Tuinal isn’t just your ordinary drug. It’s a brand name that refers to the drug that is composed of two equal portions of barbiturate salts: secobarbital sodium and amobarbital sodium. Both medications are known to induce sleep by causing drowsiness. For this reason, both substances are often used to help people suffering from insomnia.
Health care professionals aren’t quick to prescribe Tuinal, however. This particular drug has a high potential for dependence, meaning it could easily lead to addiction if misused. Only those patients who are already taking barbiturate medications are given Tuinal.
This drug is commonly taken orally in a gelatin capsule form. There are 50mg, 100mg, and 200mg of barbiturate salts available.
Tuinal, despite being rarely prescribed, is often sought after by recreational drug users. It is important to note that this is a Schedule II drug in the United States. It requires a prescription from a licensed practitioner before you can obtain it. Not only is abusing the drug illegal, it can also cause health problems for those who misuse it.
Back in the late 1940s, Tuinal was introduced as a sedative medication by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly.
It would later see widespread use as a recreational drug, particularly in the 1960s through the 1980s. It became a very popular depressant, just like many other barbiturates. And just like those similar substances, it was also notorious for promoting physical and psychological dependence. It also carried the risk of causing overdose. Granted, recreational use is always associated with taking in much larger doses of illicit substances. But Tuinal in particular carried a high risk of overdose due to its potency.
The dangers of Tuinal caused its eventual withdrawal from the market.
Eli Lilly has now discontinued the production of Tuinal in the US. This is due to the reduced usage of barbiturates for outpatient treatment.
Right now, the only producer of this formulation is Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals.
How is Tuinal Made?
Tuinal is a combination of two sodium-based substances. It contains the same amounts of secobarbital and amobarbital.
Secobarbital sodium is a barbiturate. It is commonly used as anaesthesia, but it can also serve as an anticonvulsant during the treatment of epilepsy. Similar to other barbiturates it also helps fight insomnia. It is still prescribed by physicians despite not being widely manufactured.
The other component, amobarbital, is mainly used for the treatment of anxiety and epilepsy. When combined, Tuinal is formed.
Why is it Abused?
Tuinal is abused similarly with other barbiturates because they can easily relax the brain. The effect of Tuinal is comparable to the intoxicating sensation you get from alcohol. It causes drowsiness and relaxation—but this is where it gets dangerous.
The dose required to feel relaxed in a recreational setting is dangerously close to that which causes an overdose. Overdosing on Tuinal can be fatal.
If your doctor prescribes Tuinal, be sure to follow their instructions carefully. Do not take it for longer than a couple of weeks. Do not take higher doses than is recommended. Also, do not share this medicine with anybody else, especially if the person has a history of substance abuse or addiction.
Because of its controlled status, the drug has been given many different street names—mostly by recreational users. It is known as tumis, blue tips, tuis, beans, rainbows, nawls, Christmas trees, and jeebs.
Signs and Symptoms of Addiction?
A person abusing the drug will appear less anxious, but they will also display signs of drowsiness. If you have reason to suspect someone you know is abusing Tuinal, be sure to look for similar symptoms.
After taking the drug, they feel euphoric and self-confident. Speech is slurred, and they are unable to concentrate, even on simple tasks. They may complain about feeling dizzy or unable to remember certain events.
Another sign to look out for is slowed breathing during sleep. This is particularly dangerous because it may lead to someone’s death—suppressed respiratory function is a serious matter.
One clear indication that a person is addicted to a drug is they are forging prescriptions just so they could get more. Although illegal, an addicted individual will resort to these methods just to avoid suffering from the withdrawal symptoms caused by drug dependence. They will seek doctors in other towns, they will even find ways to steal the drugs if possible.
It is important to find out whether or not someone is abusing Tuinal, and if they are using other illicit substances. This information could help lead to a quicker and safer recovery in the future.
What Are The Side Effects?
Tuinal doesn’t just cause sleepiness.
Aside from the euphoric and relaxing effects of Tuinal, it also comes with adverse effects. These health problems may vary from person to person, as it depends on the dosage taken and the person’s general health.
Users may experience dizziness, headaches, loss of balance, breathing difficulties, and general confusion. They also feel lightheaded and drowsy. And in some cases, there’s a paradoxical effect that suddenly causes excitement on the user.
Other common short term effects include agitation, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, physical weakness, and coma.
On top of these, the abuser may also experience problems with their intrapersonal relationships. Younger users may suffer from lower grades, while adult users of Tuinal can encounter problems at work.
Treatment: What Is Available?
The treatment for Tuinal addiction, much like its adverse effects, may vary from one person to another. It depends on the level of addiction and the person’s drug history. The patient will be evaluated by a physician and a psychiatrist in order to assess their situation. The best treatment plan will then be formulated for them.
Detoxification is necessary, as uncomfortable as it may be. It involves gradually lowering the patient’s Tuinal intake, so that their body won’t experience lethal withdrawal symptoms.
Tuinal addicts are often taught specific relaxation techniques so that they can stop relying on the substance. They will learn yoga, meditation, and other forms of exercise, while also incorporating a healthier diet. Their relationship with sleep will be reestablished.
A high quality treatment center will be able to address all other problems and complications that may arise during the process of recovery.
Withdrawal: What Is It Like?
The detox process will involve gradually removing the drug from the patient’s system. It will be done while professional health workers are addressing various withdrawal symptoms in the patient.
They may experience anxiety, muscle pain, elevated heart rate, nausea, hallucinations, and even seizures.
These will make the recovery process a bit more difficult. But with professional care and support, the patient will eventually eliminate Tuinal from their life.