Nembutal may not be a drug you are familiar with, but putting into perspective about how dangerous the substance is, it is nicknamed death in a bottle. Nembutal is a brand name for the psychoactive medicine pentobarbital. It falls into a class of drugs known as barbiturates that were popular in the early 20th century. 

The drug is used as a short-term sedative-hypnotic to treat sleep disorders and is only designed for short-term use due to how addictive the drug is. Nembutal has also been used as an anticonvulsant due to its ability to depress the central nervous system (CNS) and slow down brain activity.

Nembutal, which also goes by its street name “nembies” or “yellow jackets” is not prescribed anymore due to its potential for abuse. Other drugs, such as benzodiazepines and Z-drugs, are more commonly prescribed for sleep disorders, but drug user’s can still obtain the drug through the black market.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classified Nembutal as a Schedule II Controlled Substance, meaning it is highly addictive and can be dangerous. Extreme doses of the substance can lead to respiratory arrest, which can lead to death. Nembutal has also been used for euthanasia over the years.

What Are Nembutal Withdrawal Symptoms?

Becoming dependent on Nembutal can occur rapidly, and this is increasingly true if someone increases the dosage regularly. What this does is cause a tolerance to develop to the drug, which means the individual requires more of it to feel their desired effect; however, using more Nembutal can lead to dangerous outcomes. Individuals using Nembutal will display signs similar to alcohol abuse, and acute intoxication will cause someone to slur their speech and stumble.

Abrupt cessation of Nembutal will cause various withdrawal symptoms for those who develop a dependence. The symptoms can start in as little as eight to 12 hours after the last dose. 

Symptoms of Nembutal withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Muscle twitches
  • Fatigue or feeling weak
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Orthostatic hypotension
  • Convulsions
  • Delirium 
  • Seizures

The Stages of the Nembutal Withdrawal Timeline

Due to Nembutal falling into a barbiturate category, the withdrawal timeline is similar to other barbiturates. The pace in which it cycles through the system and intensity will vary based on factors, such as:

  • Dosage of Nembutal
  • Tapering schedule
  • Frequency of use
  • Duration of Nembutal use
  • Method of administration
  • Overall health condition
  • Type of support environment
  • Age
  • Dietary habits
  • Using other drugs in conjunction with Nembutal

The general timeline for Nembutal withdrawal symptoms go as follows:

Days 1-3: Withdrawal symptoms will appear in as little as eight to 12 hours after the last dose. Common early symptoms include sweating, anxiety, weakness, and insomnia. A tapering schedule is imperative to avoid seizures or delirium

Days 3-4: Symptoms will peak around days three and four, and the intensity will be dependent on the factors we described above. The most common symptoms will include insomnia, anxiety, sweating, fatigue, and sometimes delirium.

Days 5-7: Physical symptoms will start to disappear at this stage, but cravings and depression will remain present.

Week 2 and beyond: As week two comes around, most withdrawal symptoms will have disappeared, but some psychological symptoms will stick around. Individuals in recovery report feeling tired, trouble sleeping, and cravings — a majority of those reports that by weeks three and four, they are symptom-free. Anyone struggling with underlying mental health disorders must continue receiving treatment.

Why Should I Detox?

When the body becomes dependent, or even addicted to Nembutal, stopping without professional help can lead to seizures, or in some cases, death. Due to being a barbiturate, Nembutal can cause severe withdrawal symptoms that disable the person. When a person is placed in a controlled environment surrounded by medical professionals, it gives them the safest transition into a sober state.

Placing yourself in this environment ensures your safety, and allows medical professionals to prescribe medication that alleviates the worst of the symptoms. During the stay in medical detox, the physicians will thoroughly assess your needs and determine where you will go once you complete the process.

What Is The Next Treatment Step?

Once you complete detox, you will move to the next level of care. You must continue in either residential or outpatient treatment, which will treat any underlying emotional or mental health problems that may be present. The treatment for Nembutal addiction will vary from one individual to another, depending on the severity of the addiction. 

Residential treatment can last anywhere from 30 to 90 days and will have the client living onsite with around-the-clock care, allowing them to focus on their recovery. Residential treatment is recommended for those with severe drug addictions.

Outpatient treatment is where the client will live at home and attend therapy sessions for a designated time during the week. It can range from three to seven sessions per week, which depends on the client’s specific needs. 

Both facility types will offer addiction support that includes counseling, a relapse prevention plan, after-care treatment plan, and the ability to join a peer support group.

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