Sleep disorders affect more than 70 million Americans every year, as noted by Cleveland Clinic. Common sleep disorders include insomnia, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea. Lack of sleep can cause safety problems, school and work problems, and relationship problems. It also can affect your mental health, weight, and cause conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

When you don’t get enough sleep, you are not just tired. Lack of sleep can cause poor cognitive function, depression, and personality changes. It can also impair your decision-making ability, cause irritability, and produce problems with work and school performance. It also can slow down reaction times, leading to vehicle accidents.

Throughout time, we have struggled to get to sleep and stay asleep. If you were to search for ways to get enough sleep, you would find pages and pages of it on the internet. There are also many medications and natural supplements that can bring on a good night’s rest.

Insomnia is one sleep disorder that is thought to be caused by an overactive nervous system. Anxiety is another. Barbiturates are a type of central nervous system (CNS) depressant used in the treatment of insomnia and seizures. They are sometimes used in a hospital setting for preoperative sedation. Barbiturates are one of the oldest treatment forms for overactive nervous system disorders. However, they have caused a great deal of dependence and addiction problems.

Seconal is a barbiturate that slows the activity of your brain and nervous system. It is used to treat insomnia for the short-term or as a sedative before surgery. The drug induces sleep and relaxation. It also provides relief for those with an overactive nervous system.

As a CNS depressant, it works on the part of the brain that produces euphoria, which is not an intended effect, but one that can lead to abuse of the medication. This is why a physician should monitor use when prescribed.

Seconal was a common drug before benzodiazepines were developed and introduced to the general public. Lunesta and Ambien, also called Z-drugs, were developed as an alternative to benzodiazepines, which also caused dependence and addiction.

Barbiturates are barely given these days due to their addictive properties. People who use cocaine or methamphetamine seek Seconal for its sedative effects. These effects help counter the effects of the “comedown” associated with stimulants, like cocaine. It is also imperative to note that Seconal is also used for physician-assisted suicide due to its strength.

What is Seconal?

Seconal contains the active ingredient Secobarbital sodium and is a barbiturate. It produces anesthetic, sedative, anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant, and hypnotic effects. In some rare cases, it is used to treat epilepsy and insomnia and as an anesthetic for short medical procedures.

Barbiturates are central nervous system (CNS) depressant drugs that work by slowing down an overactive nervous system. Depressant drugs increase the efficiency of the neurotransmitter in the brain called gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA binds to receptors and activates them to regulate the nervous system’s excitability.

 Barbiturates intensify the powers the receptors influence, and when a natural neurotransmitter activates it, the efficacy is increased. Therefore, barbiturates increase the sedative, anticonvulsant, and hypnotic effects of the GABA receptor.

Seconal and other CNS depressants have the ability to slow down heart and breath rates and reaction times. The drug has some notable side effects to keep in mind:

  • Feeling calm
  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling disassociated
  • Trouble with coordination
  • Impaired motor function
  • Impaired cognitive ability

These side effects make it dangerous to operate heavy machinery like a motor vehicle.

People who use drugs recreationally, especially stimulants, seek Seconal for its ability to bring calm, relaxing, and euphoric effects. If used for a long time, Seconal can lead to dependence and addiction. It is most often prescribed for a short time—10 days at most. If used for longer, it can cause a rebound in symptoms and drug dependency. Rebound symptoms can be stronger than before taking the drug.

When taken for an extended time, the brain becomes adjusted to Seconal and requires it to function normally. If you were to stop taking it abruptly, it could lead to dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

What are the Signs of Seconal Addiction?


Addiction is a chronic yet treatable disease of the brain. Seconal addiction, and addiction to barbiturates, can be fatal if not treated. The longer you or someone you care about uses Seconal, the more likely they will develop a dependence or addiction to it.

Tolerance is the first sign of a substance use disorder. Tolerance occurs when you feel like you need to take more of the drug or substance in order to get the same effects.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that dependence develops when you feel physical and mental withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal can be mild or severe. For example, withdrawal from caffeine can be mild, but withdrawal from alcohol can be severe. A person with a developing addiction to Seconal who is experiencing withdrawal symptoms may feel like they need to use the drug to feel normal.

If you or someone you care about continues taking Seconal despite any negative consequences occurring, they are addicted to the drug. Below are signs to observe and know:

  • Mood swings
  • Slow or slurred speech
  • Poor judgment
  • Lying about drug use
  • Hiding drugs
  • Poor coordination or motor control
  • Confusion
  • Shallow breathing
  • Isolating themselves
  • Intoxication that looks like drunkenness

What is Involved in Seconal Addiction Treatment?

Seconal addiction can be highly dangerous due to the part of the brain that it affects. Medical detox is the first stage in addiction treatment. Detox is when the body rids itself of all toxins and foreign substances. It is medically overseen for 24 hours and may last up to seven days. Medication may be given to ease some of the more symptoms. Medical detox is the safest way to rid your body of Seconal and other toxins.

Once detox is complete, the individual will go through an assessment before addiction care specialists refer them to one of the other levels in the continuum of care.  These are:

  • Residential inpatient services
  • Intensive outpatient
  • Outpatient services

The individual and the clinicians meet and discuss the treatment options which are uniquely matched for the person. Therapies might include sessions on finding the root of addiction, how to prevent relapse, learning how to respond to certain situations, managing triggers, and cravings, and possibly, explore alternative forms of therapies.

Treatment is most effective when it lasts 90 days, and the individual actively engages in all treatment plans and therapies. When addiction treatment ends, there are a variety of alumni and 12-step programs to assist the individual in maintaining long-term sobriety.

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