Barbiturates (BAR)

Drug of Abuse: BarbituratesDrug of Abuse Barbiturates


Barbiturates are a Schedule IV controlled substance available by prescription only but is also available on the illicit market. After oral administration, the onset of action takes from 15 to 40 minutes with lasting effects up to six hours.

Read more on drugs and their effects.

Barbiturates are depressants that act on the central nervous system and can produce a wide range of effects, from mild sedation to total anesthesia. Barbiturates also have analgesic effects. They have addiction potential, both physical and psychological. Barbiturates have now largely been replaced by benzodiazepines in routine medical treatment for anxiety and insomnia.

The drug testing kits below yield a positive result when Barbiturate metabolites in urine exceed 300 ng/mL. This is the suggested screening cut-off for positive specimens set by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, USA).

Risk of physical and psychological dependence with prolonged use. Withdrawal symptoms may include anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, dizziness, seizures, psychosis, etc.

Drug Detectable
Barbiturates 1-2 days
Secobarbital 1-2 days
Butabarbital 1-2 days
Butalbital 1-2 days
Phenobarbital 1-3 weeks

Common Drugs of Abuse Chart