PCP Effects, Addiction, and Treatment

PCP Effects, Addiction, and Treatment | Harmony Recovery Center

PCP Effects, Addiction, and Treatment – Phencyclidine (PCP), also commonly referred to as Angel Dust, is a dissociative drug that can induce hallucinations and cause distortions in a user’s perception of reality.

PCP is structurally similar to ketamine (Special K) and can result in the person experiencing a distortion of sights, sounds, colors, self, and environment. Angel Dust is a Schedule II drug, with a high potential for addiction, and use may lead to dependence, drug cravings, and compulsive drug-seeking behavior.

In its purest form, PCP is typically found as a white crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol and has a bitter chemical taste. On the black market, PCP may also include many adulterants and contaminants that produce darker colors that range from tan to brown with a powdery to tacky consistency.

How Is PCP Abused?

PCP can be found in the form of capsules, tablets, and colored powders. It can be consumed orally, snorted, smoked, or injected. Smoking is believed to be the most popular method of administration when used for non-medical purposes.

The liquid solution form of illegal Angel Dust is actually PCP base commonly dissolved in ether, a highly flammable solvent. When smoked, PCP is often sprayed onto leafy organic material such as oregano, parsley, or cannabis. Psychoactive effects last for between 4-6 hours.

PCP Drug Effects

Many experts contend that PCP is among the most dangerous drugs of abuse. Even a moderate amount of PCP can result in a person experiencing detachment, becoming withdrawn, and disengaging from the environment. Numbness in the extremities, poor coordination, and slurred speech are effects that may also co-occur with feelings of vitality and invulnerability.

A vacant stare, rapid and involuntary eye movements, and an exaggerated gait are among the more apparent effects. Auditory hallucinations, image distortions, extreme mood disorders, and memory loss may also occur. Severe anxiety, accompanied by feelings of impending doom, paranoia, extreme hostility, and a psychotic state that resembles schizophrenia is also common.

PCP Effects, Addiction, and Treatment | Harmony Recovery Center

Low to moderate doses of PCP may cause the following physiological effects:

  • Accelerated breathing rate
  • Flushing
  • Excessive sweating
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Shallow respiration

High doses of PCP may cause the following physiological effects:

  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Slowed pulse
  • Depressed respiration
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurry vision
  • Uncontrolled eye movement
  • Drooling
  • Impaired balance
  • Dizziness
  • Extreme aggression
  • Violent impulses
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

High doses of Angel Dust can also produce seizures and result in coma or even death, often as a result of accidental injury or suicide during extreme intoxication. Psychological effects at high doses also include hallucinations and delusions.

PCP Abuse and Addiction

Today, many erroneously believe that Angel Dust on the streets is mostly a problem of the past. However, in some areas such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C., PCP use has continued and accounts for as much as 10 percent of positive drug tests upon arrest. Also, in other areas where Angel Dust use declined to insignificant levels in the 1990s, police and addiction experts are now concerned that the drug could be making a comeback.

Indeed, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), PCP-related emergency room visits increased by over 400% from 14,825 to 75,538 between 2005-2011. Also, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that “the number of past-year initiates of PCP aged 12 or older was 90,000, up from the 2011 estimate of 48,000.”

The majority of these new Angel Dust users are young and seeking a high that is more intense than cannabis but still affordable. They often purchase the drug in a form commonly known to as “wet,” a liquid tincture used to soak tobacco, marijuana, or mint leaves, which are then smoked.

Treatment for PCP Addiction

If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction to Angel Dust, please seek professional treatment as soon as possible. Upon admission to Harmony Recovery Center, our team of addiction specialists will collaborate to design a personalized, comprehensive treatment plan. This plan will be customized to reflect your recovery needs and goals and includes all the therapeutic modalities and support people need to recover and enjoy long-lasting sobriety and wellness.

Our clinical programs combine a range of innovative, research-based treatment approaches that help patients develop the skills to overcome obstacles to sobriety. Within this therapeutic and supportive environment, clients can once again engage with themselves, redefine hopes and goals, and create a satisfying and healthy future for themselves without the use of harmful drugs.

