Are ADHD Medications Addictive?

There are many people – especially children – who are diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the U.S. every year. These patients are often prescribed medication to help them manage the symptoms of the disorder. While the medications can be very effective for the treatment of ADHD, they can also pose the risk of addiction when they are not used properly.

One way that ADHD medications are used improperly, which is considered abuse, is when people who do not have the disorder use the medications as a way to increase concentration or focus. More and more students are using ADHD medications to enhance their study time and to help give them an edge academically. Unfortunately, this can lead to addiction.

What are ADHD Medications?

The medication that is most commonly prescribed for the treatment of ADHD is a stimulant, typically a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is used to increase attention, concentration, and focus, and to control behavior by balancing the neurotransmitters in the brain. It is considered effective for the treatment of ADHD and many people suffering from the disorder are helped greatly with this type of medication.  

However, ADHD medication is often abused. In fact, studies show that the number of people for whom it is prescribed for the treatment of ADHD is smaller than the number of people who take it for its effects. Abuse is highest amongst students who take the drug to focus and increase productivity while studying. It is also sometimes abused as a way to lose weight or as a party drug due to its stimulant effects – it allows an individual to drink more alcohol without becoming tired.

ADHD medication can be habit-forming, and a person can become physically dependent on the drug. Physical dependence is a precursor to addiction, which is a difficult thing to overcome no matter what the addictive substance is.

What is Considered Abuse?

Anytime that a person takes prescription medication outside of the prescribed instructions it is considered abuse. Obtaining or administering ADHD medication (or any other medication) in any of the following ways is abuse:

  • Taking higher doses than prescribed
  • Taking doses more frequently than prescribed
  • Taking medication in ways other than prescribed (crushing, chewing, or snorting)
  • Taking medication for reasons other than what it was prescribed or (to stay awake, to be more alert, to lose weight, etc.)
  • Taking medication that was not prescribed for you
  • Taking medication that you have bought from someone for recreational use

Many high school and college students don’t feel that experimenting with ADHD medication is abuse. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. When you use ADHD medication to enhance your performance, lose weight, or to get high, it is in fact, abuse. Additionally, when you obtain or take a controlled substance without a valid prescription (of your own), it is illegal, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and can lead to legal problems as well as addiction problems.

There truly is no safe way to abuse ADHD medication. While the medication may produce the feelings you are looking for, it can be at the risk of your physical and mental health.

Signs and Symptoms of ADHD Medication Abuse and Addiction

If you or someone you know is using ADHD medication in ways other than prescribed, there are some signs and symptoms that you can look for to determine if the abuse has crossed the line to addiction.

Physical Signs of ADHD Medication Addiction
  • Vision problems
  • Nausea, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Shaking of hands or feet
  • Fidgeting or being unable to stop moving
Psychological Signs of ADHD Medication Addiction
  • Angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
  • Excessive talking
  • Nervousness or paranoia
  • Restlessness
  • Being more secretive than usual
  • Problems sleeping
  • Hallucinations
  • Unusually excitable

If you identify some of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, don’t ignore them. It may mean that your ADHD medication use has become a problem. The sooner you get help, the better your odds are of getting clean and avoiding the long-term effects of ADHD medication abuse and addiction.

Effects of ADHD Medication Addiction

The continued use of ADHD medication in non-prescribed ways can lead to serious side effects – both physical and otherwise.

Physical Effects of ADHD Medication Addiction
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Fatigue
  • Anger or hostility
  • Sleep problems
  • Psychosis
  • Dangerous weight loss
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Injury to nasal cavity (if snorted)
Other Life-Changing Effects
  • Co-occurring abuse or addiction of other drugs or alcohol
  • Financial problems
  • Legal problems
  • Damaged interpersonal relationships with family and friends
  • Problems at school or work

Treatment for ADHD Medication Addiction

As with any drug addiction, there is good news – treatment for ADHD medication abuse and addiction is available. If you believe that you or a loved one is addicted to an ADHD medication, you may need the care that is provided in a drug addiction treatment facility. The first step is detoxification. While the detox from ADHD medication is not typically life-threatening, it is not pleasurable. Attending a medical detox facility can make it much less uncomfortable. You will be medically supervised, may receive medication to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms, and receive the support you need to get clean.

