Author: Justin Mckibben
With drug abuse being a major issue facing the nation, education is extremely important. Any hope of winning the fight against rising overdose rates and the spread of drug-related illness and death starts with making sure we have as much information as possible to make a difference. On that note, explaining prescription drug abuse is critical because prescription drug abuse is a key contributor to the state of the country today.
If we want to help people avoid prescription drug abuse, or recognize the signs and know there is help, it is important to explain the reality and the risks.
What is prescription drug abuse?
Simply put- prescription drug abuse is one of two things.
- When someone takes a medication that is not their prescription
- If someone takes their own prescription in a way not intended by a doctor or for a different reason
When you take prescription drugs properly they are usually safe. It requires a trained health care clinician, such as a doctor or nurse, to determine if the benefits of taking the medication outweigh any risks for side effects. But when abused and taken in different amounts or for different purposes than as prescribed, they affect the brain and body in ways very similar to illicit drugs.
These drugs have a close relation to morphine, or the street drug heroin. Opioids are typically for pain management. Opioid addiction has become one of the biggest problems facing the country today. Drugs such as:
These drugs are also known as “downers”. You can divide the category can be up into:
Drugs such as Zyprexa, Seroquel and Haldol are meant to reduce symptoms of mental illness.
- Benzodiazepines (Benzos)
Prescription drugs like Xanax, Klonopin, Valium and Librium.
Amytal, Numbutal and Seconal are included in a class of depressants intended as sedatives or sleeping pills.
These kinds of prescription drugs are also called “uppers” or “smart drugs” because of the increase alertness, attention and energy. They also increase heart rate and respiration. Many of these medications are used to combat conditions such as ADHD, including:
Prescription drug abuse has become a big health issue because of the various health hazards. This risk is particularly true of abusing prescription pain medications.
Who abuses prescription drugs?
When asking who are most likely to abuse prescription drugs, the answer may vary depending on the substance. Some people end up participating in prescription drug abuse due to an injury or legitimate health reason, but the “high” they can experience may lead to more frequent use and ultimately a physical dependence.
Recent studies have indicated that prescription drug abuse impacts young adults most; specifically age 18 to 25. In regards to teens, after marijuana and alcohol, prescription drugs are the most common substances of abuse by Americans age 14 and older.
Prescription drug abuse is present across all demographics, relevant to every social and economic class. Many believe this rise has largely contributed to the heroin addiction epidemic and the overdose outbreak in the past few years.
Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment
The Palm Partners Treatment Program has a design for prescription drug abuse intended to address people of all walks of life who are suffering. Personalized recovery programs are meant to work with each individual’s circumstances and symptoms to create a blueprint for the future.
Some of the signs of addiction range in severity and can affect each people differently, especially depending on the specific prescription drug. Increased tolerance is a clear cut sign of progressive physical dependence. Some indicators of prescription drug addiction may be:
- Excessive sweating
- Swelling in the arms and legs
- Chronic constipation
- Respiratory distress
- Slurred speech
- Poor concentration
- High body temperature
- High blood pressure
Treatment for prescription drug addiction includes a detox period to help combat the uncomfortable symptoms of prescription drug addiction, as well as withdrawal.
For all those who are struggling with prescription drug abuse, or even abusing other drugs or medications, there is a massive community of recovery all over the country to help you get the care you need. Treatment for prescription drug abuse can be the first and most important step, so be sure to step up.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
By Cheryl Steinberg
In case you haven’t heard, there’s new controversy surrounding last year’s Song of the Summer, “Blurred Lines” co-written by Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and Clifford “T.I.” Harris, Jr.
But this time, it isn’t about the lyrics – that some argued were an endorsement of rape culture; no, this time, the co-authors of the hit song are under scrutiny for allegedly copying another hit song in order to strike gold with their catchy tune. The family of legendary R&B singer Marvin Gaye contends that “Blurred Lines” is a rip-off of Gaye’s 1977 track, “Got to Give It Up.”
