The progression of prescription drug addiction

The progression of prescription drug addiction    No one really decides to get addicted to prescription drugs. Why would they? The end result of a prescription drug addiction is the alienation of family and friends, failing at work and launching a small time or big time criminal career. This isn’t the plan of anyone when they get their first prescription from their doctor. So how does prescription drug addiction happen?

What is the progression of prescription drug addiction?

One in five Americans report misusing a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime and the majority of them put the pills away with nothing major happening. So how does prescription drug abuse progress into a full blown prescription drug addiction?

A doctor at the University of Washington, Andrew Saxon, MD, says it may have something to do with the genetic predisposition to addiction. “There’s something different in their brains to begin with,” and prolonged drug abuse likely creates further chemical changes. For people born with a predisposition to addiction taking prescription drugs can lead to an intense rush that makes the brain want more and more. Repeating this euphoric rush or high reinforces the cycle of drug use and sets the perfect stage for a prescription drug addiction.

This progression of prescription drug addiction usually begins with prescription drug dependence. Prescription drug dependence occurs because of normal adaptations to chronic us e of prescription drugs and is not the same as addiction. Addiction which can include physical dependence is differentiated from dependence by the compulsive drug seek behavior and use despite negative consequences. Someone who takes a prescription drug normally or every day will develop a physical dependence regardless if they have a predisposition to addiction or not. It is the person with addiction potential or who does not stop and progresses from the point of prescription drug dependence into that compulsive drug seeking behavior despite negative consequences that has a prescription drug addiction.

The progression of prescription drug addiction always begins with dependence though and dependence is usually characterized by what is known as a tolerance. A tolerance means that an individual has to take higher doses of the medication in order to achieve the same effect. When tolerance occurs it can be difficult for a doctor to know whether the patient is developing a drug problem or actually needs the medication. For this reason many people who are well on their way into a prescription drug addiction continue getting the drugs that are hurting them. The availability of prescription drugs today definitely plays a factor into people progressing into a prescription drug addiction.

Prescription drugs are tricky because there is a medical necessity for them sometimes but many of them such as painkillers, amphetamines, and benzodiazepines are highly addictive and can easily lead someone down the road of addiction and the road in addiction is not a pretty one. Prescription drug addiction causes many people to do things for their drugs that they wouldn’t do otherwise. The good thing is though there is a way to get off the medication and to overcome prescription drug addiction today. There are detox facilities and outpatient programs that specialize specifically in getting individuals off of prescription medications.

The History of Oxycodone

The History of Oxycodone

Oxycodone is a powerful narcotic analgesic. It is the active ingredient in a number of commonly prescribed pain relief medications such as Percocet, Percodan, and Tylox, which are oxycodone plus some sort of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like aspirin or acetaminophen. Oxycodone is also the active ingredient in OxyContin, a time release, long-acting form of the drug, and Roxicodone, a short acting form of the drug.

Oxycodone, like all drugs in the opiate class, is derived the opium plant. Many similar compounds were sold over the counter in the 19th century. In 1898, Bayer pharmaceuticals released an extremely potent compound known as heroin.

Oxycodone was synthesized from thebaine, which is derived from the opium plant. It was developed in Germany in 1916 as an alternative to heroin, which had been outlawed a couple years prior. It was hoped that oxycodone would have the analgesic (pain-killing) power of heroin without the dependence issues. It was first introduced to American consumers in 1939, but did not become widely used until the release of Percodan (oxycodone plus aspirin) in 1950.

As more people were prescribed oxycodone, its potential for addiction became more widely known.  In 1963, the attorney general of California publicly denounced Percodan abuse as the source of one-third of all drug addictions within the state. As a result, regulation of oxycodone in the United States was increased. In 1970, oxycodone, along with all other opiates, was made a Schedule II drug under the Federal Controlled Substances Act.

In 1974, the FDA approved Percocet (oxycodone plus acetaminophen). It was prescribed in very small quantities. Over the next decade, however, the attitudes towards management of chronic pain began to change. Instead of using painkillers for acute or malignant pain, doctors began to prescribe it for chronic pain. Many of the states adopted new policies that supported the wider use of painkillers by doctors.

In 1995, Purdue pharmaceuticals released OxyContin. Shortly thereafter, Purdue implemented an aggressive marketing campaign. It promoted the use of OxyContin by primary care providers, use in non-cancer pain, and its use as first line therapy for chronic pain. Its marketing was physician directed, and certain promotional claims were even cited in medical journals. Within in two years, OxyContin came to account for 80 percent of all Perdue profits.