It may be recommended that you attend further treatment after you have detoxed, in either an inpatient or outpatient program. The important thing to remember about ADHD medication use is that while it may seem like a harmless solution to issues with studying or weight loss, it can quickly turn into abuse or addiction. Not even beginning to abuse the drug is, of course, the best way to prevent addiction. But if you find yourself already there, you can find help and healing from ADHD medication addiction at Serenity at Summit addiction treatment center. We offer detox, outpatient, and inpatient treatment for teens and adults who are struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol. Contact us today for help.  

How Synthetic Opioids Are Impacting Substance Abuse

Trying to pin down how many people suffer from substance abuse in the U.S. is something of a moving target, because different surveys use different collection methods. However, respected organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believe that analyzing drug overdose deaths is a more valuable means of obtaining information about the prevalence of substance abuse.

According to the CDC, there were more than 64,000 overdose fatalities from illegal drugs and prescription painkillers in the U.S. in 2016, and the sharpest spike in those deaths occurred among people who took synthetic opioids. In fact, 20,000 of the 64,000 deaths were attributed to people who overdosed on synthetic opioids, and the total number of drug overdose fatalities was double the number from just 10 years ago. (1)

Even more disturbing, the number of deaths involving opioid drugs has been steadily rising from 2002 when there were 10,000 deaths to 2015, when there were more than 30,000 deaths.

Clearly there is a problem with opioid drugs, and an even bigger problem with synthetic opioids. Let’s take a look at what these opioids are, where they’re coming from and how law enforcement is tackling this issue.

What Are Synthetic Opioids?

Unlike opiates that are naturally derived from things like opium poppy plants (used to make cocaine, morphine and heroin), synthetic opioids are made in labs throughout the world, and they are many times more potent than naturally derived opiates.

In fact, the average synthetic opioid on the streets of a big city is estimated to be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. The irony is that some synthetic opioids were first manufactured for use in hospitals to treat chronic and severe pain.

But over the past five years, drug dealers have begun to lace normal heroin supplies with synthetic opioids, which boosts its potency and makes it more likely that addicts will want to buy even more of the super-charged heroin.

The challenge for both addicts and law enforcement officials is that it’s difficult to know whether heroin has been laced with something synthetic until after a user tries the drug and feels its powerful effects.

And it’s not just illegal drugs that are being impacted, because drug dealers are also selling painkillers in tablet form that are laced with synthetic opioids. According to a Supervisory Chemist of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) who tests drug samples seized in raids throughout the country, her team identified 20 new types of synthetic opioids in 2017. (2)

These synthetic opioids were made not just to boost the potency of drugs like heroin, but also to keep police confused about the new types of opioids hitting the streets.

The potency of synthetic opioids makes it challenging for healthcare workers and police officers to save the lives of people who have overdosed.

Addicts who inject, snort or swallow drugs laced with synthetic opioids can suffer an overdose within a few seconds. Typically, the first sign of distress is that the overdose victim stops breathing because the heart goes into arrest.

That’s why several cities have established safe injection sites such as the Supporting Place for Observation and Treatment (SPOT) Clinic at Boston’s Health Care for the Homeless.

After using drugs, addicts can enter SPOT and ride out the high under the careful supervision of healthcare professionals who monitor their breathing, blood pressure and pulse rate.

The federal government doesn’t allow addicts to inject, or otherwise consume illegal drugs at these clinics, which is why SPOT only admits addicts after they have already used their drugs.

But many other cities are defying the government and allowing addicts to use within safe injection sites, so that they can act quickly if an overdose begins within seconds of drug use.

Who Makes Synthetic Opioids?

Probably the question most people ask when it comes to this crisis is who makes synthetic opioids and why haven’t U.S. officials stopped them from doing it.

