Darvocet is among a class of prescription medications that are commonly abused. Every year, doctors and pharmacists issue more than 40 million prescriptions for these pain relief medications each year to first time users.
Adults comprise the age group that most commonly abuses this class of drugs, particularly those who are between the ages of 18 and 25 years. Although many of these people require the drugs for legitimate reasons, a great majority eventually find themselves struggling with Darvocet addiction and dependence. Others also abuse the drug by taking it for recreational purposes.
Darvocet is a prescription medication that is prescribed for the management of mild to moderate pain. It contains the compounds acetaminophen and propoxyphene. Since it is a potent opioid pain relief medication, it can lead the development of dependence - which often causes addiction. For this reason, the federal government controls it.
A narcotic pain relief medication, the drug works by changing how the brain senses and perceives pain. In the United States, it is now available in doses that range from 30 to 650 mg. On the streets, the dug is known as Dillies, Yellow Footballs, and D.
If you have been abusing this medication, you would have been crushing it into powder for snorting, mixing it with a liquid for intravenous use, or chewing it. All these forms of substance abuse will cause it to be released into your system much faster than normal. As a result, this will typically create sensations of euphoria, or a drug high.
Although you can take Darvocet under medical supervision for the relief of pain and physical symptoms of withdrawal if you are addicted to opiates, the drug is also addictive. This is particularly true if you do not use in the way that your doctor advised when they prescribed the medication.
Substance abuse, on the other hand, will often cause you to suffer a wide variety of physical and psychological side effects. Over time, you may develop tolerance to the drug. When this happens, you will have to take it in higher doses or more frequently than you used to before you can experience its pleasurable effects. Eventually, this will lead to physical dependence, which will be characterized by addiction or a substance use disorder.
As a drug, Darvocet is a brand name medication that contains a combination of acetaminophen - an over the counter pain relief drug - and propoxyphene - a synthetic opioid drug. Doctors prescribe this medication for the treatment of mild to moderate pain. Sometimes, it is also used in the context of addiction rehabilitation for medication assisted treatment among people who are addicted to other opioids like heroin or morphine.
Even so, it is important to note that doctors started criticizing the drug almost immediately after its release into the market. Since it is a weak opioid drug, it produces pain relief effects that are similar to placebo. It also comes with adverse side effects, including almost fatal heart problems and suicidal behavior.
Due to this - as well as its known high potential for addiction and abuse, the FDA - the Food and Drug Administration - banned the substance in 2010. At the time, the DEA - the Drug Enforcement Administration - released a report showing that Darvocet was one of the top 10 most commonly abused drugs in the United States. The DEA reported that over 10 million Americans were abusing this drug and other similar pain relief medications.
Although the medication has been banned for over 10 years now, it is still commonly available on the illicit drug market. Some people also purchase it illegally through the internet.
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Although Darvocet contains acetaminophen, it works in the same way as any other opioid drug. This means that it will mimic the natural opioids that are inside the body. In the process, it binds itself to the opioid receptors of the brain and the CNS - the central nervous system.
These natural opioids that are created by the body are a neurotransmitter that your body uses to help manage and regulate feelings of stress and pain. They achieve this effect by inhibiting the nerve signals that are associated with pain as well as ensuring that they do not reach the brain. Further, opioids are depressants in the sense that they slow down CNS activity.
When you take Darvocet, it will entire the brain where it will bind to the opioid receptors found there. It will also activate these receptors repeatedly and on a regular basis. Eventually, your brain and central nervous system will be flooded by the excess opioids. This will lead to the production of intense sensations of pain relief and sedation.
This drug is unlike other potent combinations of acetaminophen and opioids - such as Vicodin. This is in the sense that it is fairly weak and produces limited pain relief effects. As a result, you may not abuse the drug to produce pain relief. Instead, you will typically do so due to the raised levels of dopamine that it causes inside the brain.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is produced in the pleasure center of the brain. Its production leads to the stimulation of strong and intense feelings of intoxication and euphoria - especially when it is released in excess.
It might not be easy for you to spot the signs and symptoms of abuse, dependence, and tolerance to drugs like Darvocet. This is due to the fact that the behaviors and symptoms that are associated with a substance use disorder might not always appear immediately. Isolated signs, on the other hand, might remain invisible to observers.