Harmony Recovery Center offers comprehensive partial-hospitalization and outpatient treatment for those suffering from addiction to Angel Dust, other drugs, or alcohol, as well as co-occurring mental health disorders.

Give us a call today to learn more about our addiction treatment programs. Discover how we can help you or your loved one commence your recovery journey!

What Is Flexeril?

Flexeril Abuse | Harmony Recovery Center | North Carolina

Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) is a central nervous system (CNS) muscle relaxer prescribed for the treatment of muscle injuries, pain, spasms, and tenderness. When used as directed, Flexeril side effects are minimal, and there are few long-term risks. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) does not schedule Flexeril as a controlled substance, although the drug does have some potential for abuse.

People may misuse Flexeril for its mild high effects, which are hallmarked by feelings of sedation, relaxation, and well-being. Flexeril is often misused in conjunction with CNS depressants, such as alcohol, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines.

It is also sometimes used with amphetamines or illicit drugs like cocaine to reduce the negative effects associated with stimulant use. While Flexeril is considered safe when it is used as prescribed, abuse can have many adverse effects.

Flexeril Side Effects

There are many side effects that can occur when misusing Flexeril, some of which may become exacerbated when mixing it with alcohol or other drugs. Potential adverse effects of Flexeril abuse include the following:

  • Elevated heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Impaired cognition
  • Physiological dependence

The risk of side effects related to Flexeril abuse is significantly increased when it is used with alcohol because the effects of both substances are amplified. While this may make for a more intense high, it can also induce more dangerous side effects, including the following:

  • Increased drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Poor cognitive function
  • Slowed, labored breathing
  • Impaired memory
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Seizures
  • Increased risk of overdose

Flexeril use can become a problem for some people, and there is some evidence that dependence can develop. However, withdrawal symptoms are relatively uncommon during Flexeril detox compared to drugs with a greater potential for abuse, such as opiates, alcohol, or benzodiazepines.

That said, withdrawal symptoms can and do occur occasionally and are typically more intense if Flexeril has been frequently used in conjunction with alcohol or other drugs. A person who suddenly stops using Flexeril may encounter symptoms such as headache, nausea, drug cravings, and general malaise.

Flexeril Overdose

Flexeril Abuse | Harmony Recovery Center | North Carolina

Although rare, it is possible to overdose if a person uses an excessive amount of Flexeril or it is combined with other drugs or alcohol. The most common symptoms of a Flexeril overdose are excessive drowsiness and an accelerated heartbeat.

Less-common overdose symptoms that may occur, especially when combined with other intoxicating substances, include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Tremors
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma

Some rare and potentially life-threatening effects of Flexeril overdose may include:

  • Perilously low blood pressure
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
  • Heart rhythm disturbances
  • Chest pain
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Seizures and death

Although rare, an overdose involving Flexeril can occur and is usually the result of the aforementioned potentially critical overdose effects. If you or someone you know is experiencing overdose symptoms related to Flexeril and/or other substances, seek professional medical help by visiting an emergency room or contact 911 immediately.

Flexeril Abuse Treatment

Harmony Recovery Center is a highly-specialized addiction treatment facility that provides services vital to the recovery process, including outpatient detox, psychotherapy, counseling, group support, aftercare planning, and more. These services are offered in both partial-hospitalization and outpatient formats.

There are several different treatment options available to those who are engaging in Flexeril abuse. Medical detox is often the first course of treatment for those who are dependent and at risk of encountering unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. In some instances, medication may be administered to make the process more comfortable and help decrease the risk of relapse.

Although not everyone who abuses Flexeril will experience withdrawal symptoms, there are some who benefit from a supervised detox, especially those who tend to mix Flexeril with alcohol or other drugs.

Psychotherapy and counseling are essential components of any substance abuse treatment program because they help people improve coping skills to manage cravings and triggers. Psychotherapy also helps individuals identify the subconscious motivations and emotions that contribute to their need to abuse drugs.

Support groups provide comradery and the support of other people to help people stay focused on sobriety. Peers can share experiences, offer advice, and remind each other of the adverse effects of drug use, and further encourage the use of healthier coping skills.