As the use of OxyContin became more wide spread, reports of abuse began to increase exponentially. Before the release of OxyContin, all formulations of oxycodone contained an NSAID, which limited its potential for abuse. The NSAID component of the drugs also restricted the routes of administration to oral ingestion. When OxyContin was released, abusers realized that they could crush the pill to release pure oxycodone (up to 80mg in one pill), which allowed larger doses and by additional routes of administrations such as intravenous and intranasal. Due to the widespread abuse, particularly in rural areas, OxyContin came to be known as “Hillbilly Heroin.”

Soon, the lawsuits began. Purdue was accused of disseminating misleading information about OxyContin. In 2001, both the FDA and Purdue issued warnings against the recreational use of the drug. Despite the warnings, OxyContin continued to be one of the most widely abused drugs in the United States.

In 2011, to try to curb abuse of the drug, manufacturers added additional binders to the formulation to prevent the grinding of tablets for insufflation or injection, and to maintain OxyContin’s extended release characteristics. The added binders greatly reduced the recreational value of OxyContin, because they were not easily broken down.


Caffeine Abuse

Caffeine Abuse

Most of us think of caffeine as a fairly benign substance. It’s legal, it’s acceptable to drink at any time of day, and it’s a natural component in many foods and beverages. It’s effects are so common and generally so subtle that it is hard to differentiate between the effects of caffeine and the normal psychological and emotional ups and downs of everyday life.

However, anything can be dangerous if you abuse it, and caffeine IS a drug. Plus, caffeine containing products often contain abnormally high amounts of caffeine plus other stimulants. Regular users can experience all types of unpleasant symptoms when they stop drinking it and it can be detrimental to your health.

Caffeine Abuse: Dependence

Caffeine abuse may lead to physical and psychological dependence. People who take in as little as one hundred milligrams of caffeine a day can acquire a physical dependence that results in withdrawal symptoms if caffeine use is stopped abruptly. Withdrawal symptoms can include headaches, muscle pain and stiffness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, depressed mood, and irritability. Withdrawals from caffeine abuse can occur within 12-24 hours of stopping and could last as long as nine days. The symptoms can be so pronounced that some experts believe that caffeine withdrawal should be classified as a psychological disorder.

Caffeine Abuse: Caffeine Intoxication

Caffeine abuse can also lead to caffeine intoxication. Caffeine intoxication is a state of central nervous system stimulation due to high intake of caffeine. The nervous system becomes overworked. It can cause excessive neural activity and possibly seizures. Severe caffeine intoxication can lead to hospitalization and even death.

Caffeine abuse: Effects

Caffeine abuse can cause a number of unpleasant side effects. One of the most common is headache. Caffeine constricts the blood vessels in the brain, resulting in painful headaches.

Another side effect of caffeine abuse is dehydration. Caffeine acts as a diuretic, stimulating the kidneys to remove fluid from the body through the urine. This can result in dehydration.

Caffeine is a CNS stimulant, so caffeine abuse often leads to feelings of nervousness, insomnia, and irritability.

People who consume more than 1,000 mg of caffeine per day may develop a condition known as caffeinism. It is characterized by extreme anxiety, nervous twitches, and rapid breathing. In extreme cases of caffeine abuse, people can even experience visual hallucinations.

Caffeine Abuse: Precautions

If you are going to drink a lot of caffeine or take caffeine pills, there are some precautions you should take:

  • Drink plenty of water: Caffeine can act as a diuretic, so water is essential so you don’t dehydrate your body.
  • Try to avoid drinking caffeine late in the day: If you take caffeine pills in the late afternoon or evening, it can make it harder for you to get a good night’s sleep.
  • Cut back slowly: If you have been drinking caffeine for some time, your body could’ve become dependent on the caffeine intake. Cutting back slowly over a period of a few days will help you avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Valium Addiction

Valium Addiction

Valium is the brand name of the drug, diazepam. It is part of a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. This is the most commonly prescribed class of drugs in the United States. 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 if used as directed by a medical professional. In illicit use, benzodiazepines are used for their euphoric effect, and to enhance the effect of other drugs, like alcohol and opiates. The combination of benzodiazepine with other drugs can be deadly.

Valium Addiction: How Valium Works

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

Valium Addiction: Signs and Symptoms

It can hard for some people to admit to having a Valium addiction. If someone has any of the following symptoms, it could mean that they are addicted.

  • Difficulty stopping Valium use
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
  • Inability to imagine life without Valium
  • Slurred speech
  • Uncoordinated movement
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Defensiveness when they are questioned about Valium use
  • Acting unethically to get Valium-for example, going to multiple doctors to obtain the drug or pretending their medication was “lost” or “stolen” in order to get more.
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Mood swings
  • Memory problems
  • Financial problems
  • Attempts to hide extent of Valium use

Valium Addiction: Dangers

Valium addiction can be extremely dangerous. Taking too much of the drug or combining it with other drugs or alcohol can quickly result in overdose and death. If a person becomes tolerant to the drug, they can experience extreme, even life threatening, withdrawal symptoms. Valium addiction can interfere with a persons ability to hold down a job or meet familial or social obligations. Valium use, especially while driving, can cause serious and potentially fatal accidents.

