Barbiturate. Now where would you think of a name like that? Legend has it that this drug was derived when a 29 year old research assistant, Adolph von Baeyer, was working in his Belgian laboratory in 1863 when he took the condensation of malonic acid and combined it with Urea. Von Baeyer went downtown to a local pub to celebrate where some army officers where celebrating Feast Day of Saint Barbara. So he took the name Barbara and combined it with the chemical that mostly made up this new acid and came out with barbituric acid. In 1912, two German scientists used von Baeyers acid to synthesize a new drug, barbitol.

What they were looking for was a drug that would combat the effects of anxiety and nervousness. They were successful but the side effects were too great.Barbiturates are drugs that cause depression of the central nervous system and are generally used to induce europhia. D.C.

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Heaths Perspectives on HEALTH defines europhia as a feeling of intense happiness and well being. Most users take the pills orally, often with alcohol. The most common way to get the barbiturates is in tablet form. Other ways to get barbiturates include ampoules, syrup, or capsules. For injection, which is rarely used because of its risk factor, capsules are opened and the powder is added to water.

However, this can cause damage to the veins. Barbiturates come in different types such as Soneryl, Nembutal, Amytal, and Tuinal. Small doses relax the user, depressing the nervous system while the effects last up to 8 hours depending on the dosage. Large doses can cause loss of co-ordination, slurred speech, and give the appearance of being drunk. The lethal dose is especially close to the normal dose that is why it is very risky to use barbiturates. On the street, barbiturates are classified by their color such as blues which are amytal, and yellow jackets which are nembutal, or red birds or red devils which are seconal red.

Barbiturates can be classified as short acting (4 hours or less), intermediate acting (4-6 hours), and long acting (6 hours or more.) Also, there is a special Ultra-Short category, which happens before the full injection of the barbiturate is complete. Dependence upon this drug is almost guaranteed. Each time the dosage must be raised to get the same high feeling. People who use these drugs daily for prolonged periods of time may become psychologically and physically dependent. Psychological dependence exists when they are addicted so much that the need to continue its use becomes more of a craving. The physical dependence happens when the body has adapted to the presence of the drug, and withdrawal symptoms occur when the use is abruptly ended.

Such withdrawal symptoms differ from the amount of drug taken. Mild withdrawal symptoms include apprehension, high-excitability, mild tremors, loss of appetite, and hair standing on end. Intermediate withdrawal symptoms include severe tremors, muscle rigidity, impaired motor activity, retching and vomiting, and significant weight loss. Severe withdrawal symptoms include convulsions, delirium or hallucinations, hypothermia, and an unusually high fever.

Most people who commonly use Barbiturates are heroin addicts. They inject a mixture of both drugs to get a high. This is a very hazardous practice, because both drugs depress respiratory control centers in the brain. Some methamphetamine (speed) users take barbiturates to combat severe hyperactivity following a run of speed over a couple of days.

What happens when barbiturates put you to sleep is that they affect the GABA receptors, which bring a general inhibition of the activity of the Central Nervous System, especially the part of the brain that controls the rhythm of waking and sleeping. By activating stimuli, the induce sleep. The psychological effects are much like that of alcohol but at a higher level. States of mild euphoria, desinhibitition, relief of anxiety, and sleepiness occur. At higher doses impairment of memory, judgement and coordination, irritability, paranoid and suicidal ideation occur.

Some physical byproducts are sleepiness, dizziness, nausea, slurred speech, and decreased respiration. In conclusion, although there are some medical uses of barbiturates such as tranquilizers, sleeping pills, anti-convulsants, anesthetics, and psychiatric help, I believe that they should be a Class A drug which means that they cannot be used at all, even if they are prescribed. They are too many things that could go wrong, such as overdose or the withdrawal symptoms.

Either way what usually happens to barbiturate addicts is that they get prescribed a legal dosage and then get addicted and start buying it on the streets.

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