In many cases, it will only be after you start exhibiting the negative effects and signs of growing substance abuse that others will be able to recognize a pattern of harmful behavior.
That said, using and abusing Darvocet in the long term will produce certain extreme effects and symptoms. These include but are not limited to:
In case you have been experiencing any of these signs and symptoms of Darvocet addiction and abuse, or you have observed them in a loved one, it is essential that you seek help from an addiction treatment and rehabilitation facility. This is the only way you will be able to reduce or completely avoid the risk that the ongoing substance abuse problem will lead to an overdose, which could potentially turn out to be fatal.
One of the main signs and symptoms of Darvocet addiction revolves around the withdrawal symptoms that it causes when you stop abusing it. After taking this drug for a period of time, you will develop tolerance and dependence.
Once you are physically dependent on the medication and you reduce your typical dose of it or completely stop using it, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. These will be comprised of physical and psychological disturbances, such as:
If you have been abusing this medication for a period of time or taking it in excess, there is a high possibility that you will lose control over your use. Eventually, you will start taking the drug almost obsessively and compulsively.
Once this happens, you would have transited from substance abuse to full blown addiction. Typically, this transition will be marked by a rise in abnormal behavior that is consistent with a growing substance use disorder.
Eventually, Darvocet will become the primary focus of your life. At this stage, it will be almost impossible for you to stop taking the drug unless you are enrolled in a professional addiction treatment and rehabilitation program. This will be the case even though the drug would already have started leading to financial issues, negative health effects, legal problems, and deteriorating personal and professional relationships - among other adverse effects.
It is also important to note that Darvocet is also dangerous even without its addictive potential. This is because it often produces serious side effects, some of which might even be life-threatening. Even when you take this medication exactly as a doctor intended, you can experience pulmonary toxicity, lethal arrhythmia, seizures, suicidal behavior and thoughts, and depression.
The drug also contains acetaminophen, which means that using it regularly could lead to major liver and kidney damage or even total liver failure if you suffer acetaminophen poisoning after taking the medication in extremely high doses.
If you take the drug in excess, you may suffer the following Darvocet overdose symptoms:
If you are struggling with Darvocet abuse and addiction, you need to enroll in an addiction treatment and rehabilitation program. When you do so, you will first go through a thorough assessment and evaluation to determine the extent, severity, and nature of your substance use disorder. The assessment will also uncover any other co-occurring medical or mental health disorders that you may also be struggling with over and above your addiction.
After that, the treatment facility will recommend that you go through a medically managed detoxification process. The goal of this journey would be to manage the withdrawal symptoms and intense drug cravings that will occur when you give up the drug. These symptoms are typical among people who have already developed physical dependence to this medication.
The detox process will remove the drug - as well as any intoxicating substances - from your bodily systems. It will also treat your acute intoxication while also ensuring that you are able to achieve psychological and physical stability to proceed to the next stage of treatment.
Detox is particular essential due to the risk that you may develop liver failure when you quit Darvocet. The drug is also extremely toxic, and this is why you need medically supervised detoxification services. Since the substance is an opioid, it can lead to relatively mild withdrawal symptoms but you will still need detox services.
Typically, the detoxification process will involve the slow tapering down of your Darvocet use to ensure that you do not suffer any withdrawal symptoms that are potentially painful and uncomfortable. The detox center may also use medication assisted treatment where the drug will be replaced by other less dangerous and potent opioids, such as Suboxone or methadone.
After completing detox, you will be provided with addiction recovery and rehabilitation services - either on an outpatient or an inpatient basis. During this stage, you will continue working on your addiction, as well as learning the various reasons why you may have started abusing this drug in the first place and continued to do so over the long term.
The addiction treatment center may provide you with individual therapy, group therapy, family counseling, and couples counseling, among other services. You may receive either alternative/holistic therapies or evidence-based approaches to recovery - or a combination of two.
Some of the services that may be provided during this process include but are not limited to:
Once you have gone through the recovery program, you will be provided with aftercare planning and relapse prevention skills training to ensure that you do not continue abusing the drug after leaving the treatment setting - which could cause a recurrence of your Darvocet addiction and its associated problems.