The first question is easiest to answer and that is the vast majority of the ingredients necessary to make synthetic opioids come from China.

China is the world’s largest supplier of synthetic opioids, and once the opioids are made, they are sent to Mexico, where they are processed for distribution to drug dealers working in the U.S.

The U.S. government has had discussions with Chinese officials about curbing the manufacture of synthetic opioids, but with so much money to be made, those talks haven’t done much to stop the massive quantities that enter the U.S.

The Chinese and the DEA have established joint task forces to bust up synthetic opioid labs in China, but for every lab that gets raided, ten more underground labs are started.

More problematic, addicts can also order synthetic opioids through direct mail from operators in China who ship the drugs in plain packages that often escape the detection of postal inspectors.

That’s why many healthcare experts believe that stopping the distribution of synthetic opioids is only a small part of the solution.

They believe that providing innovative solutions to help opioid addicts cope with these drugs so they don’t overdose and die is the best way to fight this problem. Because once addicts are inside safe injection sites, they are more willing to listen to addiction treatment options that can help them start their journey to recovery.

Addiction Treatment Is the Beginning

We know that addiction treatment is the first step in the recovery process, and at Serenity at Summit New EnglandAddiction Treatment Centers In Haverhill, Massachusetts, we provide all the services necessary to help with your drug disorder. We are only 45 minutes from Boston and offer outpatient and inpatient treatment. Please call us today at 844-432-0416 to learn how we can help you.

SOURCES

  1. https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates
  2. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/synthetic-opioids-driving-overdose-crisis

Tiger Woods Had a “Cocktail of Drugs” in His System

Sports fans sometimes feel let down when their hero or favorite athlete is caught using drugs — prescription or otherwise

When golfer Tiger Woods was arrested on a suspicion of DUI in May 2017, he initially told police that his erratic behavior behind the wheel was due to “an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications.” Police in Florida reportedly found Woods unresponsive behind the wheel of his idling car. Although there was damage on one side of the car, police reported that Woods was not involved in an accident.

When toxicology reports were released a few months later, however, they revealed that Woods had a dangerous mix of various powerful drugs in his system. According to media reports, Woods had taken a cocktail of drugs that included marijuana, Vicodin, Dilaudid, Xanax, and Ambien. Vicodin and Dilaudid are prescription painkillers and narcotics. Xanax is prescribed to treat anxiety. Ambien is a medication used for insomnia and sleep disorders. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that Vicodin is an addictive opioid that can lead to death if misused, especially when combined with a benzodiazepine like Xanax.

According to Woods, he consumed the medications due to the pain he has suffered since his last back surgery. Woods is a professional golfer who has undergone several surgeries for sports-related injuries. Woods reportedly entered a drug rehabilitation facility to treat his addiction to prescription drugs.

When a Prescription Leads to Addiction

For many people who suffer from addictions to prescription drugs, it’s hard to admit they have a problem. Although you don’t necessarily need a “wake up call” like a car accident or
arrest to “shock” you into getting help, sometimes being involved in a close call is scary enough to make you realize you are endangering your health and your life.

Sports fans sometimes feel let down when their hero or favorite athlete is caught using drugs — prescription or otherwise. The reality is that addiction doesn’t discriminate. It can affect a person from any type of background or social group. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimate that between 26.4 million and 36 million Americans abuse opioids.

Furthermore, overdose deaths related to opioid abuse have quadrupled since 1999. For many people struggling with opioid addiction, a prescription for pain is the source of their addiction. Few people realize how easy it is to get addicted, nor do people understand just how powerful these drugs are.

A WebMD report relates the story of a man who suffered with frequent migraine headaches and was prescribed powerful painkillers. As happens so often with pain medication, he eventually needed more and more of the drug to dull his pain. At the peak of his addiction, he took 45 prescription pills of hydrocodone every day. Fortunately, he got help and has been free of addiction for 11 years.

