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Barbiturates ABOUT These drugs act to depress the central nervous system and are often called sleeping pills They are derived from barbituric acid C4H4N2O3 a combination of urea and malonic acid Depressants act as downers and can slow the body and mind down There are over 2000 known barbiturates They are some of the most addictive drugs They are often a substitute for alcohol similar affects are produced People use barbiturates to get a sense of euphoria and relaxation Its illegal to take barbiturates without a doctors prescription and supervision STREET NAMES Barbs downers sleepers stumblers blues yellow jackets purple hearts red dolls rainbows tootsies blue angels SHORT TERM EFFECTS relief of tension and anxiety sleepiness feeling of drunknessintoxication slurred speech inability to control simple body functions walking balance etc Memory impairment emotional instability LONGER TERM EFFECTS chronic tiredness general uncoordination vision problems dizziness slowed reflexes and response sexual dysfunction menstrual irregularities eating disorders WITHDRAWL SYMPTOMS hallucinations insomnia seizures nausea stomach problams sleep disorders HOW IT IS TAKEN Barbiturates are taken orally sometimes with alcohol They are sometimes made into powders for injection BEHAVIORAL EFFECTS In low doses barbiturates reduce anxiety reduce respiration reduce blood pressure reduce heart rate and reduce rapid eye movement REMsleep In higher doses barbiturates can actually increase some types of behavior and act like a stimulant These effects may be caused by depressing inhibitory brain circuits In other words barbiturates at these doses act to remove inhibitory behavior Barbiturates can lead to excessive sedation and cause anesthesia coma and even death Barbiturate overdoses may occur because the effective dose of the drug is not too far away from the lethal dose A major problem with barbiturates is that they may lead to tolerance and dependence EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN Barbiturates dissolve easily in fat Because of this property barbiturates have ready
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