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Dangers of Shooting Oxycodone, Demerol, and Dilaudid

Pain is one of the most common experiences for humans and a top reason why people seek medical care. Pain is not just sensory or physical, but also emotional, cognitive, and potentially debilitating if left untreated because it is often associated with inflammation and tissue damage.

According to the , health situations that may warrant prescription pain medication include:

Painkiller drugs, specifically , are often prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain, bringing pain relief and helping a person to function normally. Repeated use of painkillers over time usually leads to tolerance, a condition in which you need progressively larger amounts of the drug to maintain its initial effectiveness.

which can involve significantly unpleasant gastrointestinal problems, sweats and chills, pains and cramps, and a general sense of feeling bad (dysphoria). This experience is thought to be the reason that many people develop drug addiction because the distress caused by withdrawal increases their compulsion to use the painkiller (negative reinforcement).

The gradual can be thought of as a three-stage cycle:

These stages worsen over time, becoming more intense, feeding into each other and ultimately leading to addiction.

A drug treatment center study found that 80% of prescription painkiller users tampered with drugs in such a way. While Demerol does not have a controlled release formulation on the market, both oxycodone and hydromorphone (the generic name for Dilaudid) do.

An intended effect of crushing or heating painkillers is to get maximum euphoric effects through snorting or shooting up. These methods cause the drugs to act immediately when compared to swallowing a tablet or capsule.

An infection such as endocarditis, a heart-muscle infection, is also a risk. Since many painkiller drugs in tablet or capsule form contain talc, there is additional risk of developing a lung infection such as pulmonary granulomas. Shooting up of tampered painkillers that interferes with blood supply to a limb can cause tissue death (tissue necrosis), which can sometimes require amputation of the limb.

Painkiller drugs are often prescribed to treat conditions where temporary or long-term pain symptoms interfere with a person’s ability to carry out everyday activities. To compound the problem of prescription drug abuse, many medications intended for prescription use are “diverted” for trade on an illicit market, which is why some of these powerful painkillers can also be purchased on the street.

According to , between the years 2004 and 2008, the number of emergency-room visits resulting from overuse of painkiller drugs increased by 111%.

Like most other drug categories, there are several different painkiller drugs on the market, some legal and some illegal. Among the painkillers available for treatment of pain are the following:

Drugs designed to relieve pain symptoms come from both legal and illegal sources. Street-based IV drugs are more oftentimes than not mixed with unknown additive agents that can vary in their effects on the body. Prescription drugs usually contain a pure concentration of each drug type combined with other known active ingredients.

In either case, once injected into the bloodstream, all opioid drugs interact with opioid receptors throughout the nervous system. Ultimately, the activation of these receptors is responsible for the “feel good” rush elicited throughout the body. This interaction with the brain’s opioid receptors is able to occur, because painkiller drugs chemical resemble the body’s natural endorphins. In essence, synthetic opioid painkillers are designed to mimic our naturally occurring “feel good” chemicals.

Shooting painkillers produces a more rapid response than taking it orally as a pill or in liquid form because absorption of the drug occurs much faster. Onset of the drug’s action can be as quick as 15-30 seconds compared to taking the drug by mouth (20-30 minutes).

The “bioavailability” of an intravenously administered drug is also much greater than those taken orally or through other non-IV routes. because the stomach, intestine, and liver may degrade or filter out some of the drug before it reaches the brain.

Shooting an extended- or controlled-release painkiller drug also gives a more intense high than taking the drug orally because the full amount of drug intended for a gradual and timed release will be available at once.

may cause the following:

Shooting street-based painkillers also introduces unknown additive materials into the body. Over time, these additives can cause considerable damage to the body’s cardiovascular system as well as to the cerebrovascular system (blood vessels inside the brain). Repeated needle use can also leave a person open to contracting viral diseases like hepatitis and HIV-AIDS, particularly when needles are shared in a group.

As levels increase, the likelihood of withdrawal effects also increases since it takes more and more of the drug to feel the desired effects. Some of the that come from abusing drugs like oxycodone, Demerol and Dilaudid include:

As tolerance mounts, the associated withdrawal effects may also become more severe. This is part of the reason why it’s so hard to stop using prescription painkiller drugs. People with high tolerance levels also tend to inject higher doses of the drug over time as the body’s cravings become overwhelming.

depending on their overall health condition and the length of time they’ve been using. Some of the symptoms experienced may include:

begins with screening and treatment of medical complications from IV drug use. A referral to inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment will follow, usually for a period of 30-90 days, helping a person to deal with health issues associated with drug use, addictive cravings, and any co-occurring mental illness such as depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders that commonly accompany addiction.

Many of the medical complications associated with painkiller addiction are due to the use of needles. Among these medical conditions and complications are:

The goals of medically supervised detox are to:

Treatment of withdrawal symptoms may include some of the following medication options:

For people who need ongoing treatment for medical complications, to ensure you get the medical attention you need. Inpatient treatment can help even if you are not sure if you want to recover (ambivalence). If there is risk of harming yourself, you will need the kind of help and close attention which can best be given in a residential setting. If a lack of support at home or an unstable living situation is an issue, provide a safe place to recover.

Traditional inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment services emphasize to address underlying issues of addiction and to instill hope and a sense that you are not alone. Group therapy will also enable you to see that you have the inner strength to fight the addiction, and will challenge those areas of life where you may need to accept responsibility for the past. This is facilitated through the sharing of your drug-use history.

will help motivate and train you to build on successes achieved in early recovery while teaching you the skills you need to remain drug-free. Nutrition and exercise will be emphasized in most traditional addiction treatment programs. The participation of family and significant others will be utilized if possible to help heal everyone affected by your addiction.

Attendance at such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) helps with the spiritual, non-religious dimensions of addiction, addressing questions of meaning and purpose in life while building a network of healthy relationships.

is an option for people who do not have medical complications requiring residential care or hospitalization. For those who have a good support system at home or in the community, outpatient treatment provides the opportunity to continue living at home and working or finding work while attending a day or evening treatment program.

These settings provide treatment along with optional and alternative treatments for addiction in luxurious surroundings meant to give you the best of what life has to offer by way of comfort, space, food, and recreational activities.

Alternative therapies may include yoga, massage, art and music therapy, psychodrama, aromatherapy, and horse (equine) therapy.

is oriented towards the executive professional person who needs to continue working to some degree during his or her addiction treatment. Additionally, the therapeutic interaction is often one on one rather than group-oriented.