Contact Serenity at Summit Today

Serenity at Summit offers both inpatient and outpatient programs to help people overcome opioid addiction. It is possible to obtain a lasting recovery — even if you have relapsed before. Our programs are personalized and medically supervised. Call our behavioral health professionals today at 844-432-0416 to speak to a substance abuse expert about your treatment options.

Sources:

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/16/sports/golf/tiger-woods-arrest-drugs.html
  2. http://www.miamiherald.com/entertainment/celebrities/article155942774.html
  3. http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/29/us/tiger-woods-arrested-dui/index.html
  4. http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/features/prescription-drug-abuse-who-gets-addicted-and-why#1

Drugs That Control Alcohol Addiction

Drug medication is so important when it comes to helping alcoholics wean off their dependency on alcohol.

What Are Some Facts About Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol addiction is a problem that continues to plague people in the U.S., and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 25 percent of all adults 18 years of age or older said that they engaged in at least one day of binge drinking – defined as consuming five or more alcoholic beverages within a two-hour period. (1)

Furthermore, 30,000 people die each year due to some action related to alcohol, and nearly 20,000 people die of the alcohol-related liver disease each year.

Clearly, alcoholism is a serious issue in the U.S., and the only solution that can help people in the throes of this disease is to seek quality alcohol abuse treatment.

One of the methods used in treatment programs is drug medication, which may seem counterintuitive or even illogical, but can be very effective for several reasons.

What Medication Helps During Alcohol Detox / Detoxification

Alcoholics who decide to seek alcohol abuse treatment must first undergo detoxification, which can be a harrowing and challenging process.

In many movies and TV shows, this is known as going “cold turkey,” and the body’s reaction to the sudden lack of alcohol can take a brutal physical toll.

This can include symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, irritability, an increase in blood pressure, and tremors that last for hours. And if alcohol detoxification is not handled properly, patients can suffer heart attacks, seizures, and even a stroke.

That’s why drug medication is so important when it comes to helping alcoholics wean off their dependency on alcohol.

Does Benzodiazepines Have Proven Effective for Detox

There are several drugs that have been successful in helping to treat alcohol addiction, but one of the most effective is benzodiazepines.

These are sedatives that help to soothe anxiety and fear and reduce the stress levels of alcoholics who are going through withdrawal.

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that slow down the central nervous system…and provide a variety of useful tranquilizing effects. Aside from relieving symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, benzodiazepines are also commonly prescribed to treat insomnia, muscle spasms, involuntary movement disorders, anxiety disorders, and convulsive disorders. (2)

Benzodiazepines are usually prescribed for alcohol detoxification that lasts three days, but because there is a risk of dependency with this class of drugs, rehab experts only recommend their use for short-treatment of alcohol withdrawal.

Naltrexone Changes How Brain Perceives of Alcohol

Another medication used to treat alcohol addiction is naltrexone, which has a dampening effect on the pleasure centers of the brain. Alcohol has been found to trigger the release of dopamine, a chemical produced by the brain when it senses something pleasurable.

To maintain this feeling of pleasure, alcoholics will continue to drink so that their brains produce more dopamine.

Naltrexone blocks the receptors to the brain that create the pleasure of drinking alcohol. Alcoholics can take this medication as a pill or by injection. There are some mild side effects, including drowsiness and nausea, but naltrexone can help alcoholics withdraw from alcohol because it takes away the pleasure they derive from drinking.

One North Carolina woman who had attended many Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings and attended multiple alcohol abuse facilities without much success, said that naltrexone worked so well for her that it permanently curbed her desire to drink. (3)

But she admitted that the drug would not have worked without the personal counseling she also received from a psychiatrist.

In fact, these drugs should not be viewed in a vacuum, as they are most effective during the withdrawal phase of alcohol abuse. But for alcoholics to regain control of their lives, they must attend in-patient and outpatient counseling.

Acamprosate Affects Brain Chemistry In Alcoholics

Acamprosate is the new medication on the block, and it helps alcoholics by reducing the effects of withdrawal, such as anxiety and irritability.

