Signs of a prescription drug addict

Signs of prescription drug abuse

Signs of prescription drug abuse

Signs of a prescription drug addict

Prescription drug addicts will usually wait until their life is in absolute shambles before admitting they have a problem. This is because prescription drug addicts have, well, a prescription and if it is prescribed by a doctor well then there must be a legitimate need for the drugs. That is why it is always good for friend and family members of an addict to be able to spot the signs of a prescription drug addict; otherwise their drug use may go by unknown noticed and in the worst case scenario until the individual overdoses or dies.

While signs of a prescription drug addict vary depending on the individual, their habits, and what kind of prescription drugs they are using all the symptoms tend to be similar in some way shape or form. Here are some of the most common signs of a prescription drug addict:

Aches, pains and other illnesses: In between doses of their prescription drug the addict is likely to develop moderate as well as severe nagging aches and pains. Prescription drugs tend to alter the nerves in the brain that regulate pain and illness so when the addict stops taking the drug the body doesn’t know what to do, leading to more illness.

Euphoric behavior: Prescription drug addicts who are more inclined to take opiates like Vicodin, Percocet, or Oxycontin will experience intense euphoria when they take their prescriptions. This won’t always be the case as they develop a tolerance but you will be able to tell when a prescription drug addict is high. They may be over talkative or beginning falling asleep sitting up etc. As they begin needing to take more prescription drugs this will become more pronounced.

Chills or fever: A classic sign of a prescription drug addict is when they no longer have any more drugs. Prescription drug addicts without their drugs will begin to withdrawal and withdrawal looks and has a lot of the same symptoms of the flu. The prescription drug addict may begin to puke, sweat, and be feverish.

Withdrawal from friends and family: You know that social butterfly of a cousin you used to have, well if they are a prescription drug addict they will no longer come to family dinners, social events or anything of the like. Just like those addicts who are addicted to heroin or cocaine they fail to join in on activities they used to love being involved in. They won’t call or text as often and will avoid any social interaction.

Criminal behavior: Another sign of a prescription drug addict is criminal behavior. This can range from getting DWI’s to stealing prescription pads, to doctor shopping. If you think someone you know is seeing multiple doctors or getting prescriptions for a large amount of pills that seem excessive than this may be a sign of a prescription drug addict. Prescription drug addicts take pride in the fact that they are taken legal medications and taken even more pride in that fact when a doctor prescribes them, so pay attention to the medicines your loved ones or friends are taking.

There are multiple signs of a prescription drug addict but these are some of the more general and universal truths about those who are addicted to narcotics. If you watch out for these you may be able to help someone who doesn’t want to admit they need help yet. You can do this by recognizing the signs of a prescription drug addict.

What is Dexedrine?

Dexedrine

What is Dexedrine?

Dexedrine is the brand name for the drug dextroamphetamine. As the name implies, it is an amphetamine. Dexedrine is used primarily in the treatment of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.) It is also used sometimes to treat narcolepsy.

What is Dexedrine? Amphetamines

Dexedrine is part of a class of drugs known as amphetamines. Amphetamines like Dexedrine act on dopamine receptors in the brain. They stimulate the receptor to release a rush of dopamine which stimulates brain cells, increasing mood and energy. Dopamine is closely related to the reward centers in the brain, which is why amphetamine use has such a high incidence of dependence and addiction.  Amphetamines like Dexedrine have also been shown to have a neurotoxic effect on dopamine neurons over time, inducing Parkinson’s-like symptoms in long term users. This is why amphetamines have such a high rate of abuse and addiction.

What is Dexedrine? Medical Uses

Mostly Dexedrine is used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. It’s off label uses include treatment for obesity and for medication-resistant depression.

The U.S. Navy uses Dexedrine as one of its “go pills”. They give it to pilots who have long flights in order to fight fatigue while flying.

What is Dexedrine? Recreational Use

Dexedrine is used recreationally for a variety of reasons. The drug causes euphoria, so some users abuse Dexedrine to get “high.” Dexedrine is also used illicitly as a “study drug.” Students take Dexedrine illicitly to improve concentration and increase energy while studying. Dexedrine is also abused by those who wish to lose weight, particularly those who suffer from eating disorders.

Dexedrine can be smoked, snorted, swallowed, or injected. The route of administration is a big factor in the abuse potential of amphetamines. Studies have shown that the more quickly the blood level of the drug rises, the more intense the “rush” and potential for abuse and addiction. Intravenous injection is the fastest route of drug administration, causing blood levels to rise the most quickly, followed by smoking, snorting, and ingestion (swallowing).