Aftercare is one of the most important elements of treatment, as many people assume that when they complete their initial rehab program that treatment is over. However, addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease. So, to help sustain long-term recovery, it is vital that addiction specialists ensure that patients are given a solid aftercare plan before they are discharged from their treatment program.

If you or someone you love is suffering from Flexeril abuse or addiction, contact us today. Discover how we help people achieve abstinence and foster healthier, more fulfilling lives!

Opioid Withdrawal

Opioid Withdrawal Timeline | Harmony Recovery Center

Opioid Withdrawal Timeline, Symptoms, and Treatment – Opioid drugs, including prescription narcotics and illicit substances like heroin, can induce withdrawal symptoms in just a few hours after the last dose, and symptoms can persist for up to a week. Withdrawal is not usually life-threatening, but without medical supervision and pharmaceutical intervention, it is more likely to lead to relapse.

Opioid withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle cramping
  • Runny nose
  • Aches and pains
  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Drug cravings

Opioid Facts

Each opioid drug has a unique half-life, which is the length of time needed for half the amount of a drug to be cleared from the body. As a result, withdrawal symptoms may onset at different times, depending on the drug used and method in which it was consumed.

Heroin is the fastest acting opioid, and therefore, it also has the shortest half-life, usually no longer than 30 minutes. Short-acting prescription opioids, such as immediate-release oxycodone (OxyContin), have half-lives of around 4-6 hours. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that the half-life of methadone is typically much longer, closer to about 30 hours.

Injecting, snorting, and smoking drugs tend to induce a more immediate effect, but these effects may also subside sooner than drugs that are swallowed and digested. The onset of withdrawal is highly dependent on the type of opioid and method of administration.

How Opioids Work and Lead to Dependence

Opioids are in a class of drugs known as painkillers. These drugs alter the way in which the brain responds to painful stimuli and can also induce an intense sense of well-being by interfering with the reward and pleasure centers in the brain.

The central nervous system (CNS) includes the brain and cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Throughout this system are receptors that allow the binding of opioid drugs, which induce a variety of physical and emotional effects. Heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and body temperature are reduced while feelings of pleasure are increased.

Repeated use or abuse of an opioid can change the way a person’s brain chemistry functions and result in both physical and psychological dependence. Moreover, the body may not feel “normal” anymore without the drug’s presence, and withdrawal symptoms may onset in between doses or when an individual stops using the opioid. This condition is known as dependence.

Signs of Opioid Withdrawal

The symptoms of opioid withdrawal can range anywhere in intensity from mild to severe, depending on the magnitude and duration of abuse or addiction. Persons withdrawing from an opioid drug can usually anticipate symptoms to onset in accordance with the following timeline, although it can vary somewhat among individuals.

Opioid Withdrawal Timeline | Harmony Recovery Center

Early Withdrawal Symptoms

These usually onset within 6-12 hours for short-acting opioids, and within 30 hours for longer-acting opioids:

  • Teariness (lacrimation)
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Agitation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Excessive yawning
  • Runny nose
  • Sweats
  • Racing heart
  • High blood pressure
  • Fever

Late Withdrawal Symptoms

These peak within 72 hours and may last a week or so:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Goosebumps
  • Depression
  • Drug cravings

Some of the psychological symptoms of withdrawal and cravings for opioids may persist longer than a week in some cases.

Detox Options

There are a variety of treatment and detox options for the elimination of opioids from the body, and some may be based on a more comprehensive approach than others. Medical detox, for example, encompasses both pharmacological and psychological treatment while under the careful supervision of both medical and mental health providers in a safe residential setting. In contrast, standard detox may be performed on an outpatient basis.

Opioid withdrawal symptoms can be very unpleasant, and medical detox typically provides the safest and most comfortable method of detox. Vital signs including blood pressure, respiration, body temperature, and heart rate are closely monitored in a medical detox facility that can use medications to manage brain and body functions. While there is no set timeline for detox, the entire process usually lasts 5-7 days.