Withdrawal symptoms can be huge obstacles to alcoholics gaining sobriety, because they make alcoholics feel as if the physical symptoms of not drinking are too big to overcome. This medication is made in pill form, and requires patients to take several dosages a day.

Does Seeking Medically Supervised Detox and Long-Term Alcohol Abuse Treatment Help?

Many alcoholics are unaware of the number of different drugs that are available to help them curb their desire to drink. That’s in large part because the idea of taking one drug to help you stop taking another drug seems illogical at best, and dangerous at worst.

But the truth is that these medications have proven to be effective at helping control the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal that are such a challenge when alcoholics begin long-term treatment.

How Serenity at Summit offers Helps

If you live in New Jersey,  MA or PA and are struggling with alcohol abuse please check us out. Visit our locations page.

Our depth of understanding and willingness to do whatever it takes to facilitate the path in which a person becomes free from the alcohol addiction is unmatched. The Professional and Medically supervised approach attached to a holistic atmosphere equips the struggling to gain victory over their addiction. Don’t wait call today. Our behavioral health professionals are standing by at 844-432-0416.

SOURCES

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/alcohol.htm
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/all-about-addiction/201205/treating-alcohol-withdrawal-benzodiazepines-safe-if-mindful
  3. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/09/26/495491533/medications-can-help-people-stop-abusing-alcohol-but-many-dont-know

Learn The 9 Signs Of Elder Prescription Drug Addiction

Senior Citizen Prescription Drug Addiction

As the population gets older pain and loneliness can lead to prescription drug addiction among seniors.

Aging is inevitable. Although some people manage to grow older without encountering many health problems, just as many people must control medical issues with prescription medication. Whether they suffer from chronic pain or a specific disorder, drugs can vastly improve a person’s quality of life when used responsibly.

However, prescription drugs can be abused just like any other chemical substance. And in many cases, people don’t even realize they have developed a dependence on their medication resulting in prescription drug addiction. For the elderly, this dependence can go unnoticed for years—especially when a senior takes a large quantity of medications on a regular basis.

Current studies suggest that about 2.5 million older adults in the U.S. have some type of chemical dependency, which accounts for up to 20 percent of elderly psychiatric hospital admissions. Seniors currently make up just 13 percent of the total population, but they account for 30 percent of all prescriptions issued in the country.

Common Signs of Addiction in Seniors

If your elderly parent or other loved one regularly takes prescription medication, it’s important to know the symptoms of potential addiction. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), the following behaviors may indicate a problem:

  • Drinking alone
  • Patterns of behavior or “ritualistic” behavior, such as a bedtime routine that involves drugs or alcohol
  • Losing interest in activities or hobbies
  • Hostile attitude
  • Depression
  • Confusion or memory loss
  • Slurred speech
  • Neglecting hygiene or personal appearance
  • Ignoring food and beverage consumption warnings on pill bottles

Because many of these warning signs can also be symptoms of age-related or other health conditions, it’s not always easy to identify a drug or alcohol abuse problem in an older person. This is why it’s important for caregivers, adult children, and other family members to have frequent contact and conversations with their elderly loved ones. The more time you spend with them, the more alert you will be to changes in their lifestyle and behavior.

The NCADD warns that seniors are at a higher risk of developing a chemical dependency after certain life events, such as losing a spouse or developing a disabling health condition. For example, almost 50 percent of nursing home residents struggle with alcohol abuse, and older Americans are hospitalized for alcohol-related problems just as often as they are for heart-related conditions.

Get Help for an Elderly Loved One

Alcohol and drug abuse in the elderly can exacerbate health problems and reduce a senior’s quality of life. If you suspect an older loved one is struggling with a drug or alcohol problem, help is available. Call Serenity at Summit today to learn more about our programs for adults.

