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Barbiturate Abuse (cont.)

Diagnosis of Barbiturate Abuse

A urine test can readily identify barbiturate use. Diagnosis in a hospital emergency department, however, concentrates on diagnosing other potential reasons for the person to be drowsy or display symptoms characteristic of barbiturate abuse, such as other drugs taken, head injury, stroke, infection, or shock. These diagnostic efforts take place while the person is being treated.

In general, the person will have an IV started and blood will be drawn. An ECG (electrocardiogram) will be performed to evaluate the person's heart. Other diagnostic efforts depend on the specific situation.

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