Dependence Of The Barbiturate Type

Barbiturates are depressants and are used to induce sleep or to act as mild sedatives or tranquilizers.

Mental dependence may lead to periodic or continuous use of the drug which, in turn, can result in a physical dependence after a user ingests amounts considerably above the therapeutic or socially acceptable levels.

Symptoms & Signs

In general, those dependent on sedatives and hypnotics prefer the rapid onset drugs such as secobarbital and phenobarbital. In susceptible persons, psychological dependence on the drug may develop rapidly and after only a few weeks. Attempts to discontinue use may result in insomnia, restlessness, disturbing dreams and feelings of tension early in the morning. The extent of the physical dependence is related to the barbiturate dose and length of time that it has been taken. Barbiturate users may appear as if they are alcohol intoxicated.

An abrupt withdrawal from large doses of barbiturates or tranquilizers produces a severe, frightening and potentially life-threatening illness similar to delirium tremors. Withdrawal from barbiturates carries a significant mortality rate and should always be conducted under medical supervision.

The procedure for treating dependence on depressants, particularly barbiturates, is to re-intoxicate the patient and then withdraw the drug on a strict schedule, being alert for signs of marked withdrawal.

Dependence Of Marijuana

Chronic or periodic use of marijuana (cannabis) or cannabis substances produces some mental dependence due to its desired effects, but no physical dependence occurs.

Symptoms & Signs

Marijuana produces a dreamy state of consciousness in which ideas seem disconnected, uncontrollable and free flowing. Time, color and perceptions are distorted. In general, there is a feeling of “well-being”, exaltation, and excitement that has been termed a “high.” Many of the psychological effects seem to be related to the setting in which the drug is taken.

Metabolic products of marijuana are retained in the tissues for a long time. For this reason, many persons who undergo a drug screen urinalysis may show by-products of marijuana in their urine for 30 days after use. Lowered testosterone (sperm count) levels have been reported in some males.