Barbiturates and Benzodiazepine Addiction

Knoxville, TN (PressExposure) July 30, 2009 -- Barbiturates were one of the most popular medications used for alcohol detoxfication. This is because of its effects, which is similar to alcohol, they were useful as substitutes in alcohol detoxification to avoid alcoholism withdrawal. However, due to their high potential to cause overdose, they were replaced by benzodiazepines which are significantly less dangerous in overdose. However, aside from overdose, barbiturates are also known to cause tolerance that usually leads to its addiction. Barbiturate addiction

Tolerance to barbiturates usually is the result of repeated use, particularly in the course of an alcohol detoxification wherein the usual substance intake have beenthey induce both physical dependence and psychological dependence. According to adolescent drug rehab therapists, psychological addiction to barbiturates can develop more quickly than physical dependence. The GABA receptor, one of barbiturates' main sites of action, is thought to play a pivotal role in the development of tolerance to and dependence on barbiturates, as well as the euphoric "high" that results from their abuse. The mechanism by which barbiturate tolerance develops is believed to be different than that of ethanol or benzodiazepines, even though these drugs have been shown to exhibit cross-tolerance with each other. diminished because of increased tolerance. The difference of barbiturates from other drugs is that

Physical dependence, on the other hand, is much easier to manage. According to adolescent drug rehab therapists, the management of a physical dependence on barbiturates is stabalisation on the long-acting barbiturate phenobarbitol followed by a gradual titration down of dose. The slowly eliminated phenobarbitol lessens the severity of the withdrawal syndrome and reduces the chances of serious barbiturate withdrawal effects such as seizures. Antipsychotics are not recommended for barbiturate withdrawal (or other CNS depressant withdrawal states) especially clozapine, olanzapine or low potency phenothiazines eg chlorpromazine as they lower the seizure threshold and can worsen withdrawal effects; if used extreme caution is required.

Although barbiturates have been largely replaced by benzodiazepines because of their low potency to cause harm, these drugs are still known to cause quite a problem, particularly with tolerance and addiction.

Benzodiazepine addiction

Although much safer than barbiturates, long-term use of benzodiazepines may lead to adverse psychological and physical effects, and because benzodiazepines are prone to cause tolerance, physical dependence, and, upon cessation of use, a withdrawal syndrome. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines generally leads to improved physical and mental health.

The main problem of the chronic use of benzodiazepines is the development of tolerance and dependence, which is similar to that of barbiturates. According to adolescent drug rehab therapists, tolerance manifests itself as diminished pharmacological effect and develops relatively quickly to the sedative, hypnotic, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant actions of benzodiazepines.

Discontinuation of benzodiazepines or abrupt reduction of the dose, even after a relatively short course of treatment (three to four weeks), may result in two groups of symptoms, which are rebound and withdrawal. Rebound symptoms are the return of the symptoms for which the patient was treated but worse than before. Withdrawal symptoms are the new symptoms that occur when the benzodiazepine is stopped. These are the main signs of physical dependence.

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Press Release Submitted On: July 30, 2009 at 10:22 pm
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