Dependency And Abuse

Amobarbital has been largely replaced by ben-zodiazepine medications as a sedative because of the high risk of abuse. It has been dropped from the 1999 edition of the Physicians' Desk Reference, which implies that it is no longer manufactured in the United States. As of 2000, it is still available in Canada. Although amobarbital has been less popular with addicted patients than the more rapidly acting barbiturates (secobarbital and pentobarbital), it is still sold on the street as ''blues'' or ''rainbows'' (combinations of amobarbital and secobarbital). A daily dose of 500 to 600 milligrams is considered sufficient to produce dependence. The time necessary to produce dependence is estimated at 30 days. It has often been noted that the symptoms of barbiturate dependence resemble those of chronic alcoholism, though barbiturate withdrawl is more often associated with life-threatening complications than alcohol withdrawl.

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