Apparently, in an attempt to protect their song against claims of being a rip-off, Thicke, Williams, and T.I. have filed a lawsuit.
Both Robin Thicke and producer, Pharrell Williams have given depositions regarding authorship, writing credits, and their creative process when it comes to the song in question – depositions that have been described as “absolutely bizarre.”
Excerpt from Thicke’s deposition:
“Q: Were you present during the creation of ‘Blurred Lines’?
Thicke: I was present. Obviously, I sang it. I had to be there.
Q: When the rhythm track was being created, were you there with Pharrell?
Thicke: To be honest, that’s the only part where — I was high on Vicodin and alcohol when I showed up at the studio. So my recollection is when we made the song, I thought I wanted — I — I wanted to be more involved than I actually was by the time, nine months later, it became a huge hit and I wanted credit. So I started kind of convincing myself that I was a little more part of it than I was and I — because I didn’t want him — I wanted some credit for this big hit. But the reality is, is that Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song.”
After “Blurred Lines” blew up the charts, Thicke had given numerous interviews during which he accepted credit for writing the smash hit as well as openly talking about how Gaye’s music has been a big influence on his music. In fact, he appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s show with his young son and talked about how weird it was to be in the midst of a legal battle with the family of a legendary soul singer who “inspires almost half of my music.”
Robin Thicke: Real Drug Problem or Backpedaling to Save His Butt?
Thicke now says that he repeated the supposedly “made-up” origin story surrounding “Blurred Lines” because he says he “thought it would help sell records.”
He goes on to say that he hardly remembers his specific media comments because he “had a drug and alcohol problem for the year” (is that how it works? Just a year, and it goes away?) and that he “didn’t do a sober interview,” referring to the interviews he gave to such outlets as Billboard and even the one to Oprah. Thicke admits he was drunk and taking Norco — “which is like two Vicodin in one pill,” he says.
The R&B singer stated that, “I told my wife the truth. That’s why she left me.” He added that he’s been sober for many months but, toward the end of the deposition, clarified that he’s given up Vicodin but not alcohol.
Are you struggling with alcohol and/or other drugs? Or do you suspect that someone you love is struggling, despite their attempts to cover it up or dismiss it? Well, help is available. Call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak with an Addiction Specialist today. We’re available around the clock to answer your questions.
Long term effects of Vicodin abuse include serious and often irreversible liver damage. Acetaminophen found in Vicodin or other hydrocodone medications in higher-than-recommended doses can cause this liver damage. Because Vicodin contains acetaminophen, long term abuse of Vicodin increases the risk of liver damage, disease, and failure especially when taken in high daily doses.
Another one of the long term effects of Vicodin abuse can be in direct relation to the method a person uses to take the drug. Some people who abuse Vicodin in order to get high will snort or inject it into the blood stream. Snorting Vicodin can result in deterioration of the nasal passageways and potential loss of the sense of smell, while injecting Vicodin into the vein can create infections and permanent scarring at injection sites.
Another list of the long term effects of Vicodin abuse includes symptoms such as:
- Experience hearing loss
- Increased risk for arthritis
- Damage to the pleasure center
- Mood swings
- Feeling irritable or anxious
- In severe cases they may begin to experience delusions or hallucinations
Long term effects of Vicodin abuse create other complications if the individual ever decides to stop taking the drug. Vicodin is a powerful drug that is extremely easy to become physically dependent on. If someone becomes physically addicted to Vicodin, they typically will end up experiencing all the long term effects of Vicodin abuse that are associated with general drug addiction. This entails problems with relationships, work, money, school, or the law. All of these issues are external elements of life that are greatly impacted in a negative way based on physical and mental dependency.
When a person becomes addicted to Vicodin, they will experience all types of physical withdrawal symptoms when they are not taking the drug. These harsh physical withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Joint and muscle pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating.
