Amytal, or amobarbital, is a barbiturate derivative used primarily as a sedative for those struggling with sleep disorders. It acts as a central nervous system depressant, helping an individual to relax enough to fall asleep. Though physicians have largely replaced Amytal with benzodiazepines due to safety issues, there are still some doctors that will prescribe it. As an illegal drug, it’s known on the street as blue velvet, blue heavens, blue devils, downers, and red birds.
Amytal is quite potent, and the risk for dependence and overdose is high. Just a couple of weeks of taking Amytal is enough to cause psychological and physical dependence.
What Are Amytal Withdrawal Symptoms?
Once someone has become dependent on Amytal and tries to stop using the drug, they may experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms ranging in severity. Some of the common Amytal withdrawal symptoms reported are:
- Vision distortion
- Muscle twitching
- Increased anxiety
Some of the More Serious Amytal Withdrawal Symptoms Include:
What Are the Stages in the Amytal Withdrawal Timeline?
Individuals who have become dependent on Amytal will most likely want to know how long they can expect to feel the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms once they stop using it. Understanding better the withdrawal timeline can help calm some of the anxiety that may accompany someone thinking about quitting the drug.
Once an individual begins detoxing from Amytal, the onset of withdrawal symptoms can begin as soon as eight to 12 hours after the last dose. The severity of symptoms will vary depending on various factors, including:
- Level of dependence
- The dosage used
- The frequency taken
- Whether or not co-occurring mental health disorders are present
- Other medications taken
- Any underlying health issues
Typically, withdrawal symptoms will occur in the following stages:
First 24 Hours (Early Withdrawal)
Within 24 hours of the last dose, withdrawal symptoms such as increased anxiety, increased blood pressure, body or muscle aches, nausea, or headache may occur. The degree of early symptoms may depend on the dosage and frequency the person used the drug.
Withdrawal symptoms are most likely to peak within the first two to four days, likely building in intensity. Heavy Amytal users may experience withdrawal symptoms which can become quite daunting and dangerous, with the worst symptoms being tremors, seizures, and psychosis. It is recommended to seek support from medical professionals who can monitor the individual, and if necessary, prescribe medication to help decrease the severe withdrawal symptoms.
5 Days and Beyond
Most of the physical withdrawal symptoms will subside between the fifth and eighth day, though some symptoms may linger on for a week or two. By day 15, most report that all physical withdrawal symptoms have subsided. Psychological symptoms may linger on for several months up to a year, depending on various factors. These symptoms include cravings, anxiety, or depression.
Why Should I Detox?
Medical experts state that trying to get off Amytal, or any barbiturate, cold turkey is very dangerous because of the changes that occur in the brain while on the drug. The body can be shocked experiencing life-threatening symptoms like seizures, psychosis, or hypothermia if suddenly stopping.
For this reason, medical detox is recommended where medication and support are given for safe, optimal treatment. This allows one to come off Amytal slowly until the body can re-adjust to life without the drug.
What Is the Next Treatment Step?
Getting through the withdrawal symptoms best occurs in a detox center that provides addiction treatment. Having around-the-clock medical monitoring, with physicians able to cater to each person individually, can significantly increase the likelihood of a successful, long-term recovery.
Understand that detox is not the end of treatment, but simply the beginning. Once the detox phase is complete, undergoing treatment in an inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment center is recommended.
Inpatient treatment occurs at a treatment center, where an individual resides for the duration of the program, oftentimes around 30 to 60 days. For those that desire or need to stay longer, there is usually an option to extend treatment.
Outpatient centers provide addiction treatment as well, with the main difference being that the person does not live at the center. They attend a certain number of sessions during the week and return home after each session.
Both Types of Treatment Offer Comprehensive Treatment, Including:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Support groups (Some, but not all)
- Family therapy (Some, but not all)
- Relapse prevention planning
- Dual diagnosis treatment
Start Your Journey to Recovery Today
If you or a loved one have become dependent on Amytal and would like to stop using it, attending a detox and addiction treatment center is the way to achieve this. You do not have to stay stuck in the cycle of addiction any longer.