Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Delta Specialty Hospital to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Delta Specialty Hospital.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Barbiturate Abuse Signs, Symptoms & Effects

Delta Specialty Hospital helps individuals struggling with alcohol or drug addiction build a strong foundation for long-term recovery. Serving Memphis, TN, Delta is the leading provider of substance abuse recovery.

Understanding Barbiturates

Learn about barbiturates and substance abuse

Barbiturates are a group of drugs from the sedative-hypnotic class of medications that were previously used to help induce sleep in individuals with sleep-related disorders and to help reduce anxiety symptoms. These drugs were popular throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, but now are not often used by medical professionals. Barbiturates quickly became a drug of abuse during the height of their popularity, as they allowed individuals to decrease their inhibitions, reduce anxiety, and corrected unpleasant side effects of other drugs of abuse. Today they are most often obtained on the streets, under names such as “yellow jackets,” “downers,” “goofballs,” and “reds.”

Barbiturates work by enhancing the activities of the neurotransmitter GABA, which then shuts off large portions of the brain, producing sedative and relaxing effects. After a while, physicians began to realize that barbiturates were an extremely dangerous and addictive class of drugs, due to the fact that the dose required to produce sedation was similar to the dose that could cause coma and death. For these reasons, doctors began to turn away from barbiturates and used benzos in an attempt to reduce the fatality risks.

These downers are found in multicolored pill capsules or in a liquid form. Although they are generally used in pill form, these drugs can also be injected intravenously, producing faster effects. The different formulations of barbiturates vary in the length of time their effects last, some lasting up to a few days at a time, while others last only minutes. These are fat-soluble drugs, which easily cross the blood-brain barrier. Since these drugs dissolve in fats, they can accumulate in the body and re-enter the bloodstream at a later time.

It’s been suggested that the resurgence in popularity of barbiturates may be due to the increase in the amount of stimulants that are being abused today. Individuals may use barbiturates to counteract the unpleasant symptoms associated with drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines. Whatever the reason for their use, these drugs are extremely dangerous and those who are addicted should seek treatment immediately.

Statistics

Barbiturate addiction statistics

While most do not consider barbiturate abuse a common problem, it’s been shown that about 9% of individuals in the United States will abuse a barbiturate during their lifespan. Other statistics for this class of drugs are not as well known.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Barbiturate addiction and co-occurring disorders

Many individuals who become addicted to barbiturates have a co-occurring mental illness. The most common co-occurring disorders include:

  • Depressive disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Substance abuse
  • Alcoholism
  • Conduct disorder
Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors of barbiturate addiction

The precise cause for the development of addiction remains unknown; no one is exactly sure why one individual becomes addicted to a substance while another does not. It’s been suggested that individuals who develop an addiction to barbiturates or other substances do so as a result of a number of factors working together to create this addiction potential. Causes for barbiturate addiction may include:

Genetic: It has been well-documented that many individuals who struggle with addiction problems have a first-degree relative who is also battling an addiction. While this does not guarantee the development of an addiction, this does greatly increase an individual’s chances of becoming addicted.

Brain Chemistry: Individuals who abuse barbiturates may have a different structure and functionality of the brain than other individuals. More specifically the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA binding sites may be structurally differently in those who abuse barbiturates. Some individuals may have inborn defects in this area of the brain, and as a result self-medicate with barbiturates in an attempt to feel more normal.

Environmental: Individuals who have been exposed to drug use and abuse at an early age are more apt to develop addiction in later life. These individuals may have learned that substance abuse is an appropriate way to cope with the stressors of life and in turn eventually develop an addiction problem.

Psychological: Sometimes individuals will use barbiturates as a way to come down from the effects of a high from another substance. This causes an individual to become addicted to barbs because they begin to rely on the effects to relax them and take away the anxiety created by another drug. Additionally, an individual may unknowingly have a mental health condition and self-medicate in an attempt to control the disruptive symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of barbiturate addiction

Barbiturates relax the brain, causing an individual who is on barbiturates to appear similar to an individual intoxicated from alcohol use. The symptoms of barbiturate abuse and addiction will vary depending upon an individual’s genetic makeup, the length of time an individual has been addicted, and the dosage an individual has taken. Common symptoms of barbiturate abuse include:

Mood symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Unusual excitement

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Slurred speech
  • Decreased motor control
  • Poor concentration
  • Lack of coordination
  • Sluggishness

Physical symptoms:

  • Hypotension
  • Dizziness
  • Bradycardia
  • Reduction of REM sleep
  • Respiratory depression
  • Sleepiness
  • Slowed pulse
  • Slow breathing
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Visual problems
  • Unable to urinate
  • Dilated pupils

Psychological symptoms:

  • Tolerance
  • Slowed brain function
  • Confusion
  • Impaired judgment
  • Dependence
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Addiction
Effects

Effects of barbiturate addiction

The long-term effects of barbiturate addiction will look different in each person. Most common long-term effects of barbiturate abuse include:

  • Strained interpersonal relationships
  • Changes in alertness
  • Decreased functioning
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Divorce
  • Liver damage, heart damage, CNS damage
  • Respiratory depression and arrest
  • Confusion
  • Job loss
  • Expulsion from school
  • Risky behavior
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death
Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms of barbiturate addiction

If used for a prolonged period of time, individuals who abuse barbiturates can become addicted and dependent upon the drug. The development of a barbiturate dependence makes it harder for an addict to give up the drug and leads to severe withdrawal symptoms. If you are addicted to barbiturates, it is vital to seek the care of a trained rehab center so a medical professional can help you safely and effectively withdrawal from barbiturates.

Withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Agitation
  • Delirium
  • Convulsions
  • Weakness
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • Dangerously high fevers
  • Seizures

I have been in and out of treatment for years and could not remain sober for more than a couple years sometimes no more than 60 days. I finally found Delta Specialty Hospital and they saved my life -- please go here if you want the best care and the most amazing staff!

– Former Patient
Trusted Excellence
  • Memphis Chamber of Commerce
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
  • Professional Network on Aging
  • Tennessee Hospital Association
  • Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network
  • The Joint Commission (JCAHO) Gold Seal of Approval
  • The Jason Foundation