Long term effects of Vicodin abuse also attributes to a higher tolerance for the drug and the chemical effects on the body and brain. This spike in higher tolerance means it will be required to ingest a higher dose each time in order to feel the same effects, and the higher the dose the more the long term effects of Vicodin abuse will increase the risk of long term physical and mental damages. The individual’s personal body chemistry, weight, and any pre-existing conditions can also make a significant difference in how they are afflicted and how easily they develop dependence.
The scary part about the long term effects of Vicodin abuse is that the longer you continue to use the drug, the greater the dosage needs to be to receive the same high or painkilling results, and as that trend continues and the addiction exaggerates itself in the body and the mind, the odds of a person overdosing and causing long-term liver damage or even death also increases. This growing tolerance, combined with the symptoms of withdrawal and the mental anguish created by long term effects of Vicodin abuse is why it is so very imperative to get proper treatment from a qualified clinical and therapeutic staff at a treatment facility specializing in the field of addiction as quickly as possible.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Vicodin is one of the most frequently abused drugs in the United States. It is a mixture of the opiate hydrocodone and the over the counter medication acetaminophen. The reason for Vicodins’ high rates of abuse is because it is so commonly prescribed even for those who may not necessarily need it. Vicodin can be prescribed for any kind of pain including fibromyalgia and even a wisdom tooth extraction. This is dangerous because it means Vicodin is easily obtained. Another one of the dangers of Vicodin is that it does give relief from pain and while it gives relief from pain it can also cause individuals to become physically dependent on it to feel normal. Eventually this physical dependence on Vicodin can lead them down a dark road into Vicodin addiction. On a side note, there are some people who begin taking Vicodin mainly for recreational purposes and find themselves in the same boat.
Here are 5 signs of Vicodin Addiction:
- Usage Increase – Over time, it is common for individuals taking Vicodin to grow tolerant to the effects of their prescribed dose. If someone you know seems to be increasing his/her Vicodin dose over time, this is an indication that the amount of Vicodin they were taking is no longer providing them relief. This is usually one of the very first signs of a Vicodin addiction. If you notice pills are disappearing quicker than usual then the person you know may have a Vicodin addiction.
- Change in Daily Habits and Appearance – Personal hygiene may diminish as a result of a drug addiction to Vicodin. Sleeping and eating habits change, and a person may have a constant cough, runny nose and red, glazed eyes. This is because the Vicodin is beginning to take precedence over everything else in their life and they are merely focused on getting high. This is another one of our 5 signs of Vicodin addiction.
- Nodding out regularly and Forgetfulness – Another clear indication of a Vicodin addiction is when the person regularly forgets events that have taken place and appears to be suffering blackouts because they are so high on Vicodin all the time. Nodding out is usually one of the first signs of Vicodin addiction. Nodding out causes someone who has a Vicodin addiction to appear sleepy all the time to the point where they could fall asleep sitting up.
- Physical symptoms of Vicodin addiction-Someone with an addiction to anything will begin to exhibit physical signs of their Vicodin addiction. Some of the physical signs of a Vicodin addiction are nausea, passing out, vomiting, anxiety, irritability and an inability to have a conversation or complete a task.
- Time Spent on Obtaining Prescriptions to Vicodin or Obsession to Vicodin – A dependent person will spend large amounts of time driving great distances and visiting multiple doctors to obtain Vicodin. They also will compulsively take the drug especially when they are stressed or after the euphoric effects of the drug have worn off. Watch for signs that he or she seems preoccupied with a quest for Vicodin, demonstrating that the Vicodin has become their top priority.