Opioid Withdrawal Timeline | Harmony Recovery Center

Opioid Detox Medications

Opioids should not be discontinued abruptly without physical and emotional support and supervision, as the side effects of withdrawal may be intense and even result in dangerous complications. Medications, such as anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and other pharmaceuticals, may be beneficial during medical detox to manage certain withdrawal symptoms.

Medical providers may help a person wean off opioids by gradually lowering, or tapering, the dosage during detox. This approach can prevent the onset of severe withdrawal symptoms. Drug cravings and withdrawal as may be managed by replacing short-acting opioids like heroin with a longer-acting one, such as methadone.

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that is often administered during opioid detox and dependency treatment, as it stays active in the body for longer than many opioids and requires a lower dosage. Partial agonists also do not usually induce the same “high” as full agonists do, thus making them less likely to be misused. Also, the agonist effects of buprenorphine only grow more intense until it reaches a plateau and no longer continues to increase with higher dosages. This action is called the “ceiling effect,” and it further contributes to buprenorphine’s abuse-deterrent properties.

Both naltrexone and naloxone are opioid antagonists that attach to opioid receptor sites throughout the CNS but do not activate them, and instead, block other opioids from binding to them. This action deters people from using a drug like heroin while on an antagonist, as the drug will not induce the desired effects and may, in fact, result in precipitated withdrawal syndrome (LINK TO HRC).

Naloxone is a drug that actually prevents and reverses opioid overdoses and is combined with buprenorphine to serve as a relapse-prevention agent in pharmaceuticals like Suboxone. Naltrexone products, such as Revia and Vivitrol, are commonly used to help prevent relapse after detox is completed. The objective of detox is to stabilize a person dependent on opioids both emotionally and physically, and the process may include both pharmacological and psychological therapies to accomplish this.

Medical Detox as Part of a Comprehensive Treatment Plan

Because addiction is a chronic and recurring condition with both physical and mental side effects, treatment needs to be comprehensive and evidence-based. Medical detox can reduce side effects and cravings and prevent serious complications and can provide a great start toward recovery.

However, relapse is common for those struggling with addiction. For this reason, detox alone is often not enough to ensure that a person will remain sober long-term and avoid suffering major mental setbacks in the process. Detox should be immediately followed by enrollment in an integrated treatment plan.

Harmony Recovery Center offers these programs in both partial-hospitalization and outpatient formats, which facilitate services vital to the recovery process. These services include cognitive behavioral therapy, individual, group, and family counseling, peer group support meetings, health and wellness programs, aftercare planning services, and more.

We employ highly-skilled addiction specialists who deliver services to clients with care and expertise. We provide clients with the tools, resources, and support they need to achieve a full recovery, prevent relapse, and sustain long-lasting wellness and sobriety.

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to opioids, other drugs, or alcohol, please contact us today. Discover how we help people reclaim their sanity and their lives, free from the chains of addiction!

What Is Withdrawal?

Withdrawal | Drugs and Alcohol | Harmony recovery Center

People who suddenly stop or significantly cut back their use of addictive substances often experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be physically and psychologically unpleasant and often painful. They are the result of the body struggling to regain balance without the substance to which it has become accustomed.

Withdrawal symptoms are, essentially, the physical and psychological effects of detox from drugs and alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms develop because a person’s brain has adapted to the continued presence of a substance and can no longer function normally without it—a condition known as dependence.

Acute symptoms only last for a few days, while protracted withdrawal can last months. The intensity of effects can range from mild to life-threatening based on the person’s age, physical health, psychological conditions, such as mental health disorders, duration of use, and the type of substance(s) that was used.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Long-term, excessive drinkers who decide to quit suddenly face the risk of developing unpleasant and even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Clammy skin
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Delerium
  • Seizures

These symptoms can onset as soon as eight hours after the last drink. Individuals may feel tired and experience changes in sleep quality and mood for several months. Serious effects, such as a high fever, confusion, and seizures, have also been known to develop, and in extreme cases, can result in death.

Delirium tremens (DTs) is a severe manifestation of alcohol withdrawal. The condition is characterized by a state of confusion that produces agitation, hallucinations, and delusions. The mortality rate among those who experience DTs is anywhere from 5-25%. Delirium tremens is considered a medical emergency and should be addressed immediately.

