In most cases, patients visit the facility daily or weekly but reside at home for the duration of treatment. This may be an effective butalbital addiction treatment option in later stages of butalbital rehab, but it may not be effective in the early days of recovery.

An effective butalbital rehabilitation program removes butalbital from your body and from your surroundings. It should also provide treatment for the patterns of behavior and the emotional issues surrounding the addiction. In most butalbital addiction treatment facilities, various forms of counseling are provided to achieve this treatment.

One-on-One Counseling

Addicted women talking to an addiction counselor about the drug abuseIndividual or one-on-one counseling focuses on the emotional issues that may have contributed to the butalbital addiction. This is done in a private and secure environment, with only a therapist or counselor and the patient present. Individual therapy is most helpful when there is a co-occurring mental disorder such as anxiety or depression. This type of counseling also provides the patient a chance to privately voice concerns he or she may not be comfortable sharing with anyone other than a trained counselor or psychiatrist. In an inpatient butalbital addiction treatment facility, patients often have daily access to a counselor, if necessary. This may be scaled back as the patient moves through the butalbital addiction treatment program and becomes less dependent on the support given by individual counseling.

Behavioral and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

In many inpatient butalbital addiction treatment programs, successful rehab includes behavioral therapy that focuses on eliminating unhealthy behaviors by replacing them with better, healthier ones. This type of therapy utilizes rewards like positive reinforcement, along with rehearsals that help the patient achieve long-term recovery outside of the treatment facility. Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches new behavioral patterns as well, but the focus targets the motivations and emotions behind the addiction rather than the physical actions. This type of butalbital addiction treatment therapy attempts to change or modify the thought processes that led to the addiction or abuse.

Family and Group Therapy

Butalbital addiction treatment often requires that family and/or friends undergo therapy along with the patient to ensure a successful recovery from butalbital addiction. Family members commonly form habits that enable the butalbital abuse in order to cope with the patient’s addiction. Family counseling sessions help family members rebuild relationships and focus on healthy behaviors and interactions that do not include enabling.

Group therapy provides patients a safe and private setting where they are able to discuss and then work on their personal addiction issues with peers who share an understanding of what they are going through. Group therapy sessions are usually supervised by a qualified counselor or therapist, which helps patients realize they are not alone. Group counseling provides each patient the opportunity to share experiences and worries with other patients who are also undergoing butalbital addiction treatment. Group counseling typically occurs at least once a week in the initial stages of butalbital rehab, and the frequency may be scaled back to monthly meetings later in the butalbital addiction treatment program.

Drug Rehab Centers

Drug rehab centers offer individuals suffering from a drug- or alcohol-related dependency and withdrawal symptoms a place to get help and regain control of their lives. There are many types of rehabilitation centers, each offering specialized treatment and different rehabilitation programs. Read More

No matter which type of butalbital addiction rehab facility you choose, it is vital to long-term recovery that some form of counseling is provided. In most butalbital addiction treatment programs, it is recommended that the patient utilize a combination of group therapy and one-on-one counseling.

Both group counseling and one-on-one counseling programs encourage honesty from the patient and provide a solid support system for the patient. They also share the goal of ensuring long-term recovery from butalbital addiction. Group and one-on-one counseling are often combined in butalbital addiction treatment programs to provide the patient with the most support possible during rehab.

The type of butalbital addiction treatment program required will depend on the severity and duration of the addiction. The facility will typically evaluate the individual’s situation and then determine the best butalbital addiction treatment for the patient’s unique circumstances.

The most effective butalbital rehab option may involve seeking a private inpatient facility. Private rehab centers are not free, but they offer a high quality of care, just as you’ll find with a public medical facility; however, private rehab facilities can often offer a more private, secluded setting.

Both public and private butalbital addiction treatment programs offer qualified medical supervision and support during the rehab process, but the additional privacy offered by a private facility can be beneficial for patients who wish to keep knowledge of their rehab and recovery limited to their immediate family and friends.

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