Roxanol Addiction and Its Deadly Grip
Roxanol addiction is growing and people need to be informed. Roxanol is a supremely condensed solution of the narcotic analgesic morphine sulfate, administered orally for the treatment of severe, chronic pain. Each milligram of Roxanol contains 20 milligram of morphine sulfate, and administered on a regularly scheduled basis (every 4 hours) the lowest dosage level achieves adequate analgesia. As one of the strongest form of medication used to treat pain, it adheres to specific proteins called opioid receptors, which are found in various organs of the body including the brain, spinal cord and gastrointestinal tract. Once attached to the opioid receptor, the medication reduces the transmission of pain messages to the brain.
Drug History and Use
Roxanol is used when rapid acting relief is needed for moderate to severe acute and chronic pain; it has been used for pain associated with myocardial infarction, relief of pain related to heart failure and pulmonary edema. Some patients are prescribed morphine sulfate for musculoskeletal pain management and breakthrough pain in order to maintain around-the-clock treatment.
Although this is a controlled substance, misuse of Roxanol is not uncommon. Due to its characteristic of being fast-acting and highly analgesic, patients can be easily exposed to the dangers that come with the use of the medication, which include dependency, addiction and overdosing.
Tolerance is another factor to be taken into consideration when administering Roxanol. A Doctor or Pharmacist prescribing the narcotic should be aware of the patients' medical history, especially of lung diseases (such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), breathing problems (slow/shallow breathing, sleep apnea), liver disease, spinal problems, heart problems, brain disorders, tumors and history of use/abuse of drugs/alcohol.
As with any other opioid, side effects of Roxanol may occur. Reported side effects can go from the very mild to severe (in which case medical attention may be required), depending on the dosage and length of use. There are a number of things a patient can do to manage these side effects, always in consultation with the prescribing Doctor. The most common side effects of Roxanol are:
- Sleepiness (Somnolence)
- Slowed Breathing
- Low Blood Pressure
- Nausea and/or Vomiting
- Increased sweating
- Dry Mouth
- Stomach/Abdominal Pain
A serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare; however, immediate medical attention is recommended in case of rash, itching and swelling (especially of the face, tongue and/or throat).
Addiction & Dependency
Patients that are prescribed opioid pain relievers are often worried about engaging in a misuse of Roxanol; in this case, a misuse of Roxanol has been reported due to the addictive nature of the symptoms that appear with its consumption. Euphoria, pleasure, exhilaration are just some of the feelings that opioids can cause.
As a person remains on a regular dose of Roxanol, their body will begin to adapt to the effects of the medication developing a normal tolerance level. This tolerance can turn into dependence when the body "gets used" to the intake of the narcotic.
Dependence does not equal addiction. Dependence is a natural, physical phenomenon that happens to everyone on a long-term opioid therapy, which is why is important to know that once a patient becomes dependent and the medication is stopped abruptly, the patient can experience certain symptoms that may be confused with addiction: this is the withdrawal phase.
Some signs that could indicate a Roxanol addiction are:
- Heavy Sweating
- Mood Swings
- Coordination Problems
- Excessive Euphoria
This addiction is caused by long-term abuse of the drug and becomes compulsive over time. Roxanol has the potential to cause this condition, because the euphoric effects it causes when abused.
Treatment for Addiction
Because this is a complex issue and the patient suffering the addiction can become very hostile and agitated, formal treatment is the only safe way to truly fight a Roxanol addiction. Especially because the drug itself is so potent and its abuse is likely to lead to more problematic behavior - or even death - treatment should start promptly and diligently.
Dallas Drug Treatment Centers has the expertise and the experience to help you find Roxanol addiction treatment facilities that meet all your needs. Call us today at (214) 453-5663 to learn more about your options.