What is Dexedrine? Side Effects

Side effects of Dexedrine include hyperactivity, dilated pupils, blood shot eyes, flushing, restlessness, dry mouth, headache, rapid heart rate, hypertension (high blood pressure), fever, excessive sweating, diarrhea, blurred vision, dizziness, insomnia, palpitations, tremors, dry and/or itchy skin. Dexedrine can also cause seizures, heart attacks, even strokes.

Long term amphetamine use can result in depression and suicide as well as serious heart disease, amphetamine psychosis, anxiety and violent behaviors. Symptoms of amphetamine psychosis include hallucinations, delusions, thought disorder, and even sometimes catatonia. About 15% of people suffering from amphetamine psychosis fail to make a full recovery even after all Dexedrine use is stopped.

What is Dexedrine? Addiction

Dexedrine addiction is one of the most difficult forms of addictions to treat. Most chronic users experience heavy withdrawal symptoms when amphetamine use is abruptly stopped. Several drugs are used to treat withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Because of the neurotoxicity caused by Dexedrine on dopamine neurons, post-acute withdrawal (withdrawal lasting for weeks or months) is common.

Amphetamines

Amphetamines

Amphetamines

Amphetamines are a class of drugs that include prescription medications such as Adderall and Dexedrine, as well as “street” drugs like methamphetamine. Amphetamines are stimulants that increase energy and concentration and have a high potential for abuse. Amphetamines also increase libido, decrease appetite, and can increase self-esteem.

Prescription drugs that contain, or metabolize into, amphetamine include Adderall, Dexedrine, Dextrostat, Desoxyn, Didrex, ProCentra, and Vyvanse. Amphetamines are often used in medical settings to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and obesity. Recreationally, amphetamines are used as a performance enhancer and known as “speed.”

 

Physical effects of amphetamines can include:

  • hyperactivity
  • dilated pupils
  • blood shot eyes
  • flushing
  • restlessness
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • rapid heart rate
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • fever
  • excessive sweating
  • diarrhea
  • blurred vision
  • dizziness
  • insomnia
  • palpitations
  • tremors
  • dry and/or itchy skin
  • convulsions
  • seizure
  • stroke
  • coma
  • heart attack

Long term amphetamine use can result in depression and suicide as well as serious heart disease, amphetamine psychosis, anxiety and violent behaviors. Symptoms of amphetamine psychosis include hallucinations, delusions, thought disorder, and even sometimes catatonia. About 15% of people suffering from amphetamine psychosis fail to make a full recovery even after all amphetamine use is stopped.

Amphetamines can be smoked, snorted, swallowed, or injected. The route of administration is a big factor in the abuse potential of amphetamines. Studies have shown that the more quickly the blood level of the drug rises, the more intense the “rush” and potential for abuse and addiction. Intravenous injection is the fastest route of drug administration, causing blood levels to rise the most quickly, followed by smoking, snorting, and ingestion (swallowing).

Like most drugs with a high potential for abuse, amphetamines trigger the “reward pathway” in the brain. This is the pathway that is activated in response to pleasurable events, like eating chocolate or having sex. When these types of events occur, a neurotransmitter (chemical in the brain) called dopamine is released. Likewise, when drugs like amphetamine are metabolized, the brain produces a surge of dopamine. This creates a feeling of euphoria.

With continued use over time, the brain adapts to the constant influx of dopamine by becoming less responsive to it. The reward pathway is over-stimulated, so it reacts by eliminating some of its dopamine receptors. As a result, it takes more of the amphetamines to produce the same results. This is known as tolerance.

When an individual becomes tolerant to amphetamine, they will experience symptoms of withdrawal if they stop using the drug or significantly decrease their dose abruptly.  Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms include feelings of anxiety, craving, depression, agitation, excessive sleeping, and suicidal thoughts.

Barbiturates Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines

Barbiturates / Benzodiazepines

Barbiturates are part of a class of drugs known as sedative-hypnotics. They are “downers”- central nervous system depressants. Barbiturates were very popular in the 60’s and 70’s and were mostly abused to reduce anxiety, decrease inhibitions, and treat unwanted effects of illicit drugs.

Benzodiazepines are a class of drug which is commonly used in a number of medical settings. Most commonly used as anti-anxiety medications, benzodiazepines are also used as sedatives, as anticonvulsant medications, and as muscle relaxants. Benzodiazepines are relatively safe and well-tolerated in the short term.

