Amytal, which also goes by amobarbital, is a potent barbiturate drug that was routinely used to treat anxiety and insomnia decades ago. The medication was prescribed to help American soldiers fighting in World War II overcome a condition known as “shell shock.” As more soldiers were given Amytal, government officials realized how impaired the fighters had become, which led to an abrupt end to the program.

It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be prescribed a barbiturate like Amytal today due to its dangerous effects. Amytal commonly leads to misuse, abuse, and overdose, even in small amounts. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released a report showing only 12 barbiturate medications remain in circulation for medical purposes – Amytal being one of those. You will not find Amytal used outside of a hospital setting because it’s solely given as a sedative before surgery. Although a doctor will never prescribe Amytal, those seeking the drug may find it on the black market. Amytal should only be used under the supervision of trained medical professionals since such a small dose can cause an overdose.

What Are The Signs Of Amytal Addiction?

It’s nearly impossible to pinpoint drug addiction in its earliest stages. Early on, someone abusing Amytal may not show a single sign that you would attribute with drug abuse. Drugs like Amytal, for example, may present more outward signs than other drugs early on. Barbiturates provide more symptoms than other drugs because of their potency, but isolated signs will continue to appear over time. 

The earlier you can intervene while someone is using drugs like Amytal, the higher their chances are to stop without too many problems. It’s crucial that you are aware of the signs so that you know if someone you love is using Amytal. The most common mental and physical side effects attributed to regular or long-term abuse of Amytal include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Impaired coordination
  • Periods of confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Chronic drowsiness
  • Frequent or painful migraine headaches
  • Hallucinations (In extreme cases)

In some cases, someone abusing the drug will have difficulty understanding they are becoming addicted. Losing control is a gradual process that occurs over time. In that span, a person won’t have time to react as they become more dependent on Amytal. Unfortunately, it will lead to obsessive or compulsive use.

Other Signs That Point To Amytal Addiction Include

  • Lying about drug usage
  • Socially isolating as a result of Amytal use
  • Experience a tolerance to the effects of Amytal
  • Unable to stop using Amytal despite trying
  • Inability to function without Amytal
  • Stealing to support your habit
  • Forging prescriptions or purchasing off the black market

What Is Involved In Amytal Addiction Treatment?


One of the reasons barbiturates are not used today is because of how dangerous the withdrawal symptoms can become. In some cases, Amytal withdrawal can be fatal. The symptoms are similar to alcohol and benzodiazepines, which require medical detox for a person to overcome safely. If you are ready to stop using Amytal, you should not harm yourself in the process of quitting. Getting help is your best choice. 

Once a person finishes time in detox, they will be placed into the next level of care. Only addiction specialists can determine what step is next, and you must speak with a doctor today if you are abusing Amytal to learn about your options. 

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