Prescription Drugs

Prescription Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Prescription drug use has increased significantly since 2000, with an increasing number of people misusing painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin, sometimes in conjunction with benzodiazepines or alcohol. Opioid withdrawal symptoms can be split into two categories: early symptoms develop within the first 24 hours of the last use, and late symptoms manifest thereafter.

Early Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Runny nose
  • Muscle aches
  • Watery eyes (lacrimation)
  • Sweating
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia

Late Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Dilated pupils
  • Blurry vision
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • High blood pressure

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal | Drugs and Alcohol | Harmony recovery Center

Benzodiazepines (benzos) are commonly prescribed depressants that are indicated for the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. They reduce brain activity and depress the central nervous system, producing drowsiness and a feeling of relaxation and calm in users.

While there are many legitimate therapeutic uses for benzos, there are also a few disadvantages. Benzos have a high potential for misuse, and it’s possible to become physically and psychologically addicted to these drugs, even when used as prescribed by a physician. In fact, dependence can develop in just six weeks following regular use.

Many people begin using benzos with a legitimate prescription but then discover they enjoy how the drugs make them feel and continue using them illicitly. Over time, they may also combine benzos with alcohol or other drugs to intensify pleasurable feelings. This behavior is extremely dangerous and increases the risk of overdose and other life-threatening complications.

If you are using benzos on a regular basis, you may encounter several withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly discontinue use. These symptoms may include the following:

  • Muscle weakness or pain
  • Shaking
  • Excessive sweating
  • Sleeplessness
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Stomach cramping
  • Vision problems
  • Headaches
  • Hypersensitivity to stimuli
  • Unsteadiness or dizziness
  • Feeling detached from reality

Like alcohol, detoxing from benzos can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, and for this reason, a medical detox is the safest method of withdrawal for those trying to discontinue benzodiazepines.

Illicit Drugs

Heroin Withdrawal

Heroin withdrawal is hallmarked by flu-like symptoms that can occur due to the development of dependence and abrupt discontinuation of use. Heroin affects the brain’s reward system, over time increasing the user’s tolerance to the effects of the drug.

People suffering from heroin addiction often keep using it to avoid the extremely uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. Abusing heroin produces effects comparable to painkillers such as oxycodone, only more intense.

Symptoms of heroin withdrawal may include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Muscle aches

Heroin users can experience withdrawal symptoms within twelve hours of their last use. As noted, withdrawal from heroin is comparable to those of prescription opioids, but because heroin leaves the user’s system more rapidly than painkillers, withdrawal can onset in a shorter period and more severely.

The worst pain and discomfort from heroin withdrawal typically lasts one week—roughly about as long as a bad flu, with symptoms peaking between 48-72 hours.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant known for the energy and feelings of elation and confidence it produces.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms may include the following:

  • Memory loss
  • Fatigue
  • Moodiness
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Social isolation
  • Increased appetite
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures

About half of those addicted to cocaine also encounter a mental illness such as depression, and suicidal ideations are not uncommon. Although the physical symptoms of withdrawal are mild compared to other psychoactive substances, cocaine use can cause cravings as intense as any other drug, and these cravings can last for months.

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal | Drugs and Alcohol | Harmony recovery Center

The methamphetamine (meth) withdrawal symptoms vary between individuals, and the intensity of symptoms typically depends on how heavily and frequently the drug was used.

Other factors, such as the usual method of consumption (e.g., smoking or injecting), can also affect the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Typically, those who inject meth will experience a longer, more severe withdrawal process.

Common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased appetite
  • Agitation and paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Incoherent speech
  • Loss of motivation
  • Suicidal ideations

How to Manage Withdrawal Symptoms

The symptoms of withdrawal associated with the discontinuation of use of any substance can be very unpleasant and last for weeks. Therefore, professional assistance during detox may be vital to a person’s emotional and physical well-being. Harmony Recovery Center specializes in both addiction and mental health treatment and provides the tools and support patients need to ensure a safe and effective detox.

