Barbiturates Essay

1304 words - 5 pages

Although there are many types of drugs, and many ways to get them, a type of depressant called a barbiturate may be the most commonly misused. Because barbiturates are prescription drugs, and usually prescribed for people who went through or are going through rough emotional times, there is no way to definitely tell when or when not someone needs the drug. The following paragraphs will explain how depressants work, the way barbiturates are taken, and the effects they have on the body. Depressants are the most common type of drug, simply because they slow down the body's functions, reaction times, and ability to work. Depressants come in many forms (such as pain killers and alcohol), and barbiturates cover a large section of these. Because barbiturates are used to relieve pain, or calm people down, they are widely prescribed for people who have panic attacks, or are going through very rough times in their lives. Even though new drugs are coming out on the market, barbiturates are widely prescribed for people who are not 'upper class'. The price and availability of barbiturates make them one of the most commonly misused prescription drugs on the market. The most common way people take barbiturates is through a pill. However, an increasing number of people are beginning to have the drug injected. These are people who become very dependant on the drug. The reason they inject the drug instead of taking it orally, is because it has a quicker, and sometimes longer-lasting effect. Most of the people who misuse barbiturates seem to prefer taking them orally because they don't enjoy self-injections, and a few moments after taking these drugs, they don't have enough coordination or energy to use a needle. Because barbiturates are mostly prescription drugs, the drug abuser has to be able to fool the doctor's and pharmacists long enough to make them think they need the drug. A good example of this type of person is forty-eight-year-old Lynn Ray: Lynn states: "I became a very good actor. I thought I needed these drugs no matter what, even if I had to bamboozle the doctors to get them." However, Lynn is only one of the half million barbiturate abusers in the United States. Her story is very common among people with similar problems, and is now speaking out at quarterly seminars against misusing prescription drugs. Like many people, Lynn also had no idea of the effects these types of drugs may have on her. Barbiturates are prescribed for a reason. The smallest overdose (only a few milligrams) could have devastating effects on the human body. There are numerous cases of people who have had sever brain damage, their limbs paralyzed, or have fallen into a coma because of their bad habits. For example, in 1970 Jimi Hendrix died of a barbiturate overdose. The less severe side-effects include slurred speech, sluggishness, disorientation, and lack of coordination. When mixed with alcohol, the risk of having one of these effects occur...

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