Other signs of a Vicodin addiction include:
- Stealing, forging or selling prescriptions for Vicodin
- Taking higher doses of Vicodin than prescribed
- Excessive mood swings or hostility
- Increase or decrease in sleep
- Poor decision making
- Appearing to be high, unusually energetic or revved up, or sedated
- Continually “losing” prescriptions for their Vicodin, so more prescriptions must be written
- Seeking Vicodin prescriptions from more than one doctor (Doctor shopping)
Luckily anyone who has a Vicodin addiction can get help and doesn’t have to continue on in the vicious cycle that is a Vicodin addiction or opiate dependence. There are many inpatient treatment centers and detoxes as well as outpatient ones to treat any kind of prescription pill addiction including an addiction to Vicodin. The detox from Vicodin will not be pleasant but is also not fatal. Using a detox center for Vicodin addiction is the safest and surest bet to beat it once and for all.
If your loved one is in need of treatment for Vicodin addiction, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.
“My name is Marshall, and I’m an addict.”
In the Matthew Cooke directed documentary How To Make Money Selling Drugs, the “Lose Yourself” rapper reveals how caught up he got into an addiction that nearly cost him his life.
“When I took my first Vicodin, it was like this feeling of ‘ahh.’ Like everything was not only mellow, but didn’t feel any pain,” Eminem revealed. “It just kind of numbed things…People tried to tell me that I had a problem. I would say, ‘Get that f***kin’ person outta here. I can’t believe they said that sh** to me.’ They knew nothing about my f***kin’ life. Are they out of their f***in’ mind? I’m not out there shooting heroin. I’m not f***ing out there putting coke up my nose. I’m not smoking crack.”
Eventually, drug use spiraled out of control, and he overdosed.
“Had I have got to the hospital about two hours later, I would have died,” admits the rapper. “My organs were shutting down. My liver, kidneys, everything. They were gonna have to put me on dialysis. They didn’t think I was gonna make it. My bottom was gonna be death.”
Most people know, from listening to his music, that Eminem suffered from a drug addiction and is now in recovery. We heard bits and pieces of it in his albums Relapse and the one following that, Recovery.
Eminem has rarely spoken about his addiction to prescription drugs, including Vicodin, Ambien, and Valium, over the years. His group-mate Proof from D12 stated that Mathers “sobered up” in 2002 from drug and alcohol dependence. However, he did turn to Ambien sleeping pills for relief from sleeping troubles. This caused Mathers to cancel the European leg of the Anger Management Tour in August 2005 and eventually go into rehab for treatment for a “dependency on sleep medication”.
In a 2009 interview with British talk-show host Jonathan Ross, Mathers admitted that at the height of his addiction, he considered suicide, saying that, “I just wasn’t taking care of myself, at times I wanted to just give it up.”
He also confirmed that he is now sober, commenting that, “Rap was my drug … Then I had to resort to other things to make me feel that. Now rap’s getting me high again.”
Back in 2009 Eminem began opening up about his addiction to Vicodin. He started by talking about his first stay in rehab in 2005 and how shortly afterwards he overdosed on unidentified blue pills which his doctor later told him were methadone.
Shortly after detoxing, he suffered a knee injury that required surgery, but because of his drug abuse, he was not prescribed pain killers. “I started looking around my house to see if I had a stash box of Vicodin … I’m ransacking my house, finally find something in the basement, in a little napkin, seven and a half Vicodin – the big extra strength ones – and a few Valium.”
Relapse and Recovery
With his pill addiction spiraling out of control again, Eminem suffered his second relapse before accepting he was an addict.
But once he did things really started looking up from there. Eminem even managed to find out that drug addiction runs in his family and could finally understand why his mother was the way she was. “It never once hit me that drug addiction runs in my family. Now that I understand that I’m an addict, I definitely have compassion for my mother. I get it,” he says.
This was all shortly before his album Relapse was released. And at that time which was May, 2009 Eminem had said he had a year sober and was back. Well since then he has released the album we all know entitled Recovery and would have over 4 years clean.
“How To Make Money Selling Drugs” is now playing in select theaters. The compelling documentary features interviews with Woody Harrelson, The Wire producer David Simon, Arianna Huffington, 50 Cent, and Russell Simmons.
If you or someone you love needs treatment for drug addiction, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.