Phenobarbital Abuse, Addiction, And Treatment Programs
Phenobarbital is a schedule IV prescription drug that is primarily used to control seizures. It belongs to a class of addictive drugs known as barbiturates. Phenobarbital addiction can be treated through medically supervised detox, inpatient rehab, and behavioral therapy.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), nearly six million Americans reported misusing prescription sedatives like phenobarbital in 2019.
Phenobarbital (Luminal) is a long-acting barbiturate drug that can control seizures and cause drowsiness. It may be prescribed to treat epilepsy or to ease severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
When taken, phenobarbital slows brain activity by acting on the central nervous system. Phenobarbital is also habit-forming and can become physically and mentally addictive with chronic use or misuse.
At Spring Hill Recovery Center, we understand how painful it can be to live with prescription drug addiction or watch someone you love struggle. Recovery from phenobarbital addiction is possible.
Here, you’ll find information about phenobarbital abuse, treatment options, and an overview of our New England addiction recovery center.
Phenobarbital Abuse And Addiction
Phenobarbital belongs to a class of prescription tranquilizers known as barbiturates. Before the development of benzodiazepines—another type of prescription sedative—barbiturates were widely used to treat anxiousness, seizures, and insomnia.
When misused, phenobarbital can have severe side effects, including low blood pressure, reduced heart rate, difficulty breathing, coma, and death.
Phenobarbital abuse is defined as taking the drug in any way other than prescribed. This can include crushing and snorting tablets, taking it without a prescription, or mixing it with other drugs—such as opioids—for stronger effects.
Signs of phenobarbital addiction may include:
- taking higher doses than prescribed
- taking phenobarbital for reasons other than prescribed
- stealing from another person’s prescription
- forging prescriptions
- taking phenobarbital with other depressants to enhance or alter its effects
- being unable to reduce or stop your drug use
Taking phenobarbital for more than a few weeks—even as prescribed—can cause increased tolerance and dependence. This can make it difficult to stop taking phenobarbital, resulting in drug withdrawal symptoms with reduced or stopped use.
Barbiturate withdrawal can be highly uncomfortable and potentially life-threatening without medical help and treatment.
Dangers Of Phenobarbital Abuse
Drug overdose is a major concern with phenobarbital abuse. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, one in 10 people who overdose on barbiturates in the United States die—usually from heart or lung complications.
The high risk for overdose with barbiturates is one of the primary reasons it is prescribed less often than it used to be. Phenobarbital overdose is an especially high risk in new drug users, people who have recently detoxed, those who mix it with other drugs, and people with other co-occurring physical or mental health conditions.
If someone you know has overdosed on phenobarbital, seek medical attention right away.
Signs of phenobarbital overdose include:
- uncontrollable eye movements
- poor coordination
- the sudden appearance of blisters
- very low body temperature
- slow or shallow breathing
- extreme sedation
- loss of consciousness
Phenobarbital abuse can also cause miscarriage in people who are pregnant and may risk head injury and other dangers due to intoxication. Chronic drug abuse can have negative effects on cognition, including impaired memory, as well as depression, and sleeping troubles.
Treatment For Phenobarbital Abuse And Addiction
Recovery from drug addiction is possible. It is not an easy or a quick process but can be best aided through the care of experienced drug abuse and healthcare professionals.
Without treatment, it can be difficult to overcome the physical and psychological challenges of trying to stop taking addictive substances.
Treatment programs for phenobarbital addiction include:
Our New England rehab center offers access to detox services, residential rehab, and intensive outpatient treatment programs for phenobarbital addiction.
We also offer aftercare support by way of our alumni recovery support program and partnership with nearby sober living homes.
Phenobarbital Detoxification Programs
Chronic misuse of phenobarbital can cause physical and psychological dependence. Drug dependence can cause the body to go through withdrawal within hours of your last dose. Detoxing from phenobarbital is the first step on the journey towards drug addiction recovery.
Phenobarbital withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe in nature. In severe cases, certain symptoms of withdrawal, such as seizures, can be life-threatening. Entering a medically supervised detox program is the best way to prevent serious withdrawal risks.
Medically supervised detox can offer the following:
- 24-hour medical treatment
- around-the-clock supervision
- quiet environment
- medicine to ease symptoms and drug cravings
- IV therapy
- care coordination
Although our rehab center does not offer detoxification services onsite, our facility does work with nearby detox centers to coordinate a smooth transition from detox to our residential rehab program.
This is highly recommended following acute barbiturate withdrawal in order to address the root causes of addiction and learn supportive strategies for maintaining sobriety.
Inpatient Treatment For Phenobarbital Addiction
Inpatient treatment is highly recommended for people with chronic or severe drug addiction. Within an inpatient treatment program, individuals can learn supportive strategies for building a healthy future in addiction recovery.
During residential rehab at Spring Hill, residents will follow a structured treatment schedule that is customized to meet their needs. They may attend individual and group counseling, meet with our clinical staff, and participate in recreational activities to promote mental and physical health.
Residential treatment for phenobarbital addiction at Spring Hill offers the following:
- behavioral therapies
- family therapy
- medical and psychiatric support
- mental health treatment (dual diagnosis)
- medication management
- holistic therapies
- relapse prevention planning
- aftercare services
Our residential rehab program offers the highest level of care for people overcoming addiction and is most suitable for people who have recently detoxed or who have chronic addiction.
Phenobarbital Outpatient Treatment
Outpatient treatment is a less intensive form of substance use disorder treatment. This does not involve living at a treatment facility.
At Spring Hill, we offer an intensive outpatient treatment program (IOP) that provides ongoing support for people who are in early to mid recovery from drug addiction.
Intensive outpatient treatment involves attending treatment at our facility for a few hours in the afternoon or evening, a few days a week.
This schedule can be flexible to meet the needs of parents, working professionals, students, and caregivers. During this time, residents may continue individual therapy, attend support groups, and meet with our clinical staff as needed.
Begin Your Addiction Recovery Journey At Spring Hill Recovery Center
If you’re seeking drug addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one in the New England region, look no further than our accredited rehab center in the woodlands of Massachusetts.
Spring Hill is a leading substance abuse and mental health rehab center that serves all of Massachusetts and the surrounding states. We offer residential treatment and intensive rehab treatment options for addiction to prescription medications like phenobarbital.
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t kept Spring Hill from providing New England residents life-saving treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Don’t wait to learn what we can do for you or a loved one who is struggling.
Call us today to learn more about Spring Hill Recovery Center and the types of treatment services we offer.
Written by Spring Hill Editorial Team
©2022 Spring Hill Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved
This page does not provide medical advice.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus—Phenobarbital https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682007.html
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus—Barbiturate intoxication and overdose https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000951.htm
- U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information: StatPearls—Barbiturate Toxicity https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499875/
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)—Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States 2019 https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/reports/rpt29393/2019NSDUHFFRPDFWHTML/2019NSDUHFFR1PDFW090120.pdf