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Barbiturate Abuse (cont.)

Barbiturate Abuse Causes and Risk Factors

Although the medical use of barbiturates has declined since the 1970s, and street abuse was also in decline, high school surveys suggest abuse has been rising over last 10 years. A common reason to abuse barbiturates is to counteract the symptoms of other drugs.

  • The increase in the abuse of barbiturates may be due to the popularity of stimulating drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines. The barbiturates ("downers") counteract the excitement and alertness obtained from the stimulating drugs.
  • Today's drug abusers may be too young to remember the death and dangerous effects barbiturates caused in the 1970s, so they underestimate the risks of using them.
  • Barbiturates are also commonly used in suicide attempts.
  • Other risk factors for the use of barbiturates includes other addictions, like to gambling, tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Toxicity, Barbituate »

Barbiturates are a class of organic compounds that were developed in the late 19th century for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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