Everything you need to know about barbiturate dependence and treatment options from Northlake.


Barbiturates are drugs used to treat anxiety, seizures, and insomnia disorders and can become highly addictive. A barbiturate is a type of drug that is a depressant for the central nervous system and often used a sedative. Barbiturates are not as commonly used today. Some common drug names are:

  • Amytal (Amobartbital)
  • Butisol (Butabarbital)
  • Donnatal (Phenobarbital)
  • Fiorecit (Butalbital/Acetaminophen/Caffeine)
  • Fiorinal (Butalbital/Acetaminophen/Caffeine)
  • Nembutal (Pentobarbital)
  • Seconal (Secobarbital)

Treatment options at Northlake include:

Barbiturates can have many side effects including:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • hallucinations
  • headaches
  • increased risk of kidney failure
  • insomnia
  • irregular periods
  • irritability
  • low blood pressure
  • nausea
  • respiratory depression
  • sensitivity to pain
  • sensitivity to sound
  • sexual dysfunction
  • vertigo
  • vomiting


Withdrawal from barbiturates can be a very painful and dangerous process for someone to go through. Often, barbiturate users consume other substances in addition to barbiturates such as alcohol or opioids, which increases the severity of the withdrawal.

Symptoms of barbiturate withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Low body temperature
  • Psychosis
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Sweating
  • Tremors

Assessment & Treatment

Obtaining a comprehensive assessment provides a full understanding of the acuity of someone’s barbiturate dependence. Before long term treatment, an individual may need to detox, which can take up to several days. Individuals with a milder barbiturate dependence can benefit from counseling sessions including group sessions and individual sessions that provide important insights and coping methods. The treatment team will be encouraging the client to AA or NA meetings during the program to give the person an extra support system.

Northlake offers several of the following types of treatments to help people with barbiturate dependence:

  • Medically Monitored Detox
  • Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
  • Intensive Outpatient & Outpatient Treatment
  • Support Groups

Contact The Ness Center at Northlake today to discuss how we can help you begin your recovery journey: