Identification and Treatment of Barbiturate Abusers

Ernest Hamburger, MD
JAMA. 1965;193(5):393-394. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090050069025.
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SINCE PUBLICATION of "Barbiturate Use in Narcotic Addicts"1 numerous requests have been received for more information concerning the identification and treatment of the barbiturate user. This communication is an attempt to answer some of the questions posed. The therapy regime described herein was evolved over the years by the medical staff at the US Public Health Service Hospital, Lexington, Ky.

Identification of Barbiturate Use  Though the diagnosis of barbiturate abuse can be made from the history, the physician must be wary of ruling out this illness by the absence of a history of barbiturate use. Often the user will distort the history in order to influence the physician's treatment of his case. The veracity of the patient should be taken into account and a history that includes drugs, dosages, duration of use, and routes of administration should be obtained. Family and acquaintances should be contacted for confirmatory or contradictory


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