What is Barbiturate?
Barbiturates are depressants that produce a wide spectrum of central nervous system depression from mild sedation to coma. They have also been used as sedatives, hypnotics, anesthetics, and anticonvulsants. Barbiturates are classified as Ultrashort, Short, Intermediate, Long-acting.

Barbiturates were first introduced for medical use in the 1900s, and today about 12 substances are in medical use.


Cut- Off Levels  Window of Detection 
200, 300 ng/mL (Urine) 2hr. - 3 Days (Urine)
50, 300 ng/mL (Saliva)  1 - 2 Days (Saliva)
Common Nicknames
  • Barbs
  • Block Busters
  • Christmas Trees
  • Goof Balls
  • Pinks
  • Red Devils
  • Reds & Blues
  • Yellow Jackets
How is it Used?
Barbiturates are abused by swallowing a pill or injecting a liquid form. Barbiturates are generally abused to reduce anxiety, decrease inhibitions, and treat unwanted effects of illicit drugs. Barbiturates can be extremely dangerous because overdoses can occur easily and lead to death.
What Does It Look Like?
Barbiturates come in a variety of multicolored pills and tablets. Abusers prefer the short-acting and intermediate barbiturates such as Amytal® and Seconal®.
What Are the Effects?

Barbiturates cause mild euphoria, lack of inhibition, relief of anxiety and sleepiness. Higher doses cause impairment of memory, judgment and coordination, irritability, and paranoid and suicidal ideation. Tolerance develops quickly and larger doses are then needed to produce the same effect, increasing the danger of an overdose. Barbiturates slow down the central nervous system and cause sleepiness.

Drugs with similar effects include alcohol, benzodiazepines like Valium® and Xanax®, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, Rohypnol®, and GHB.

Common Symptoms
Effects of overdose include shallow respiration, clammy skin, dilated pupils, weak and rapid pulse, coma, and possible death.
Legal Status

 Barbiturates are Schedule II, III, and IV depressants under the Controlled Substances Act. Barbiturates were first introduced for medical use in the 1900s, and today about 12 substances are in medical use.




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