Medications can often be administered to ease withdrawal symptoms. During alcohol withdrawal, for instance, doctors may administer Ativan, a benzodiazepine. As the symptoms subside, patients are weaned off the medications to avoid the development of an additional dependency.

Several medications have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat opioid withdrawal, such as Suboxone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone to help ease cravings and reduce unpleasant symptoms. These medications are used in combination with intensive therapy to reduce severe withdrawal symptoms.

Following detox, patients are urged to enroll in an integrated addiction treatment program that includes psychotherapy, individual and group counseling, support groups, health and wellness programs, and aftercare planning. Harmony Recovery Center offers these services in both partial-hospitalization and intensive outpatient formats.

Withdrawal from drugs and alcohol can be a very unpleasant process but can be overcome more safely and comfortably using the proper resources. If you or a loved one is considering undergoing a medical detox or suffering from withdrawal symptoms, contact us today. We can help you recover and reclaim the fulfilling life you deserve!

Roxicodone Addiction

Roxicodone Addiction | Harmony Recovery Center

Roxicodone is a brand name for oxycodone, which is a prescription opioid painkiller. Doctors may prescribe Roxicodone for the treatment of moderate to severe pain, sudden breakthrough pain, or before surgery. Similarly to other narcotics, Roxicodone can become addictive when used for an extended period.

Over time, Roxicodone use can result in the development of tolerance, a condition that is a product of the body’s propensity to diminish the effects of certain substances following repeated exposure. This effect may drive some patients to increase their dosage due to the reduced response. Dependence, another possible result, occurs when the body becomes accustomed to the presence of a substance and when the user attempts to quit, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms manifest as a result.

Signs of Roxicodone Addiction

The Mayo Clinic published a list of symptoms associated with the abuse of opioid painkillers. If you can identify these symptoms in yourself or someone you know who is using Roxicodone, they may indicate that addiction has developed:

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of motivation
  • Decreased pain
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Profound sedation or stupor
  • Slowed or labored breathing

If you recognize these symptoms and suspect that you or your family member may be addicted to Roxicodone, please seek professional help as soon as possible.

In addition to physical changes, behavioral changes become increasingly noticeable. Addicts frequently engage in “doctor shopping” or visiting multiple doctors or pharmacies to obtain new prescriptions. They may lie about or exaggerate symptoms, ask family members for access to leftover medications, or coax other family members into lying to obtain prescriptions for their own personal use. If these efforts fail, addicts may resort to obtaining drugs from street dealers or outright theft.

Consequences of Roxicodone Addiction

A Roxicodone addiction tends to wreak havoc on a person’s physical and emotional well-being. When used as directed, side effects associated with this drug may include sweating, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and more.

When misused or combined with medications that interact, such as other depressants, sedatives, or alcohol, Roxicodone can result in profound central nervous system depression, characterized by breathing problems and severe drowsiness. These may likely indicate that a life-threatening overdose is in progress.

The following are hallmark signs of an overdose:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Vomiting
  • Body is very limp
  • Face is pale or clammy
  • Slow or absent pulse
  • Unresponsiveness to outside stimulus
  • Awake, but unable to communicate
  • Breathing is very slow, shallow, labored, or has stopped
  • Cyanosis (bluish skin around lips and fingernails)
  • Choking sounds or gurgling noise (a “death rattle”)

Roxicodone Addiction | Harmony Recovery Center

As with other drug addictions, a person’s priorities, values, and inhibitions may change as he or she becomes obsessed with obtaining and using the substance. Common problems encountered by addicts include the following:

  • Multiple arrests and incarceration
  • Neglect of children and other family responsibilities
  • Aggression and domestic violence
  • Strained relationships and withdrawal from family and friends, social isolation
  • Loss of interest in other activities once thought enjoyable
  • Intense cravings
  • Engagement in increasingly risky activities and drug-seeking behaviors
  • Development of unhealthy relationships with those who condone substance abuse

Moreover, an addict’s life may become erratic and overwhelmed by adverse effects as his or her drug of choice slowly begins taking priority in life, eventually outweighing family, school, or work responsibilities. Addicts often lose jobs and encounter financial distress, and fail to engage in the upkeep of their appearance and personal hygiene. They may also antagonize doctors and loved ones in their crusade to obtain more drugs.