Valium Addiction: Withdrawal

Valium can be both physically addicting and habit forming. Even when taken as prescribed, long term Valium use can result in physical dependence and withdrawal. When used recreationally Valium is administered orally, intranasally, or intravenously. It is one of the most commonly misused pharmaceutical drugs in the United States.

Long term Valium use requires medically supervised withdrawal management. Whenever possible, Valium should be tapered slowly. Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome can result when a long-term Valium user abruptly stops taking Valium. Symptoms can be severe and include severe antisocial behavior and drug seeking tendencies. Valium withdrawal has even been known to cause seizures and death in some cases.

Some other withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Body shakes
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid pulse
  • Palpitations
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness and anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Memory loss
  • Loss of appetite

Narcotic Fact Sheet

Narcotic Fact Sheet

Prescription opioids are some of the most commonly abused substances in America. These opioids work by binding with opioid receptors in the brain. They bind to the same receptors that the bodies’ natural painkillers bind to. After prolonged opiate use, the body stops producing natural painkillers, resulting in opiate dependency. Opiates are such powerful narcotics that the body can become dependent on them even when they prescribed by a physician for the treatment of pain and are taken in the prescribed dosage.

Narcotic Fact Sheet: Vicodin, Lortab, and Lorcet

Vicodin, Lortab, and Lorcet are all brand names for the combination drug containing hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opiate. Usually, it is combined with non-opioid painkillers like acetaminophen to discourage recreational use and to increase the painkilling effects.  Hydrocodone is also a cough suppressant, so it is used in many prescription cough medications.

While additives such as acetaminophen are added to hydrocodone products in part to discourage illicit use, the danger is that people who do abuse hydrocodone products may not be aware that they are taking high levels of acetaminophen. This can be very dangerous, and in many cases, long term hydrocodone abuse can cause liver problems because these drugs are toxic in high doses, and can even be fatal.

Another reason that hydrocodone is less likely to be abused than drugs like pure oxycodone, is that the metabolism of hydrocodone prevents it from alternate routes of administration like snorting and injection. This is because the main painkilling effect of hydrocodone use comes from its conversion to the much stronger opioid hydromorphone in the liver. When the drug is snorted or injected, it bypasses this metabolic process, so it actually results in a less strong effect. Also, because hydrocodone users must separate the hydrocodone from the acetaminophen additives before injecting it, some of the hydrocodone is lost in the process. Hydrocodone is also only about half as strong as oral oxycodone.

Narcotic Fact Sheet: Percocet

Percocet is the brand name of the combination drug containing oxycodone and acetaminophen. As with the hydrocodone combination products, acetaminophen is added to oxycodone to both potentiate the painkilling effects and to discourage abuse. Percocet comes in doses of 10/325 (10 mg of oxycodone and 325 mg of acetaminophen) or 5/325 (5mg of oxycodone and 325 mg of acetaminophen).Percocet is an oral medication.

Oxycodone is a powerful analgesic synthesized from thebaine, which is derived from the opium plant. It was developed in Germany in 1916 as an alternative to heroin, which had been outlawed a couple years prior. It was hoped that oxycodone would have the analgesic (pain-killing) power of heroin without the dependence issues. However, since its inception, oxycodone has been subject to abuse.

Narcotic Fact Sheet: Roxicodone

Roxicodone is the brand name of a drug that contains pure oxycodone; it does not contain ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin, like other oxycodone-containing products (i.e. Percodan, Percocet, and Tylox).Roxicodone pills generally come in 15 or 30 mg doses. It is an immediate release form of oxycodone, unlike the time-release form of the drug: OxyContin. Because it is pure immediate release, pure oxycodone, the potential for abuse of oxycodone is very high.

Adderall Side Effects

Adderall Side Effects

Adderall has many side effects that can range from light to very severe. Some of the less known Adderall side effects include an increased metabolism, eye twitching and erectile dysfunction. Because Adderall is an amphetamine it should come as no surprise that these are some of the side effects it produces but yet on the general lists of Adderall side effects these are not usually found. Either way Adderall side effects can be unpleasant and with long term use of Adderall can worsen.

