Citation: dexter. "Love/Hate: An Experience with Butalbital, Caffeine & Acetaminophen (exp64809)". Erowid.org. Jun 28, 2018. erowid.org/exp/64809
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1. The beginning experiences
While working as a delivery driver I had a lot of neck tension and headaches. I was prescribed butalbital for headaches and neck tension. For several years I never took more than the recommended dose (no more than 6 tablets per day). Generally I took no more than 4 pills a day, usually, only 2. They greatly eased the tension in my neck and my headaches. At this level, they had no particular psychoactive effects, other than relaxing me a little.
However, when my wife and I were going through a particularly rocky period in our marriage I was very lonely and hurt. I was also having job-related stress. To ease the pain, I upped my butalbital dosage. Over a period of perhaps two months I went from taking an average of 4 pills per day to around 15 or 20. (I was no longer working in a deliver driver job, so I didn't have to drive as much. Otherwise, I surely would have been in a wreck on the job.) The pills greatly eased my anxiety and depression. They made me more aggressive in general and not afraid to say just what I thought. I am usually very reserved, and I liked having a lot of my usual social reserve just disappear.
I am usually very reserved, and I liked having a lot of my usual social reserve just disappear.
The buzz I got off butalbital was somewhat similar to alcohol, but for me it came with no hang-over the next day. High-dosage butalbital produced euphoria for me. I felt happy, I felt good. I also slept very soundly, which was unusual since I have had insomnia for a long time.
I took a lot of milk thistle with the butalbital and even after all this abuse my liver tests recently came back totally normal. I believe the milk thistle helped protect my liver.
2. The bad
I have been off and on such butalbital binges for around 2 years. In that period I wrecked my car after taking about 15 pills in a day and then having 4 drinks, in addition to 1 mg. of lorazepam.
I also was charged with DUI after driving when I had taken maybe 8 pills one night, then taking a 10 mg. zoldipem and having 2 beers. The charge hasn't been resolved because I blew a .00 BAC on the breathalyzer.
One night after taking my usual 15-20 pills during the day I took 600 mg. cough syrup and a mepergan fortis pill. I'm not sure of the dosage of the mepergan. Anyway, for about 12 hours I was in a coma--no one in my family could wake me up, no matter how hard they tried.
When I would take dextromethorphan with the butalbital, I would take about 600 mg. of the dextromethorphan. This greatly altered my perceptions of events around me. It made me feel and act really 'loopy', just like I couldn't feel much of anything at all.
I drove on butalbital and dextromethorphan several times, which was not such a great idea. My perceptions were altered to the degree that it seemed that seconds would disappear and I would find than without knowing it I had began to veer out of my lane. I got pulled over like that once, but the cop let me go.
I went to drug rehab to break my addiction. (Butalbital was really physically and mentally addictive for me.) I was in rehab 5 months, and stayed off butalbital for maybe 6 months after rehab before going back onto it.
After going back on it, my wife involuntarily commited me to the hospital for driving on too much butalbital.
Since then I have stayed away from it (that's been about 3 months.) But it is really hard to think about living and never taking it again. After 3 months I really miss it. Life seems emptier without it. But after all the trouble it's caused me, taking them again is obviously not a great idea.
My wife can see in my eyes when I've taken too much butalbital, and she doesn't like the way I act when I'm on it. She likes me as the generally sensitive, listening type, not the aggressive, out-spoken person I become when I take a lot of it.
By the way, in my experience butalbital and all barbiturates have a cross-tolerance with alcohol. If I ran out of butalbital, I could drink to help with the withdrawls.
Suffice it to say, in my experience this is strong, addictive stuff when taken at high dosages. It got me into trouble numerous times, especially when I combined it with any other sedatives or alcohol.
I don't know how this saga will all turn out. Time will tell.
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