Darvon is a brand name for the painkiller propoxyphene hydrochloride. It is an opioid analgesic that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took off the market in December 2010 after it was found that the drug caused some patients to develop deadly heart rhythm abnormalities.
Opiates like Darvon are habit-forming with a high potential for abuse. You should only take them by prescription, and only according to your doctor’s instructions.
Understanding Darvon Abuse
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took all medications containing propoxyphene off the market in December 2010.
The U.S. ban occurred six years after the drug was banned in the U.K., prompting some degree of controversy about the delay. Thankfully, the effects of propoxyphene are not cumulative. Once patients stop using the medication, they are out of danger.
However, like all opioid drugs, you should not abruptly stop taking Darvon; you have to slowly wean yourself off the medication to minimize withdrawal symptoms. This results from the physical dependency that develops with continued opioid use. This addiction is a dependency that makes many addicts give up whenever they attempt to quit drugs on their own.
When taken as directed, Darvon provides immediate relief of pain, along with a feeling of relaxation and well-being. As a controlled release drug, the medication is slowly and steadily released into the bloodstream for long-lasting pain relief.
When the medicine is taken recreationally, addicts prefer to crush and snort the pills—this negates the time-release aspect of the drug and results in a rush of euphoria and extreme relaxation similar to the effects of other narcotics like oxycodone.
One reason that addicts find it so difficult to quit taking opioids like Darvon without professional help is the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. One of the most commonly abused prescription opioids is oxycodone. The U.S. National Library of Medicine lists the following possible withdrawal symptoms for the drug:
- watery eyes
- runny nose
- muscle or joint aches or pains
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- loss of appetite
- fast heartbeat
- fast breathing
Signs and Symptoms of Darvon Abuse
Most addicts make an effort to hide their addiction from loved ones, but there are some signs that you can look out for. The following are possible indicators of opioid abuse:
- taking higher doses than prescribed
- running out of pills too early
- seeking prescriptions from more than one doctor
- stealing, forging or selling prescriptions
- excessive mood swings or hostility
- increase or decrease in sleep
- poor decision-making
- appearing to be intoxicated or sedated without alcohol
- pretending to lose prescriptions, so more prescriptions must be written
- faking injury or self-harming to get pills
- retreating from family and friends
- apathy and poor performance at work or school
There is also the potential for numerous serious side effects from prescription opioids like Darvon, even when taken as directed. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, you should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following:
- changes in heartbeat
- hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- fever, sweating
- fast heartbeat
- severe muscle stiffness or twitching
- loss of coordination
- nausea, vomiting
- loss of appetite
- inability to get or keep an erection
- irregular menstruation
- decreased sexual desire
- chest pain
- hives, itching, rash
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- extreme drowsiness
- lightheadedness when changing positions
Dangers of Darvon Abuse
Sustained use of narcotics such as Darvon will create a physical tolerance, forcing you to raise your dosage of the drug to get the same experience. Taking large amounts of opioids will increase the risk of serious medical consequences, including coma and death.
The Drug Enforcement Agency’s fact sheet on oxycodone lists the following as possible signs of overdose:
- extreme drowsiness
- muscle weakness
- cold and clammy skin
- pinpoint pupils
- shallow breathing
- breathing cessation
- slow heart rate
Who Abuses Darvon?
Opiate abusers can come from any walk of life, any background, any financial status or level of education. For some people, the feeling they get when taking an opiate by prescription is so appealing that they become psychologically addicted from the start.
Others may begin abusing without a prescription, either with the intent to get high, or perhaps because they get a bad headache and a friend hands them a pill without realizing how dangerous (and illegal) it is to share prescription narcotics.
No matter how narcotic abuse begins, dependence and addiction quickly follows. The analgesic function of opiate narcotics affects your brain’s reward center in a way that literally trains you to seek out the neurochemical reward of drug use.
Opioids such as Darvon are some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. You must be careful to take opiates only as directed, and only for the reasons prescribed. Taking them recreationally, especially in conjunction with alcohol or other drugs, is extremely dangerous and is a clear sign of a substance abuse problem.
Once you have a substance abuse problem—once your brain has been trained to continually seek out the “reward” of drug use—you may begin to feel trapped, and hopeless. Or maybe you aren’t even ready to admit you have a problem.
Am I Addicted to Darvon?
Denial can be a comforting state of mind, but it is a highly dangerous one when it comes to drug addiction. Please read over the following questions and answer them honestly.
- Do I devote most of my time and energy to getting and using drugs?
- Do I abuse an opioid every day?
- Do I feel like I can’t be social, have fun, or simply make it through an ordinary day without drugs?
- Do I abuse drugs to combat feelings of unhappiness, loneliness, depression, etc.?
- Have friends or family members mentioned more than once that they are worried about my drug use?
- Do I become hostile or angry when they do so?
- Do I ever experience withdrawal symptoms such as those listed above?
- Am I secretive about my drug use, and/or do I lie about when I use or how much I take?
- Do I need more and more narcotics each time I use in order to feel the effects?
- Have I experienced any major problems in the last year, such as a breakup, job loss, car accident, family problems, financial problems, or getting arrested as a result of my drug use?
- Despite these problems, do I feel unable to stop using on my own?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be addicted to opioids and in need of professional substance abuse help.
Darvon Addiction Treatment
Addiction can be a lonely experience, but you should know that you are not alone. Not only have others suffered just as you are suffering now, but many of those people have sought help and triumphed over their addictions, going on to lead a healthier, more meaningful, more fulfilling lives.
You can do the same if you are brave enough to get help.
You need clarity of mind and a body free from addictive substances before you can fully engage in treatment, but you should never abruptly stop taking an opioid medication. You need to consult a doctor to determine the best way to gradually taper your dosage to minimize withdrawal symptoms. A doctor may even prescribe medications to treat your withdrawal and help you abstain from drug use.
Ideally, you should undertake the detoxification process at a qualified drug and alcohol rehab facility. Not only will medical staff supervise the process, but they can hold you accountable to ensure that you don’t relapse before you’ve finished transitioning into sobriety.
Addiction treatment will be challenging, inspiring, exhausting, energizing and rewarding. It is a multilayered process that will transform your life while showing you how to heal your body, mind and spirit.
Treatments you will likely experience include:
- Individual, group and family counseling
- Behavioral therapy to teach you new ways of thinking about drugs and healthier ways of coping with stress and cravings
- Health interventions to ensure that you eat, sleep, and exercise well
- Relapse prevention