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Amytal Withdrawal | Timeline, Symptoms, Detox

Amytal, also known as Amytal Sodium (generic name amobarbital), is a barbiturate that was often used in the past to treat insomnia and anxiety disorders. However, it is rarely prescribed anymore due to the dangers associated with barbiturates. These days it is usually only used in medical settings prior to surgery. Otherwise, it is purchased illegally on the black market.

Like other barbiturates, Amytal can be very dangerous because the difference between a medical dose and overdose is slim. For those who abuse or develop a dependence on the drug, Amytal withdrawal can be difficult as the withdrawal symptoms are severe and can be deadly. Because of this, it’s extremely important to find a professional addiction treatment program to support you during the detox and recovery process.

What Are the Amytal Withdrawal Symptoms?

Amytal is a central nervous system depressant that binds to the GABA receptors in the brain, which causes the sensations of deep relaxation and sleep. Like other barbiturates, Amytal can be very dangerous because the difference between a medical dose and overdose is slim. For those who abuse or develop a dependence on the drug, Amytal withdrawal can be difficult as the withdrawal symptoms are severe and can be deadly. Because of this, it’s extremely important to find a professional addiction treatment program to support you during the detox and recovery process. Symptoms of Amytal withdrawal, like withdrawal from other barbiturates, can be extremely difficult and even lethal.

Amytal withdrawal symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Muscle twitching
  • Tremor
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Distorted vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Low blood pressure
  • Convulsions
  • Delirium
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Death

What Are the Stages in the Amytal Withdrawal Timeline?

Like other barbiturate withdrawal symptoms, Amytal withdrawal symptoms can be classified into minor and major symptoms. Minor Amytal withdrawal symptoms usually begin about eight to 12 hours after last taking the drug. Major symptoms of Amytal withdrawal usually occur within about 16 hours of the last dose and can last up to about five days. 

The intensity of the symptoms typically subsides after about 15 days, but symptoms may continue for months or even years, particularly emotional and psychological symptoms.

Minor Amytal withdrawal symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Muscle twitching
  • Tremor
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Distorted vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Low blood pressure

Major Amytal withdrawal symptoms:

  • Convulsions
  • Delirium

Why Should I Detox?

quitting cold turkey

Quitting drugs cold turkey may sound like a good idea, but it can be difficult, painful, and dangerous. In some cases, it can be dangerous and even deadly.

Given the difficult physical symptoms, withdrawing on your own without professional medical help can be very challenging. It’s important to find a professional, medically assisted detox program to support you during the process of Amytal withdrawal.

Doing this will ensure that you are carefully monitored in a safe environment while your body goes through the difficult detoxification process. Participating in an addiction treatment program also gives you a better chance at lasting recovery as a result of the structured medical and emotional support you will receive.

What is the Next Treatment Step?

A full continuum of treatment ensures the best opportunity for a successful recovery. Following a full continuum of treatment means starting with the medical detox process and then progressing gradually from an inpatient status to outpatient treatment. You will then have the opportunity to participate in an alumni program after the formal treatment program is completed. The stages of addiction treatment include:

Detox

The primary goal is medical stabilization during the first stage of withdrawal treatment, which is known as detox. Expect the detox stage to last from a few days up to a week. When you arrive, your medical team—which will include doctors, nurses, and support staff— will complete your comprehensive medical assessment, which will help determine your level of addiction and additional medical needs you may have. The assessment includes a medical exam plus a urine screening for drugs.

Your medical team will monitor you 24/7 to help manage uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and prevent dangerous Amytal withdrawal symptoms.

Many people also experience anxiety, depression, and other emotional and psychological challenges during the detox period. Your treatment plan will also include comprehensive support to help you with these symptoms. A longer-term treatment plan will be put into place for you once you are medically stabilized.

Residential Treatment

If you and the treatment team determine that you need further medical treatment, you may continue the next stage of treatment on an inpatient basis, which might be because of co-occurring medical conditions or post-acute withdrawal symptoms. Inpatient treatment is intensive and includes 24/7 clinical monitoring. At this stage, you will start seeing a therapist regularly to help you process the emotional and psychological aspects of addiction and recovery.

Partial-Hospitalization

residential treatment

Partial hospitalization (PHP) is in-between outpatient treatment and inpatient care. The goal of PHP is to stabilize your mental status and better prepare you for success once you return to independent living after you leave the treatment center. During this stage, you’ll live at a transitional living facility while undergoing a supportive and rigorous treatment program. This program will be five days a week for six hours each day. You will be able to participate in individual, group, and family therapy programs to help you address emotional and mental health needs.

Learning positive life skills, coping mechanisms, and techniques to help prevent relapse so that you will be prepared for long-term recovery will be the primary focus during PHP.

Intensive Outpatient

The next stage is the intensive outpatient program (IOP). An IOP allows you to live at home while also attending counseling and programs to help support your recovery. Depending on your treatment plan, you will participate in about nine or more hours of clinical therapy several times each week.

Intensive outpatient therapy will help you to continue learning new ways to manage cravings, stress, and other challenging issues that may arise once you live on your own again. After you complete the IOP stage, you will transition into the Outpatient and Alumni programs, which is also known as aftercare.

Outpatient

At this point, you are almost transitioned out of the treatment program. During the outpatient phase of treatment, you will participate in less than nine hours of therapy each week. The focus will be on continuing to support you with relapse prevention strategies and other tools for successful recovery. 

This is the last part of the formal treatment program. After completing the outpatient phase, you will join other treatment program graduates as you transition into the alumni aftercare program.

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Alumni

You will have the opportunity to meet other treatment center alumni during weekly support groups and social events after you complete the formal treatment program. These aftercare opportunities spent with other alumni members can help you develop new friendships and build social support with others who understand the recovery process.

Being a part of this supportive network can help you grow while focusing on your recovery and adjusting to life after the treatment program. It can also be a safe space to share relapse prevention strategies, new experiences, and techniques for stress management. Most of all, it can be a way to enjoy time with new friends. 

Start Your Journey to Recovery Today

If you’re ready to get professional help withdrawing safely from Amytal, contact the admissions specialists at Ocean Breeze Recovery for free and confidential help, 24/7. Our specialists can provide the guidance and support you need by explaining the treatment process and answering any questions you may have. After speaking with a specialist, you will know what to expect from our evidence-based services. You’ll feel prepared to make an informed decision about your plans for treatment. Our specialists can also check with your private health insurance to see if your treatment costs will be fully covered. Call us today at 844-554-9279 and let us help you get started on your journey to recovery.

Sources

WebMD. (2018, November 15) Barbiturate Abuse. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/barbiturate-abuse#2

Daily Med. Bausch Health US LLC. Amytal Sodium-amobarbital sodium injection, powder, lyophilized, for solution. Retrieved from https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/fda/fdaDrugXsl.cfm?setid=a2523317-e071-4e04-9d9f-9053286e0ce2&type=display

Psychology Today. (2010, January 13) Alcohol, Benzos, and Opiates — Withdrawal That Might Kill You. Jaffe, A. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/all-about-addiction/201001/alcohol-benzos-and-opiates-withdrawal-might-kill-you

American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2015, May 13) The ASAM Criteria. What are the ASAM Levels of Care? Retrieved from https://www.asamcontinuum.org/knowledgebase/what-are-the-asam-levels-of-care/

NIDA. 2020, June 3. Types of Treatment Programs. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/drug-addiction-treatment-in-united-states/types-treatment-programs

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