Darvocet is a drug that received much scrutiny when it was offered to the American public to treat pain. Physicians viewed it as something too dangerous to be used medicinally because of its abuse and addiction potential, but there were other reasons it was deemed unsafe as well.
Darvocet was a pain medication in the late 20th century that doctors deemed the risks outweigh its benefits. Despite its availability for many years, it took quite some time to be removed from doctors’ prescription pads. In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted against Darvocet and was officially discouraged in the U.S. the following year. It is considered a Schedule II drug by the federal government, meaning it can be abused, but has provided some medical use.
Despite its removal and replacement by other prescription opioids, Darvocet is widely available on the black markets. Since it is an opioid drug, it’s another threat to the U.S., which is already facing an overdose epidemic.
Darvocet is an extremely addictive drug and expensive on the black market. It is said to go for as high as $20 per pill. When a person becomes addicted to drugs with a high price tag, it’s common for them to turn to less expensive alternatives like heroin or fentanyl, which are incredibly potent and sometimes deadly drugs.
We understand that overcoming Darvocet addiction is challenging, especially if you feel like you don’t have help. In addition to everything else you might feel, Darvocet possesses more dangerous side effects than other opioids, despite producing weaker results.
If you or someone you know is abusing Darvocet, it’s vital to learn more about the signs and symptoms of Darvocet addiction and how it’s treated.
Darvocet is the brand name for the chemical dextropropoxyphene, which is a synthetic opioid producing pain-relieving properties. The drug combines two different chemicals,- propoxyphene and acetaminophen, which is a common over-the-counter substance for pain relief.
Before the FDA discontinued the drug, it was used to treat restless leg syndrome, mild pain, and opioid withdrawal. In other cases, it was found effective in treating some digestive issues. Despite the positive outcomes for some scenarios, those who use the Darvocet are at risk of being physically dependent, which may lead to addiction.
Darvocet’s controversy didn’t start in 2010; doctors petitioned for its removal in 1978, only six years after it was approved in the United States. It was partially due to its low efficacy and high risk of addiction, but it was also shown to cause cardiotoxicity and heart complications. Despite the risk of being deadly during an overdose, other opioids have a low toxicity rate in comparison.
Although it’s available on the black market, Darvocet can be found under alternative names, including pinks, 65’s, footballs, and Ns. Because of how weak the drug is compared to other prescription opioids, recreational users need higher doses to achieve an altered state of mind, increasing the already high risk of cardiotoxicity.
Using illegally obtained drugs presents other dangers as well, and today, pills are commonly cut with fentanyl to increase strength, leading to the potential for a fatal overdose. Any illegally purchased drug could contain substances the user is unaware of that are deadly.
If you actively use Darvocet and you’re concerned about a substance use disorder, some specific signs and symptoms should be taken into consideration. Substance use disorders are most likely to develop after prolonged use of a drug, and more so if you obtain the drug illegally because it indicates the risks you’re willing to take to have it. Abuse is characterized as long-term use, high doses, or using with the sole intent to get intoxicated.
Some of the most common signs indicating Darvocet addiction are:
The first sign you are developing a problem with Darvocet is tolerance. When you start using, that specific dose will induce the effects you sought, but you’ll notice that amount will be less effective over time. You might feel the urge to use Darvocet more frequently or increase your dose to feel high, but your body is starting to adjust to the drug to maintain balanced brain chemistry.
Chemical dependency follows tolerance and will come with specific signs. You might start using Darvocet just to feel normal and not for recreation, which is a sign you’re becoming dependent on the substance. You may notice withdrawal symptoms that include anxiety, depression, irritability, or flu-like symptoms if you miss a dose or stop abruptly.
Lastly, a person has likely developed an addiction when drug use spirals out of control. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) defines the condition as compulsive drug use despite severe consequences, including relationship problems, job loss, or deteriorating health.
Darvocet addiction may cause long-lasting consequences if it’s not treated. Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease with no cure, but it can be treated through evidence-based therapies and professional assistance. The first stage in the process is medical detox.
In some cases, opioids may not require medical detox, but since Darvocet can cause severe heart complications that require immediate medical attention, it would be in the person’s best interest to start their journey here. During this stage, clinicians will assess the individual to determine where they should be placed based on their current needs.
If the person has a serious medical condition or anything else that requires 24-hour care, inpatient services might be the best choice for additional support. If you’re capable of more independence, intensive outpatient and outpatient programs could be the next step.
Despite the level of care best suited for your needs, all individuals will participate in personalized therapy geared toward finding the root of their addiction. It will also address any related issues and teach techniques to avoid relapsing. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is among the most popular and most successful strategies that help a person learn to cope with triggers positively.
Although Darvocet is mild compared to other drugs like heroin, it is linked to severe depression and suicidal thoughts. If you’ve used the drug and have thoughts of suicide or self-harm, you must immediately reach out to a professional. If it’s an emergency, please contact 911.
Addiction may be a matter of life or death, and seeking the necessary assistance is your best shot at living a better life. Get the help you deserve.
MedlinePlus (December 2020) Heroin. from https://medlineplus.gov/heroin.html
FDA (November 2010) FDA Recommends Against the Continued Use of Propoxyphene. from https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-drug-safety-communication-fda-recommends-against-continued-use-propoxyphene
DEA (December 2020) Fentanyl. from https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/fentanyl
NCBI (August 2013) Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279297/
APA (December 2020) What Is Addiction? from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction