Butalbital Addiction Treatment

The definitive guide to Butalbital addiction and its treatment. More here on your main treatment options and how to ask for help. Your questions are welcomed at the end!

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ARTICLE SUMMARY: Addiction is a medical condition. It is a chronic, relapsing disease of the brain. Treatment includes a combination of medications and talk therapy for best results. We review evidence-based treatments here, and invite your questions at the end.



Psychoactive Effects

Butalbital is a psychoactive drug. This means that it affects the brain – and thereby – the way that you think. It is in a class of drugs called “barbituates” and works just as other barbiturates do on the brain – by binding to sodium channels on neurons and preventing the flow of sodium ions. Butalbital crosses the blood brain barrier easily and dissolves into body fat. This means that Butalbital can accumulate and re-enter the bloodstream later.

Butalbital may also increase the flow of chloride ions across the neuronal membrane. This usually occurs through binding to the receptor for the neurotransmitter called GABA. The increased chloride ion flow reduces the chance that an action potential will be generated.

In low doses, Butalbital produces a pleasantly relaxed state of body and mind. But in higher doses this drug can cause:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Liver damage
  • Heart damage
  • Central Nervous System (CNS) damage

Understanding Addiction

What causes people to adopt addictive lifestyles?

Nobody plans to become addicted to a drug or to act in self-destructive patterns. We get there somehow, usually as the  result of environmental factors. But most people usually never make a conscious choice to get addicted. Instead, scientists are finding that drug addiction and other compulsive behaviors are a matter of biology. “The addiction gene” is the reason that some people are more susceptible to addiction than others.

Nonetheless, we don’t really know. Indeed, theories of addiction have been suggested since the 1980’s. The social learning model, for example, emphasizes the influence and importance of learned behavior. According to this model the explanation for using Bautalbital is simple: to decrease anxiety and cause sleepiness and relaxation. Since most people like the way Bautalbital makes them feel, the behaviors are reinforced. By the time significant negative consequences occur as a result of the behavior, a strong physical and psychological addiction has already developed.

Recovery from any kinds of addiction involves some level of physical, mental, and spiritual healing. Long-term barbiturate users develop physical and psychological dependence. This is why longer-term treatment, including talk therapy and counseling, ensures the best chance for long-term success.

Do I Have a Problem?

As you begin to think about the process of change, you might find it helpful to get a feel for your own relationship with Butalbital. To do this, take out your journal and write down your thoughts about the following questions:

  • Do you become restless, irritable or anxious when trying to stop or cut down use?
  • Have you tried to keep your Butalbital use a secret from your loved ones?
  • Has your drug use lead you to financial problems?
  • Have you tried to stop, but failed several times?

If most of your answers to these questions were YES, it’s likely that you have an addiction problem with Butalbital. If your addiction is causing you worry think of it as an opportunity. Worry can be an engine that drives change.

Treatment Just For You

There are many varieties of treatment types you can choose from once you are ready and willing to make a change. But before making the final decision, take into consideration your current life circumstances such as: your family and marriage status, the dynamic and nature of your work and finally your financial resources and budget (how much you can afford for treatment).

The best treatment program is a tailor made program JUST FOR YOU. A one-size-fits-all approach has been proven unsuccessful given the fact that each recovery experience is different and unique. It’s like Cinderella’s shoe. One shoe can’t fit everyone’s foot. The same is true of addiction programs. People use varying amounts of the same drug, different types of psychoactive substances, and their motivations for using barbituate drugs in the first place is entirely different. These varying circumstances surrounding addiction require sometimes very different treatment plans.

An individualized treatment program should be based on the following factors:

  • History of drug abuse
  • How much/long/often the has been drug (ab)used
  • Past trauma
  • Personal and emotional issues
  • Other root causes of addictive behavior (co-occurring disorders)
  • Your unique treatment goals

Main Treatment Options

Regardless of treatment variations, the following therapies should be offered at a reputable rehab facility:

  • Education
  • Counseling
  • Medication assisted therapy
  • Integrated or dual-diagnosis therapy
  • Relapse prevention training
  • Aftercare

Do you have a Butalbital addiction problem? Medical treatment can provide you with all the tools necessary, including a plan that works and the daily encouragement you need to stick to your plan. Explore various recovery programs and choose the one that best suits your needs.

What Happens in Rehab

Rehab involves a set of predictable stages of treatment. Treatment can be short or long-term…but most programs advocate for at least a few months of commitment. In fact, 90 day programs show success in helping people change behaviors. No matter of the length and type of recovery program, reputable treatment consists of the following main stages.

1. Assessment and evaluation.

Addiction assessment is the most important part of your admission process. Initial assessment helps you and your addiction counselor decide on a recovery program. Understanding the type of addiction you have, and the level of care you need is the most important component of your admission. To manage this, a good rehab should collect information about:

  • Current drug dependence
  • Your Butalbital use
  • Your history of substance abuse and addiction
  • Your medical history
  • Family history of diseases

You can also expect to talk openly about your financial situation, the nature of your job (flexible working time or fixed working hours, and your family obligations. Assessment considers all of these factors when planning the best route to health.

2. Detoxification.

During a supervised medical detox, medical professionals will help clear your system of any drugs. This can be a painful process, as detox often leads to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. But when this process is done under medical guidance and monitoring, withdrawal discomfort is brought down on a minimum.

3. Talk Therapy and Medications.

Once the detox phase is over, you are ready to move on to treating the other underlying causes of your addiction. A combination of talk therapy and medicines has been shown most successful. While most medications are used for addiction to alcohol or opiate drugs…short term use of antipressants can help balance the chemistry in the brain.

Further, one on one counseling have been proven to help people understand their relationship with substance abuse. The purpose of therapy is to:

  • Help you determine why you started using Butalbital in the first place.
  • Navigate potential triggers.
  • Learn ways to resist relapse when they come up.

Some of the best effective therapies include:

  • Personal therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Educational classes
  • Relapse prevention
  • Life skill classes

4. Aftercare.

Once a stay in rehab ends, that doesn’t mean treatment is done. You still need to navigate life outside of the rehab facility, and develop a support system to help you maintain sobriety. Once you finish official treatment, ongoing care is still recommended. This can include social support group meetings, ongoing counseling, alumni events, or weekly check-ins.

Even if your Butalbital addiction is severe, you can recover. The evidence shows that people with full range of drug problems can improve.

The First Step

Addiction recovery does not solely mean “going to rehab”. Treatment from substance abuse is not a one-time event. In truth, recovery from a substance addiction requires a lifetime of dedication and commitment. The beginning stages of the process usually involve medically assisted detox, medication management and psychological counseling, but the maintenance phase doesn’t end once you leave your facility.

Treating Withdrawal

Acute Butalbital withdrawal symptoms are felt within 8-16 hours after the last dose. Symptoms last around two weeks and are most severe at the beginning of withdrawal. Butalbital withdrawal syndrome can be quite unpleasant and for some, even dangerous. For this reason, supervised medical detox in an inpatient rehab center is advised to ensure safety.

Symptoms of withdrawal can range from mildly uncomfortable to seriously dangerous. Barbituate withdrawal can have a particularly negative effect on your health. If you are planning on reducing or eliminating heavy, chronic Butalbital use, we strongly recommend speaking to a medical professional about how to do so safely.

Common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • anxiety
  • dizziness
  • hallucinations
  • insomnia
  • nausea
  • psychosis
  • restlessness
  • seizures
  • sweating
  • tremors
  • weakness

Some people become hostile and violent. Without medical treatment you risk experiencing hyperthermia, circulatory failure, and death.

NOTE HERE: Butalbital withdrawal should be done gradually and under a doctor’s care, preferably in an inpatient treatment facility. You must adapt to small decreases in the dosage before being completely weaned. During the withdrawal process, medical monitoring is essential. Abrupt withdrawal from Butalbital can be dangerous.

How to Help Someone You Love

The number one thing family and loved ones can do to help someone with a Butalbital addiction change is to be positive and compassionate. You should also be aware that you cannot change your loved one. Only a person struggling with addiction can ask for help; you can only encourage them on the recovery journey.

However, since our surrounding sand the influence of family member plays a significant part in recovery, your help can also contribute to the decision to change. Here are some recommendations that can give you an idea about how to best approach your addicted loved one:

1. Consult with a professional interventionist to find a way to discuss about the consequences of Butalbital. You’ll talk about your personal experiences and your worries for your loved one’s health and behavior.

2. Avoid moral judgment and conflicts. Yelling, blaming, and criticizing a love one can have an opposite effect.

3. Seek expert help from a family therapist who has experience with addictions. When you see your loved one indulging in self-destructive behaviors, you can be a part of the solution if you engage in realistic and practical interventions. Using motivational interviewing techniques, can help you show your loved one a mirror in which he/she can see themselves and the consequences of their behaviors.

4. Practice tough love. Addicts often times take advantage of their loved one vulnerability, by blackmailing them emotionally. Make sure to set boundaries and tell your loved one which behaviors are not accepted and won’t be tolerated. This way you’ll show your addicted loved one that you refuse to enable, justify or participate in their abusive, self-destructing behaviors.

Recognizing that you or a loved one needs butalbital addiction help can be difficult and frightening. You don’t have to deal with addiction alone, though. There are professionals available to help you or your loved one.

Treatment for Life

Even after successfully completing rehab, many people continue to struggle with drug addiction. Aftercare includes all programs that follow after residential treatment. Continued care (aftercare) is usually completed on an outpatient basis and involves counseling, therapy, and support groups attendance. Butalbital aftercare programs often hold meetings and social events where recovering individuals can have fun in a supportive drug-free environment.

Some individuals choose to live in a sober living house. This combines flexibility and freedom with structured therapy sessions. Aftercare programs can last from weeks to years. Some people continue care for their entire lives.

4 Steps to creating an effective butalbital aftercare plan:

STEP #1: Participate in on-going therapy sessions.
STEP #2: Know your addiction triggers.
STEP #3: Learn how to cope with stress.
STEP #4: Plan what to do in cases of relapse.

Does Treatment Work?

Yes, addiction treatment works!

There is an old saying that goes: “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” So the same logic goes with rehab. Addiction treatment works if you are devoted to your recovery. People who make the effort to improve their lives. No matter how serous your problem with Butalbital is, the right combination of tools and support together with your perseverance can produce change.

The benefits of a sober life include:

  • Improvements in work and employment.
  • Relationship improvements with family and loved ones.
  • Improved health condition.
  • Better legal and financial status.

Why wait one day longer?

Reach out for help. Either here or somewhere else.

You can always send us a comment on the page below. You can also call us on the hotline number listed above. Just know that you are not alone. We want the best for you. And you can do it!

Reference Sources: NCBI: What is barbiturate dependence and who is at risk?
NCBI: A protocol for butalbital, aspirin and caffeine (BAC) detoxification in headache patients
NIH: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction
SAMHSA: Treatments for Substance Use Disorders
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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