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Classification: General Sedative

Commercial Names: Nembutal, Seconal, Amytal

Common Names/Nicknames: Barb(s), red(s), red bird, phennies, tooies, yellows, yellow jackets, goofballs

Active Compound: Phenobarbital, pentobarbital, secobarbital, amobarbital, and other barbiturates

Found in: Synthesized barbiturates

Mode of Consumption: Ingestion, injection

DEA Scheduling/Legal Status (in US): Schedule II, III, or IV depending on particular drug, legal with restrictions ranging from prescription to registration



Relaxation, reduced anxiety, drowsiness, slurred speech.


Light-headedness, vertigo, impaired muscle coordination, memory impairment, impaired learning, anxiety, nightmares, respiratory depression, hostility, rage

Dangerous Drug Combinations:

Potentially fatal combination with alcohol, benzodiazepines, methaqualone, inhalants, and other respiratory depressants.

Special Considerations:

Relatively low risk for overdose.

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And remember, if somebody may need help, play it safe and call for medical assistance.

“Students may bring an intoxicated or drug-impaired friend to University Health Services or to a hospital, or seek assistance from College residential life staff or HUPD, and by doing this, neither they nor the friend will face disciplinary action from the College for having used or provided alcohol or drugs.”

                                                                                    The Amnesty Policy

                                                                                    Harvard College Student Handbook



Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy (Third Edition), by Cynthia Kuhn, Scott Swartzwelder, and Wilkie Wilson. Published 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company.


National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.



U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), part of the U.S. Department of Justice.



Erowid Organization


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