Adderall side effects: increased metabolism

Adderall is a stimulant so it can increase metabolism in many different ways. For instance, Adderall side effects are increased blood pressure and heart rate. As the heart rate increases, cardiac muscles use more energy and since Adderall also increases energy and alertness, Adderall users have higher levels of mental and physical activity. Because of this the metabolic rate is increased in order to provide energy for the increase in activity due to Adderall use. Adderall can actually be abused specifically for the hike up in metabolism. Besides increasing metabolism and energy use, Adderall can also be used to suppress appetite making it a great weight loss tool for those wanting to lose weight.

Adderall side effects: Eye twitching

Eye twitching is the involuntary spasm of the muscle of in the eye lid. The most common reasons for an eye twitch are fatigue, stress and caffeine or stimulants. Adderall side effects can include fatigue and it is a powerful stimulant. This is what leads to the eye twitching. Because Adderall can keep a person awake for a long period of time as well as creating the same effects in them as caffeine it is very easy for someone even on a low dose of Adderall to begin experience eye twitching. Eye twitching as an Adderall side effect may be a sign that the Adderall user needs sleep or to cut back on the Adderall use.

Adderall side effects: Erectile Dysfunction

One of the actual listed Adderall side effects is loss of interest in sex, impotence and/or difficulty having an orgasm not to mention erectile dysfunction. Sexual side effects are actually some the least common Adderall side effects. Most of the time if an Adderall user is experiencing side effects such as erectile dysfunction the doctor will either prescribe an erectile dysfunction medication or adjust the dosage of Adderall or even switch medications all together. It is a good idea for anyone taking Adderall and is experiencing erectile dysfunction to talk to their doctor about it because erectile dysfunction is not a common side effect of the drug. The reason Adderall may cause impotence is because of the effects it has on blood flow and the entire body.

Adderall side effects can also include but are not limited to:

• Lack of appetite

• Headache

• Inability to fall asleep and stay asleep

• Dry Mouth

• Abdominal Pain and Discomfort

• Weight Loss

• Restlessness

• Dangerous increase in blood pressure

• Tachycardia or a high pulse rate

• Irregular heart rate

• Difficulty breathing

• Chest pain

• Allergic reaction that includes swelling and redness in the eyes or throat

• Migraine headaches

• Syncope or losing consciousness

• Blurry or double vision

• Seizure activity and excessive and uncontrollable shaking

• Extreme nervousness and paranoid delusions

• Mood swings that include hostility and severe aggression

• Depression


Roxy Rehab for Women

Roxy Rehab for Women

For those who don’t know, “Roxy” is the street name for the drug oxycodone. It is a shortened version of the brand name for the drug “Roxicodone.” Oxycodone is a prescription narcotic painkiller, and it’s basically a synthetic version of heroin. With that said, oxycodone can be an effective medication if prescribed and taken responsibly. However, Roxy addiction is a growing problem in the US. Opiate painkillers like proxies are the most commonly prescribed drug in the United States, and the growing prescription painkiller abuse epidemic has created a whole new class of drug addicts.

Roxy rehab for women is designed to respond to the new class of drug addicts. Some who attend roxy rehab for women became addicted after having legitimate prescriptions for roxy. They may have gone to the doctor for a real ailment and walked away with a prescription for this powerfully addictive narcotic. Pretty soon, they realize they need more and more of the drug to get the same effect.

Others who come to roxy rehab for women may have simply tried roxies because it seemed safer than illicit drugs. Studies show that women tend to gravitate towards prescription drugs rather than street drugs like heroin. They mistakenly believe that because the medication is prescribed by doctors and its manufacture is regulated, it is “safer” than, say, heroin. Either way, roxy abuse is a growing problem among American women.

Roxy rehab for women involves a safe, medical detox. Anyone who has become addicted to roxies knows how painful it is when you run out or try to stop. The body often goes through horrible withdrawal because it has been dependent on roxies. That is why detox is so important. In the detox portion of roxy rehab you will be given medication to treat the unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal. This makes it much, much easier to wean yourself off of roxies for good, and to no longer be a slave to pills.

Roxy rehab for women is geared towards the needs of women who have become dependent on roxies. Women are underrepresented in most treatment centers, because women have a harder time reaching out for help. In a mixed gender setting, women may not have the same kind of attention or focus on their gender-specific issues as they would at a women’s treatment center.

Roxy rehab for women addresses the specific needs of women. Sometimes women suffering from addiction have issues that are overlooked or discounted at a mixed gender treatment center, like child-care responsibilities and sexual trauma. Roxy rehab for women allows women to focus on these issues.

Studies have shown that women-only treatment centers like roxy rehab for women have a greater success rate than traditional treatment center. By focusing on the gender-specific treatment protocols, roxy rehab for women is better able to meet the treatment needs of women who have become addicted to roxies and other substances. By doing this, roxy rehab for women gives clients the absolute best chance of success and long term sobriety.