Barbiturate Abuse (cont.)
Medical Treatment for Barbiturate Abuse
The treatment of barbiturate abuse or overdose is generally supportive. The amount of support required depends on the person's symptoms.
- If the person is drowsy but awake and can swallow and breathe without difficulty, the treatment may consist of just watching the person closely.
- If the person is not breathing, a breathing machine is used to ensure the person can breathe well until the drugs have worn off.
- Most people receive a liquid form of activated charcoal to bind to any drugs in their stomach. This may be done by placing a tube into the stomach (through the nose or mouth) or by having the person drink it.
- Most people are admitted to the hospital or are observed in the emergency department for a number of hours. Other treatments depend on the specific situation.
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