Barbiturates / Benzodiazepines: History

Barbiturates are very dangerous, and have a high potential for overdose, particularly when mixed with alcohol and other drugs. They are also highly addictive and have potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. For these reasons, barbiturates have fallen out of favor with the medical community, and are only very rarely used for medical purposes. Benzodiazepines have largely replaced barbiturates in medical settings. They are really only used in general anesthesia, for epilepsy, and for assisted suicide.

Predictably, the rates of barbiturate abuse have declined dramatically since these medications have been either pulled off the market or are just not prescribed anymore.  The exception is possibly high school students. A new study suggests that the rate of abuse among high school students may have risen slightly in the last ten years. Barbiturates are abused commonly to counteract the effects of other drugs (i.e. to come down from uppers like cocaine and methamphetamine) or in suicide attempts. The reason barbiturates are used so often in suicide attempts is that there is no direct antidote to barbiturates. Overdose can only be treated by supportive measures, which is another reason that barbiturates are so dangerous.

Barbiturates / Benzodiazepines: How they work

Benzodiazepines work by enhancing the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain. The enhancement is responsible for producing the therapeutic effects of benzodiazepines and for facilitating many of the side effects as well as dependence and withdrawal from these drugs. Other sedative-hypnotics, such as alcohol and barbiturates, have a similar enhancing effect on GABA. This is why benzodiazepines are often used to treat alcohol withdrawal. It is also the reason that mixing benzodiazepines with alcohol or barbiturates can be deadly.

Barbiturates / Benzodiazepines: Side effects

Barbiturates and benzodiazepines decrease brain activity causing the person to feel more calm, drowsy, and/or peaceful. Because they have similar action as alcohol, the symptoms of barbiturate/benzodiazepine intoxication are similar to being drunk. In smaller doses, a person feels drowsy and uninhibited. In larger doses, barbiturates/benzodiazepines result in staggering, slurred speech, and confusion.

Common side effects of barbiturates/benzodiazepines include: drowsiness, dizziness, decreased alertness/concentration, depression, hypotension (low blood pressure), decreased libido, nausea, changes in appetite, euphoria, and nightmares.

Barbiturates / Benzodiazepines: Date Rape

Barbiturates /benzodiazepines have also been used as a “date rape” drug because they can markedly impair functions that normally allow a person to resist sexual aggression or assault. Also, barbiturates/benzodiazepines commonly cause drug induced short term amnesia, especially when mixed with alcohol. These properties make barbiturates/benzodiazepines effective in drug-facilitated sexual assaults.

Roxicodone Ingredients

Roxicodone Ingredients

Roxicodone’s main ingredient is oxycodone hydrochloride. It is the active component of the medication. It is a narcotic painkiller of the opiate class. However, that is not the only ingredient in a pill of Roxicodone. Roxicodone ingredients also include certain binders, fillers, and disintegrates.

Roxicodone Ingredients: What are binders, fillers, disintegrates?

When a generic drug is made, the only ingredient that they must include is the active ingredient. There are other requirements of generic drugs as well.  They must be identical in dose, strength, route of administration, safety, efficacy, and intended use.

Binders, fillers, and disintegrates can be, and often are, different between different types of generic drugs.  The binders are what make the Roxicodone ingredients stick together when the pill is pressed down to make the pill. Common binders are povidone, xanthan gum and carbopol.

Fillers are used to take up space to make the pill a certain size and shape.  Common fillers include lactose, microcrystalline cellulose, corn starch, sugars (including sucrose, mannitol, sorbitol, fructose, and dextrose), whey and yeast.

Disintegrates are the Roxicodone ingredients that help the pill break down in your digestive system.  Crospovidone, croscarmellose sodium, and gellan gum are commonly used as disintegrates.

Roxicodone Ingredients: Why does it matter?

Some people claim there is a big difference between different generic forms of Roxicodone, and they could be right. The FDA requires the bioequivalence of the generic product to be between 80% and 125% of that of the brand name product, so the generics could be as much as 25% different than the brand name drug. Some consumers have complained that they do not get the same kind of pain relief or experience different side effects from different forms of the drug.

Another group that is concerned about the different Roxicodone ingredients are the illicit users. This group is using the drug in a way that it is not prescribed: usually snorting, shooting, or smoking the pill instead of taking it orally. For the illicit user, Roxicodone ingredients can be very important. Since generics are only tested for bioequivalence for the route of administration they are intended for, different generics can have very different effect when they are consumed in another way.

