A group of central nervous systems depressant drug intended for therapeutic use. Barbiturates can be addictive and have severe side effects and withdrawal symptoms. They disturb natural sleep patterns and may produce “hangovers”. Effects may range from relaxation and anxiety relief to withdrawal, depression or aggression. Barbiturates tend to accumulate in the body, and in large doses can be lethal. If combined with alcohol they can trigger toxic or overdose reactions, even in small amounts

Signs of Intoxication:

  • Drowsiness
  • Decreased alertness
  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of muscle coordination
  • Deep sleep

Withdrawal Symptoms:

  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Disturbed dreaming
  • Irritability

Abrupt withdrawal from high doses may:

  • Produce tremors
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Delirium
  • Hallucinations
  • Life-threatening convulsions


Mind & Behaviour: Confusion, impaired judgement and memory, emotional instability, depression.
Heart & Blood: Reduced activity.
Central Nervous System: Depressed activity.
Brain: Danger of permanent brain damage with high doses.
Fetus: May cause developmental abnormalities and withdrawal symptoms in newborns.