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Pentobarbital Addiction Treatment

Pentobarbital is a short-acting barbiturate. It acts on the central nervous system to slow down activity in the brain. The medication is prescribed to treat insomnia, for sedation prior to surgery, and as an emergency treatment for seizures. Like similar barbiturates, pentobarbital has addictive qualities and a person may require pentobarbital addiction treatment to stop using the medication. There are hundreds of pentobarbital rehab facilities that can help. Contact us through our toll-free confidential hotline at or by email and we will be happy to provide information about treatment centers near you.

Factoid: Pentobarbital is occasionally used for executions, and controversy has erupted over the use of pentobarbital in this manner. The company that manufacturers the drug, Lundbeck, feels it is a misuse of the medication and has imposed strict controls on the distribution of the drug to prevent prisons that perform executions from accessing it.

How Pentobarbital Affects the Body

projectknow-shutter414680401-syringe-not-doctorPentobarbital acts on the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Brain cells use this chemical to communicate with each other. Pentobarbital enhances the action of GABA, which decreases brain activity and produces a calming effect.

A person who takes pentobarbital for nonmedical purposes may feel euphoria, sedation, feelings of well-being, or experience reduced anxiety. The negative side effects associated with pentobarbital misuse include lowered inhibitions, poor concentration, slurred speech, confusion, impaired motor control, and memory loss.

The drug can cause physical and mental dependence. Seek pentobarbital addiction treatment if you or someone you love begins exhibiting the signs of addiction to pentobarbital. Call to find a qualified treatment program close to you.


Pentobarbital is on the DEA’s Schedule II and Schedule III lists because of its potential for abuse and addiction. It is also on the FDA’s pregnancy category D list because it can cause congenital malformations in fetuses. The drug also makes birth control less effective, and women on this medication should use contraceptives without hormones to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

The Dangers of Pentobarbital Abuse

Pentobarbital is a central nervous system depressant that slows activity in the brain and nervous system. Taking more than the recommended dose can compound the effects of the drug and cause serious medical complications or death. Potential health consequences of pentobarbital abuse include reduced blood pressure, slowed breathing, memory loss, and respiratory distress.

“Consuming pentobarbital with alcohol may depress the person’s metabolism…”

People who abuse pentobarbital tend to consume the drug in combination with alcohol or other drugs. Doing so can compound the negative side effects of all substances consumed. For example, combining pentobarbital with morphine can cause memory loss, difficulty breathing, confusion, and increased drowsiness. Consuming pentobarbital with alcohol may depress the person’s metabolism and lead to increased amounts of pentobarbital in his or her blood.

Abuse of pentobarbital can lead to drug tolerance. This is a condition where the body becomes progressively desensitized to the effects of the medication, and the person must increase the dosage amount to achieve the same reaction. Increased drug tolerance puts a person at risk for drug dependence. Pentobarbital addiction treatment can reverse this condition. To find a treatment center, call .

Drug tolerance also puts the person at an increased risk of drug overdose, which can be fatal. Symptoms of pentobarbital overdose include:

  • Heart failure
  • Low blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing, including slowed or stopped breathing
  • Confusion
  • Delirium
  • Sleepiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Blisters or a rash
  • Unsteady gait
  • Coma

A person who overdoses on pentobarbital requires immediate medical attention. Poison control or emergency medical services should be contacted as soon as possible. If the person is taken to a medical facility, he or she will likely be given a gastric lavage, activated charcoal, or a laxative to flush the drug out of his or her system. If the person receives medical care in time, he or she may recover from the overdose within one to five days.

Pentobarbital addiction treatment should be sought for any person that overdoses on the drug. For assistance with finding a pentobarbital rehab center, call our toll-free confidential helpline at . Our representatives can answer your questions about pentobarbital detox and help you find the right treatment facility for you or your loved one.


When a person abuses drugs, everyone pays the price. Illicit and prescription drug abuse costs the United States over $484 billion annually in health care costs, lost productivity, crime, and accidents. Approximately 40 million illnesses and injuries per year are the direct result of drug abuse and addiction.

Signs of Pentobarbital Abuse and Addiction

Admitting that you have an addiction to pentobarbital can be difficult. Many people who have drug addictions try to minimize or conceal their drug use. Often, it is up to friends or family members to recognize the signs of pentobarbital abuse or addiction and help the person obtain pentobarbital addiction treatment.

Signs of chronic pentobarbital abuse include confusion, irritability, poor judgment, insomnia, and somatic complaints. Pentobarbital combined with alcohol can compound the intoxicating effects of the drug. If a person consumes alcohol and appears to be more intoxicated than indicated by the amount of alcohol he or she consumes, the person may have also consumed pentobarbital or other barbiturates.

A person may be addicted to pentobarbital if he or she exhibits the following signs:

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms eight to 12 hours after the last dose
  • Continuing to use the drug even though medical need for it has passed
  • Going through the prescription at a faster than expected rate
  • Frequently requesting refills from the health care provider
  • Visiting multiple health care providers to obtain a prescription for the drug
  • Stealing medication from friends and family members
  • Stealing or forging prescriptions
  • Irresponsible or dangerous behavior after consuming pentobarbital
  • Abandonment of previously enjoyable activities
  • Obsessive thoughts about the next drug dose
  • His or her life revolves around drug seeking and consumption

Drug addiction is a disease that can make a person exhibit uncharacteristic behavior. The person may do or say things that he or she wouldn’t do while sober. This can lead to ruined relationships and unfortunate events occurring, such as the contraction of a sexually transmitted disease. It is important to help the person obtain pentobarbital addiction treatment as soon as the problem is recognized.