Counterfeit Norco Pills Are Poisoning Users With Potent Fentanyl

Norco is a prescription opioid pain reliever that contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Health care professional prescribe Norco for moderate-to-severe pain. Norco is one of many narcotics commonly misused and abused on the streets. Since March 23, 2016, more than a dozen people have died after taking pills they thought only contained Norco. Health department workers in Sacramento County, California, have since declared an emergency after identifying traces of fentanyl in the drugs.

Risks And Side Effects Of Fentanyl

Fentanyl is an opiate drug that’s more powerful than heroin. Physicians have reason to believe that the Norco pills circulating the streets have recently been laced with fentanyl – creating a drug that’s an estimated 80 times as potent as morphine. Experts believe the drug is coming from Mexico in illegal shipments, leading to a rise in Norco-related overdoses throughout and outside of California.

Illicitly bought Norco pills with fentanyl are significantly stronger than normal Norco pills, leading to a high risk of life-threatening overdose. Users typically take one or two of the pills, expecting the standard effects of Norco. Instead, unsuspecting users suffer severely harmful effects of ingesting too much fentanyl, including:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Cardiac arrest
  • No response to pain
  • Severe confusion

Synthetic opioids like fentanyl may be contributing to the massive rise in overdose-related deaths in recent years. The distribution of Norco laced with fentanyl presents a serious health risk to users who buy the drug illegally on the streets. Fentanyl quickly enters the central nervous system with a high potency and typically is used only in a hospital setting. Fentanyl is not formulated for oral administration in pill form. Thus, a pill with fentanyl is an illicitly made product.

In California’s Bay Area, product specimens of Norco contain promethazine on top of fentanyl. Promethazine is prescribed to treat nausea, motion sickness, and vomiting. It can increase the high from opioids such as fentanyl and Norco and chronic opioid abusers commonly use it.

What Policymakers Are Doing To Get Norco Off The Streets

The drastic increase in overdoses and deaths connected to illicitly purchased Norco is disturbing and has pushed policymakers to find a solution for getting this drug off the streets. This is a collaborative effort among law enforcement officials, medical professionals, and public health personnel to spread awareness about the dangerous fentanyl-laced Norco. Emergency departments and local poison control centers need to learn the side effects of a fentanyl overdose and how to treat it properly to an prevent overdose.

In 2015, a similar problem occurred when two people died from ingesting counterfeit Xanax laced with fentanyl. There are ongoing efforts to identify the exact source of the counterfeit drugs in California. Patients experiencing signs of a fentanyl overdose should seek medical help immediately and tell health care professionals where the counterfeit product was acquired. It’s now a physician’s job to inquire about the illicit purchase of the Norco pills containing fentanyl and to inform local poison centers and other health departments about the issue.

Finding the source of the counterfeit pills is the number one priority for California law officials right now. As an emerging threat to public health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a report that encourages the public to realize the hazards of purchasing prescription medications from anywhere other than a health care provider or reputable pharmacy.

Spreading Awareness

Many overdose cases involving Norco aren’t illicit drug abusers, but ordinary pain patients who turned to the black market for medication when they could no longer get a prescription. The counterfeit Norco pills put these patients at risk of accidental overdose, some of which are fatal. Some policymakers blame the increase in people buying prescription narcotics illegally on strict regulations for prescribing painkillers. By passing off fentanyl as a legitimate narcotic, drug dealers are tapping into the growing black market of patients buying opioids after prescriptions for pain medication have run out.

Educating people about the risks of black market Norco pills is an important part of getting this narcotic off the streets. Patients who are cut off from opioids should seek help for withdrawal symptoms in local rehabilitation clinics and find a healthy way to reduce pain such as therapies and holistic medicine. If you or someone you know has been a victim of counterfeit Norco pills, contact your local authorities to anonymously report where you bought it.


If you’re suffering from an opioid addiction, or can’t seem to stop taking prescription pain pills, click the button below and speak with one of or addiction specialist now.