Binders, fillers, and disintegrates can all effect how well a drug can be crushed- whether or not there are large chunks of the pill in the powder-before it is snorted or injected. Also, some Roxicodone ingredients will affect nasal absorption or how well a pill will “smoke.”

Most illicit users are partial to certain generic forms of Roxicodone because of the way they break down for use. They will search out certain forms of the pills for a better “high.” However, in the case of injection, ease of use is not the only concern. It can be very dangerous to inject certain Roxicodone ingredients. When something is injected, it does not get broken down by the liver or digestive system. It goes straight to the blood stream and some Roxicodone ingredients can damage veins or cause blockages.

Ecstasy Drug Abuse

Ecstasy Drug Abuse

What is ecstasy?

Ecstasy also known as MDMA is a synthetic, psychoactive drug that is very similar to meth and mescaline. Ecstasy produces intense feelings of energy, euphoria, emotional warmth, and distorts time, perception and reality.

Ecstasy drug abuse

Ecstasy is most often taken orally in a capsule or tablet form. Ecstasy drug abuse became popular through nightclub scene and weekend-long dance parties known as raves. Ecstasy was most commonly used by white adolescents and young adults but the profile of ecstasy users has definitely broadened for instance it is very popular among gay males. Ecstasy drug abuse is also common when combined with other drugs to heighten a drug experience. For example, some people will mix ecstasy with marijuana, cocaine, meth, ketamine, Viagra, and other illegal substances.

How does ecstasy drug abuse affect the brain?

The primary effects of ecstasy drug abuse are in the brain. Ecstasy drug abuse affects the neurons that use the chemical serotonin to communicate with other neurons. Serotonin regulates mood, aggression, sexual activity, sleep, and sensitivity to pain. So when ecstasy binds to the serotonin transporter it prolongs the serotonin signal-giving off more serotonin for longer periods of time which makes ecstasy users feel “good” or “high”.  Ecstasy drug abuse also affects the neurotransmitter norepinephrine which can increase heart rate and blood pressure. It also releases dopamine but it doesn’t have as large of an effect on those neurotransmitters.

Ecstasy drug abuse can produce confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, and severe anxiety. These negative side effects can happen almost immediately after taking ecstasy and last even weeks after taking it. Those who abuse ecstasy chronically perform more poorly than nonusers on certain types of cognitive or memory tasks.  Some research has shown that just using ecstasy a few times can permanently damage the brains neurotransmitters.

Is ecstasy drug abuse potentially addictive?

Yes. For some people ecstasy drug abuse can be addictive. Ecstasy users can sometimes end up using the drug despite negative consequences, experience withdrawal effects, and build a tolerance. Abstaining for ecstasy drug abuse after using ecstasy drug for a long period of time can cause withdrawal symptoms which include- fatigue, loss of appetite, depressed feelings and trouble concentrating.

Is ecstasy drug abuse dangerous?

Ecstasy drug abuse can be dangerous to anyone’s overall health and in some occasions can be deadly. Ecstasy drug abuse has many of the same effects as other stimulants which means it can increase your heart rate and blood pressure-this can cause circulatory problems or heart disease or other symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching (Bruxism), nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills and sweating.

Ecstasy drug abuse in high doses can also inhibit the body’s ability to regulate temperature which can lead to heat exhaustion, sharp increases in body temperature (hyperthermia), and excessive sweating. This can lead to more lethal problems such as liver and kidney failure, cardiovascular failure and death.

Help for those who abuse ecstasy

For those who have a problem with ecstasy drug abuse there are no specific treatment just for them but there are drug rehabilitation centers that are effective in the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse. Using self-help groups such as NA or AA and cognitive behavioral therapy offered at a drug treatment center can be very effective in helping someone with an ecstasy drug abuse problem.

Smoking Roxies

Roxy is the street name for the prescription drug oxycodone. It usually refers to the pure, immediate release form of oxycodone. However, there are several drugs which combine oxycodone with anti-inflammatory medications. In certain circumstances, these drugs may mistakenly be called “roxies.”

The name “roxy” was derived from the brand name “Roxicodone,” which is pure, immediate release oxycodone. It comes in 15mg or 30mg tablets. However, there is another brand name drug, “Roxicet,” which is sometimes mistaken for roxy because of the similarity of the name. Roxicet is oxycodone plus acetaminophen (Tylenol), the same formulation as Percocet. Other oxycodone containing formulations are combined with ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin.