Pentobarbital is sold under the brand name Nembutal. The name was coined by Dr. John S. Lundy, who began using the drug in 1930. He derived the name from the formula for sodium salt, which is what pentobarbital is made from.

Pentobarbital Addiction Treatment Option

The physical addiction to pentobarbital can be strong, and it is inadvisable for people addicted to the drug to abruptly stop using it. The severity of withdrawal symptoms depends on the dosage amount and the length of time the person was taking the drug. Withdrawal symptoms may begin eight to 12 hours after the last dose and may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Muscle twitching
  • Tremor
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia

If a person abruptly stops using pentobarbital, major withdrawal symptoms such as convulsions and delirium can occur 16 hours after the last dose and last up to five days. However, the majority of withdrawal symptoms will gradually decline over a period of 15 days.

There are two pentobarbital addiction treatment options that can be used to help the person safely stop using drug. The first option is to gradually taper the amount of the drug the person consumes until he or she is able to abstain completely. The second option is to gradually substitute phenobarbital for pentobarbital and then begin a drug reduction regimen. The addiction specialist at the pentobarbital rehab center will develop a pentobarbital addiction treatment program that best fits the person’s needs and circumstances.


Pentobarbital taken in dosages of 600 to 800 mg for 35 days can produce withdrawal seizures in people who abruptly stop using the drug.

Pentobarbital Detox

Detoxification is critical to pentobarbital addiction treatment. The purpose of phenobarbital detox is to eliminate physical dependence on the drug. However, drug residue in the body can induce cravings for pentobarbital and lead to a relapse back into the addiction. Although the detoxification process may be uncomfortable, it is important to see it through to the end.

Pentobarbital detoxification can take several weeks, depending on how much of the drug the person consumed and for how long. Once the process ends, however, the person will no longer have physical cravings for the drug. The pentobarbital addiction treatment center will usually prescribe complementary therapies that support the detoxification process. These therapies may include things like acupuncture, nutritional therapy, and herbal remedies.


It is common to feel anxiety or depression during or after the detoxification process. The addiction treatment specialist may prescribe medication or cognitive-behavioral techniques to help you manage these co-occurring conditions.

Pentobarbital Addiction Treatment

Once the person finishes detoxifying from pentobarbital, he or she will move on to the next part of his or her pentobarbital addiction treatment. During this phase of the treatment, the person will deal with his or her psychological addiction to the drug. While the physical cravings for the drug may no longer be present, a person may still feel an emotional or mental compulsion to consume it.

Counseling and psychotherapy is often prescribed to help people deal with their psychological addictions. While some people may have become addicted to the drug while using the medication as prescribed, most addicts have underlying issues that contributed to the development of their drug addictions. Therapy helps the person deal with these issues and provides him or her with the skills needed to live a drug-free life.

Some of the skills a person may be taught during therapy or counseling include:

  • Recognizing triggers that induce drug cravings or facilitate relapse
  • Learning to handle peer pressure to take drugs
  • Handling the temptation to take drugs
  • Coping skills for handling stress
  • Maintaining mental and physical health

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Relapse Prevention

Relapse prevention planning is a critical element in ensuring that a person who is recovering from drug or alcohol addiction does not return to using drugs or alcohol.Read More

Depending on the pentobarbital addiction treatment center, an aftercare plan may be developed for the person. This may include enrollment into a 12-step program where he or she will find support, socialization, and continuing education opportunities. A popular 12-step program for people struggling with drug abuse and addiction is Narconon. To find a Narconon program in your area, call our national helpline at or email us.

Based on feedback from people who have overcome an addiction to drugs, the first year as a sober person is often the most challenging. In addition to developing an aftercare program, a strategy for dealing with relapse should also be created. It may seem counter intuitive, but to increase your chances of successfully maintaining your sobriety, it is important to be realistic about the possibility of relapsing back into addictive behaviors.

Before leaving the pentobarbital addiction treatment center, work with the addiction specialist to create a relapse strategy that will help you bounce back quickly if relapse occurs.

Pentobarbital Rehab Centers

With the right support and treatment, it is possible to overcome an addiction to pentobarbital. However, finding the right pentobarbital rehab center is essential to the success of your pentobarbital addiction treatment. Spend time researching the different rehab facilities available to find one that best aligns with your goals and needs.

You can start your search by calling our toll-free hotline at . Our operators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer questions about pentobarbital addiction treatment and help you find a treatment facility. If you prefer, you can also contact us by email.

Once you find a pentobarbital rehab center that you like, it is a good idea to enter the treatment program as soon as you possibly can. The sooner you are able to get help for an addiction to pentobarbital, the sooner you will be able to reap the benefits of a drug-free life. Research all of your options and choose a pentobarbital addiction treatment program that is right for you.

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