Prescription Drug Rehab Treatment

Darvocet Drug Addiction – Everything You Need To Know

Darvocet, or acetaminophen and propoxyphene, was a popular prescription drug narcotic pain reliever less than a decade ago. Acetaminophen increases the effects of propoxyphene as a pain reliever and fever reducer, and doctors prescribed this combination to patients to relieve mild-to-moderate pain. Unfortunately, studies suggest that propoxyphene is habit-forming. The potential dangers of taking Darvocet don’t end with risk for addiction, however; this discontinued drug can cause a range of physical and psychological side effects.

Why Was Darvocet Discontinued?

The U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) banned Darvocet, Darvon, and other drugs containing propoxyphene in 2010 due to studies that showed negative heart side effects after healthy patients took prescribed doses of the drug. The drug put patients at risk of abnormal heart rhythms that could be fatal. While it’s impossible to know the exact number of lives Darvocet took before its removal from the market, an FDA study shows that the death toll is higher than either of two painkiller alternatives, hydrocodone and tramadol.

Darvocet is a federally controlled substance due to its high potential for abuse. As a strong opioid pain medication, Darvocet can create a euphoric sensation for individuals who misuse the drug. Chewing, snorting, crushing, or injecting Darvocet can create a high by changing how the brain perceives pain. The street names for Darvocet include “Yellow Footballs,” “Dillies,” and “D.” Although treatment centers sometimes use Darvocet to treat withdrawal symptoms for opioid addicts, it can also become an addiction if used improperly.

Side Effects of Using and Abusing Darvocet

There are numerous cardiovascular side effects connected to propoxyphene, including arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, and congestive heart failure. Aside from its potential to cause serious heart problems, Darvocet users may also experience nervous system issues. These may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Delirium
  • Sedation
  • Stupor
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma

More rare side effects of normal Darvocet use include renal problems such as hypoglycemia and acute tubular necrosis, as well as hypersensitivity side effects and skin rashes. When alcoholics take Darvocet or when patients abuse this drug, there is an increased risk of gastrointestinal problems, hepatotoxicity, metabolic acidosis, and withdrawal symptoms. When the drug was taken off the market, the FDA warned against quitting the drug suddenly due to the risk of withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, vomiting, hallucinations, psychosis, and seizures. The psychiatric side effects of Darvocet are part of what make it addictive and include hallucinations, state of confusion, and abnormal behaviors.

Darvocet and Drug Abuse

Darvocet, like other prescription opioids, is highly addictive. Like all addictions, the momentary relief the drug brings becomes a coping mechanism for other problems. However, the psychological and physical side effects of abusing the drug in turn lead to negative feelings, which then lead the abuser to take more of the drug. This cycle is difficult to break and often is paired with other addictions such as an alcohol dependency.

A number of factors play a part in the likelihood of a patient becoming addicted to Darvocet. A person’s preexisting biological, social, environmental, and psychological traits can be predictive of whether he or she is a likely candidate for opioid addiction. Physical ailments and genetic traits that push patients to seek pain relief through drugs is a common cause of addiction. If an individual suffers depression, anxiety, feelings of neglect, or has experienced trauma, he or she may self-medicate with Darvocet. It’s likely that Darvocet abusers are also misusing other narcotic pain relievers or drugs.

How to Identify a Darvocet Addiction

If you suspect that someone you know is addicted to Darvocet or other opioid pain medications, look for a few common signs of abuse:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling of the face, throat, lips, and tongue
  • Nausea and loss of appetite
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Skin rashes
  • Unusual behaviors
  • Seizures

Experiencing these side effects points to opioid addiction and may require the attention of a medical professional. Darvocet addiction can lead to coma and overdose death. There are long-term consequences of misusing Darvocet, including liver damage, compromised mental function, depression, paranoia, damaged relationships, and other effects common to drug addiction.

Darvocet withdrawal will vary in intensity according to the level of addiction, but no one should attempt it without proper medical supervision. Darvocet addiction can inflict a variety of long-lasting physical, mental, and emotional damages, so proper support is crucial during this phase of recovery.


If you or a loved one is under the control of prescribed drugs. Click the button below and let one of our specialist help you today.

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