Smoking Roxies: What’s the appeal?

People smoke roxies because it hits the system more quickly, resulting in a fast, strong, but short high. The only route of administration that has a slightly quicker onset is intravenous injection. However, the difference is, when you inject roxies, you get almost 100% bioavailability. Bioavailability is the amount of free, or active, drug in your system. Smoking roxies doesn’t give you a very high bioavailability, so you are essentially wasting the pill.

Smoking Roxies: What’s the danger?

Smoking roxies results in a short but intense high. This increases the chances that you will become addicted quickly. A high concentration of the active drug in your blood stream in a short amount of time increases the potential for abuse and addiction. The brain is overwhelmed by the high, and when the drug leaves the system, the body craves more. Also, when you have a high dose in your blood stream in a short time, you increase your risk of overdose, particularly if you mix roxies with other drugs.

Besides the typical side effects of opiates, with smoking roxies you also damage your respiratory track and teeth. Because roxies already cause suppressed breathing, smoking roxies can increase the risk that you will stop breathing and die.

Smoking roxies also increases your risk of becoming tolerant and experiencing withdrawal.  Tolerance is when you need more and more of the drug to produce the same high. Tolerance results when the body adapts to regular roxy use over a long period of time. Eventually, it takes more and more roxies to produce the original effect. This is what happens to long term roxy users. Their bodies expect the drugs. When drug use is stopped or the dose is significantly reduced, the body reacts in a physical way. This is known as withdrawal. Roxy withdrawal can be very painful.

Withdrawal from roxies can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms. Common roxy withdrawal symptoms include extreme pain, tremors, muscle cramps, sweating, chills, rapid heartbeat, itching, restless leg syndrome, runny nose, sneezing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness. Withdrawal from roxies alone is not life-threatening, but it is extremely uncomfortable. Acute roxy withdrawal can last ten to fourteen days (depending on level of use. You are more likely to develop tolerance and go through withdrawal when you are smoking roxies than if you are swallowing or snorting them.

 

What do Roxy’s look like?

What do Roxy's look like?
What do Roxy’s look like?

What do Roxy’s look like?

Roxy is the street name for the prescription drug Roxicodone (generic name is Oxycodone Hydrochloride). It comes in different strengths, and each one looks different. In general, Roxy’s are small, round pills. They are not capsules, because the drug is an immediate release formulation (unlike the drug OxyContin, which is the time-release formula of oxycodone hydrochloride.)

The most common street formulation of Roxy’s is the 30mg strength. Generally, the 30 milligram Roxy’s are small, round, and range from light to dark blue in color. All generic Roxy has the same active ingredient, but the different types of generics have different inactive ingredients. Some illicit users are very specific about the type of Roxy’s they buy. They claim that binders in some of the formulation make the pills harder to break down for injecting or snorting. When manufacturers make generics, they just have to ensure that they have the same bioavailability (amount of free, active drug in the system) as the real thing. However, in the case of oral drugs like Roxy’s, they only have to have the same ORAL bioavailability. Thus, different types of generic roxies could very well have different bioavailability for injection or snorting when compared to other types depending on the inactive ingredients.

The 15 milligram Roxy’s are also often sold on the streets. These pills are also small and round and they usually are some shade of green.  There are also 5, 10, and 20 milligram Roxy’s, but these are rarer. 5 milligram pills are usually brown or white in color, 10 milligrams may be pink, and 20 milligrams are usually some shade of grey.

Keep in mind that these are just generalities. New types of generic pills come out all the time, and they don’t need to adhere to any specific look or color. If you don’t know if the pill you have is a Roxy, you should double check.

What do Roxy’s look like? : How to check an unknown pill

If you buy Roxy’s on the street, and they don’t look like what you would expect or you don’t know what Roxy’s look like, you should always double check online. There are several free online sites that will tell you what kind of pill you have so you know what you are taking. This is very important for safety reasons.

If you type “Pill identifier” into your browser, several different sites will come up. You can type in identifying features of your pill such as size, shape, color, and imprints and the sites will tell you what the pill is. Usually, they will even provide a picture so that you can compare your unknown pill to the real thing.

Keep in mind that online sites sometimes sell counterfeit pills. Sometimes these will look identical and even have the same imprints as the real thing. There is really no way to tell, so it’s best to avoid ordering Roxy’s online, especially from any online pharmacy that is advertised via spam email.