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The Dos and Don’ts of Helping a Loved One Abusing Barbiturates

Helping a loved one who is suffering from addiction takes a toll on the entire family. You want the best for your loved one, but the complexity of addiction may make it difficult for you to distinguish between what is helping and what is hurting them. In order to properly help your loved one, you must become educated on what barbiturates are and what people on barbiturates go through on a daily basis.

What Do Barbiturates Do?

Barbiturates are sedative-hypnotic drugs that depress the central nervous system, and they are most commonly prescribed to treat anxiety disorders and sleeping problems. As a result of the central nervous system being depressed, the individual will experience many different effects of barbiturates, which can range from mild sedation to coma. Some common barbiturates are Nembutal, Seconal Sodium Pulvules, Merebal, and Amytal Sodium, and Butisol.

Barbiturates have a tendency to create psychological and physical dependence among its users. They have been commonly replaced with benzodiazepines due to their safer characteristics and less addictive qualities, but they are still present in today’s society. For example, one barbiturate called Phenobarbital resulted in 1,493 emergency room visits in the last year. Also, women are more likely to receive prescriptions for barbiturates because they are more likely to get help for insomnia and anxiety.

What SHOULDN’T You Do?

Judge, yell, or become angry. Yelling, fighting, and being confrontational is not the way to get your loved one on the road to treatment; even though you may feel all of those things. Being angry to them will not solve any problems, and it will only result in your addicted loved one becoming more upset, not being honest, and not letting you into their life.

Approach them while they are intoxicated. Make sure that your addicted loved one is in the right state of mind when approaching them for an intervention. If they are under the influence of their barbiturates, they will not be able to engage in a beneficial conversation with you. Be sure to wait for the right time and place to speak with your loved one.

Enable. Enabling the addict means that you begin taking responsibility for their own actions; you may take the blame for their addiction, provide money or bail them out of jail, or take over their personal responsibilities. It is important that you allow these things to happen to your loved one so that they can make their own decisions, and hopefully realize the importance of wanting to seek treatment.

What SHOULD You Do?

Have an intervention. An intervention may consist of family members, close friends, or other loved ones joined by a professional interventionist, psychologist, or substance abuse therapist. The group of people will come to the addicted loved one and talk about their concerns in an organized and calm manner. Interventions end in the various forms of treatment being described to the addict, and the addict then following through with one of them.

Try CRAFT training. One of the most effective forms of intervention, CRAFT, helps to train family members and other loved ones about how to engage the addicted person in many different ways. By learning how to reward positive behaviors, communicate in the best way possible, become aware of the person’s triggers of abuse, and guide the person into treatment, families and the addicts can learn to solve their problems in a peaceful setting.

Be aware of your communication. Despite how you may feel on the inside, it is best to use a calm and collected persona when speaking with your addicted loved one. Be aware of your nonverbal communication cues as well. Let them know that you want what is best for them and that you will always be there for them no matter what.

If you or a loved one is addicted to barbiturates or other substances, call SAFE Prevention at 1-877-503-2608 as soon as possible. At SAFE Prevention, you will be able to find the most effective resources for your individual situation. Call SAFE Prevention today to get started on your way to achieving long-term sobriety.

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