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Narcotics Awareness...Barbiturates Explained


What are the street names/slang terms for it?
Barbs, Block busters, Christmas trees, Goof balls, Pinks, Red devils, Reds and blues, Yellow jackets

What is it?
Barbiturates are prescription sedatives. Barbiturates that are commonly abused include amobarbital (Amytal), pentobarbital (Nembutal), and secobarbital (Seconal).

What does it look like?
Barbiturates come in multi-colored tablets and capsules.

How is it used?
These sedatives are used most often to treat unpleasant effects of illicit stimulants, to reduce anxiety, and to get "high". Short-acting barbiturates such as pentobarbital and secobarbital are the most frequently abused barbiturates. They are swallowed or injected. Commonly called "sleeping pills" or "downers" and often used on the street in combination with stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamines, and crystal meth/crank.

What are its short-term effects?
Slurred speech, shallow breathing, sluggishness, fatigue, disorientation, lack of coordination, dilated pupils. Barbiturates mimic alcohol inebriation causing mild euphoria, disinhibition, relief of anxiety and sleepiness. Higher doses cause impairment of memory, judgment and coordination, irritability, paranoid and suicidal ideation.

What are its long-term effects?
Tolerance develops quickly and larger doses are used, increasing the danger of an overdose. In an overdose or when taken with other drugs like alcohol, death is due to depression of the respiratory center in the brain. Withdrawal symptoms include:
  • tremors
  • elevated blood pressure and pulse
  • sweating
  • possible seizures.
Source: Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) The Center for Alcohol and other Drug Education of The George Washington University  

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Drug Facts, Information, and Literature - Clickable Links
Alcohol Amphetamines Anorectic Barbiturates
Benzodiazepines Buprenorphine Butorphanol Crack / Cocaine
Club Drugs Codeine Depressants Stimulants
Ecstasy Rophypnol / GHB Heroin Ketamine
Marijuana Oxycontin Nicotine Nitrous Oxide