Since the dawn of time, there have been medications used to treat ailments that have affected individuals. In some of the earliest scriptures dating back 3000 B.C., there is proof that natural medications like opioids were used to deal with pain. Fast forward to the 21st century, and these same ailments require some innovative treatment options. Sleep disorders have long been a problem, and scientists have always looked for more efficient methods of treating overactive nervous systems. Anxiety, insomnia, and seizures are all problems that medications like Seconal are designed to address. While the initial effects of the drug were successful, Seconal was deemed a very dangerous medication.
Barbiturate drugs are among the oldest forms of modern treatment for sleep disorders and epilepsy. Unfortunately, a disturbing amount of people became addicted to the substances causing an even bigger epidemic. Seconal is a barbiturate that is used in extreme cases of sleep disorders. It’s designed to induce feelings of sleep and relaxation while providing relief for those with overactive nervous systems. As an unintended consequence, central nervous system (CNS) depressant drugs often cause euphoric side effects, and it makes the drugs prone to being abused.
Seconal was a popular medication in the 1960s before newly founded benzodiazepines were introduced as a less addictive alternative. Barbiturates have sharply declined in use throughout the medical community due to their highly addictive factors. Seconal is a drug highly sought out by those who abuse stimulant drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine because of the sedative properties it offers. It is believed that it helps the stimulant comedown become much more tolerable and allow them to sleep.
Seconal is also a drug that is used in the controversial physician-assisted suicide initiative that has become much more popular over the years. A drug that is specifically used to promote death is hazardous and can result in severe withdrawal symptoms. Seconal is not a drug that should be taken lightly, and if you have become addicted to it and are experiencing withdrawal symptoms, you must get help immediately.
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Seconal affects the brain similarly to other barbiturate or depressant drugs like alcohol or benzodiazepines. It binds with receptors in the brain of the neurotransmitter gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA chemicals are naturally produced with the intention to slow down activity in the central nervous system (CNS).
Seconal’s purpose is to relax muscles, relieve stress, calm nerves, reduce anxiety, and over-all relieve tension in the body. It also inhibits nerve impulses that cause these feelings so that they cannot reach the brain.
Seconal replicates the effects of naturally occurring GABA by binding to the receptors and inducing these relaxing feelings. It stimulates the receptors to produce excessive amounts of the chemical and flood the brain and nervous system. Prolonged use as we mentioned above can lead to dependence and addiction. Attempting to stop Seconal without the aid of professionals can be fatal. If you try to stop on your own, it can also include uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
Since Seconal is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that binds to GABA neurotransmitters in the brain, it tricks the brain into thinking there is enough GABA to function. The difference between a prescribed dose and overdose is minimal, and it is imperative to follow the prescribed treatment. If you have become addicted to Seconal, cessation can be challenging. The symptoms of a Seconal withdrawal can be less than desirable and can result in fatalities.
Seconal withdrawal symptoms may include:
Seconal withdrawal symptoms can vary from minor to severe as you would expect from other barbiturates. Minor withdrawal symptoms start approximately eight to 12 hours after the last dose, and significant symptoms of Seconal withdrawal occur around 16 hours of the last dose. The symptoms may last up to five days.
At the 15 day point, the intensity of these symptoms begin to dissipate, but symptoms can continue for months or years depending on some factors.
Some factors that can determine the length and severity of withdrawal include:
Minor symptoms of Seconal withdrawal include:
Severe Seconal withdrawal symptoms include:
Seconal withdrawal symptoms will resolve themselves after two weeks, but lingering symptoms may still be present. These include depression, insomnia, and anxiety, which can persist up to six months or longer. It is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), and if you experience symptoms you believe to be PAWS, reach out to your medical professional immediately to discuss options.
The initial symptoms during withdrawal will be an increase in pulse rate, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, and severe mood swings. By day three, the symptoms will reach their peak; feelings of anxiety, fatigue, sweating, and delirium can come in full swing. This is the most critical stage where one can experience a seizure, and being around medical professionals is crucial.
Nearing day five is good news, and the psychological and physical symptoms will become noticeably less intense. Emotional symptoms such as sadness and cravings will still be present. Difficulty sleeping, mood swings, fatigue, and irritability are likely to stick around.
The symptoms will begin to subside, and normalcy will become a factor in the recovering user’s life. Emotional symptoms can continue for the next few weeks as the body continues to stabilize.
Abstaining from any drug cold turkey will be difficult and painful, but stopping Seconal provides a unique set of challenges to overcome. It’s crucial to find a professional, medically-assisted detox program to support you for the duration of the acute Seconal withdrawals. Detox allows the transition into sobriety to take place in a professional environment equipped to handle emergencies. The process can last anywhere from three to seven days depending on the severity of the addiction. Anyone serious about their sobriety must consider medical detoxification.
Medically supervised detox is a small piece in the continuum of care. The process of continuing your care and entering into residential or outpatient treatment allows you to get to the root of your addiction, and understand what fueled you to use drugs in the first place. Innovative therapies are designed to give you the necessary tools that help you cope with triggers once treatment is completed, and help you learn to love yourself again and undo the damage of addiction. Someone that is serious about their sobriety must complete the process to give them the best chance at long-term abstinence from Seconal.
Evashwick, C. (1989). Creating the continuum of care. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10293297
Seconal Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-8585/seconal-oral/details
Carter, Z. F. (2011, September 25). What assisted suicide really looks like. Retrieved from https://www.salon.com/2011/05/25/how_to_die_in_oregon/