Seeking Treatment

Admitting that you have an addiction is the first step in finding the help you need to overcome it. Few people are able to end a narcotic addiction without outside treatment and support from a variety of sources. The safest and most effective method of conquering an opioid addiction is to enroll in a comprehensive treatment program in a specialized facility.

Harmony Recovery Center employs some of the top addiction professionals in the community, and our belief is that your recovery depends on our commitment to success. Moreover, you will experience a positive outcome when you choose our center because we give you the tools, resources, and support you need to free yourself from the chains of addiction for life.

We offer integrated, evidence-based services clinically proven to be essential to the process of recovery, including psychotherapy, individual and group counseling, group support, health and wellness programs, aftercare planning, and more.

Addiction doesn’t have to continue to ruin your life. You can regain control one step at a time, and we can show you how it’s possible.

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss treatment options. Discover how we help people overcome addiction and begin to experience the healthy and satisfying lives they deserve!

What Is Ketamine?

What Is Ketamine? | Harmony Recovery Center | North Carolina

What Is Ketamine? – Ketamine (Special K) is a prescription drug that is classified as an anesthetic and has psychedelic properties. It can alter the senses, and induce feelings of detachment from oneself and the external world. For these reasons, it is commonly abused.

Clinically, ketamine can be used as anesthesia before surgery on humans or animals. It is typically found in white powder form or as a clear liquid. Esketamine (brand names Ketanest and Spravato) is a substance contained within ketamine (an s-enationmer) that was approved by the Food & Drug Administration in 2019 for use in persons who suffer from treatment-resistant depression.

When used for recreational purposes, ketamine is frequently injected, although the powdered form can also be snorted or consumed orally. The drug is also sometimes combined with other substances to intensify effects, including alcohol, marijuana, and opiates. There is scant evidence to suggest that ketamine has the potential for chemical dependence. However, some chronic users can develop a psychological dependence and experience cravings for the drug if they attempt to discontinue use.

Their tolerance will also increase, causing them to need more and more of the drug to achieve the same effect. The development of tolerance can compel individuals to use increasing amounts of ketamine, encourage drug-seeking behavior and binges. A binge is a pattern of abuse in which the user engages in repeated, heavy drug use during a relatively short period.

From a psychological perspective, ketamine withdrawal is comparable to withdrawal from other addictive drugs, such as cocaine, and can produce intense cravings. Psychological withdrawal symptoms are common with ketamine, but physiological symptoms are minimal to non-existent.

Short and Long-Term Effects of Ketamine Abuse

Ketamine typically induces a sudden high that lasts for about an hour. Unlike the other well-known dissociatives such as phencyclidine (PCP) and dextromethorphan (DXM), ketamine is very short-acting. An injection can produce a high in under one minute, and snorting or smoking it can result in a high in less than 5 minutes.

Users report initially feeling an overwhelming sense of relaxation as if they are floating or having an out-of-body experience. Hallucinations can also occur and persist beyond the relaxation phase.

As with any intoxicant, high doses tend to result in more intense effects, which users often as being similar to near-death experiences. This overall effect is sometimes referred to as a “K-hole” and can include unpleasant auditory and visual hallucinations in conjunction with derealization and detachment from reality.

Side Effects of Ketamine

  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Stomach pain
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure

Because ketamine reduces the perception of pain, a user can accidentally injure him or herself. These injuries can be exacerbated if the user fails to seek medical treatment and may result in complications.

Long-Term Effects of Ketamine Abuse

Long-term effects of ketamine abuse are not wholly understood, especially since ketamine is often used in combination with other substances. However, there is some evidence that prolonged use can cause a thickening of the bladder and urinary tract, and chronic users may be forced to have their bladders removed when they experience difficulty passing urine. As with many substances, ketamine abuse can also lead to kidney problems.


If you suspect that you or someone you know is overdosing, emergency medical attention should be sought immediately. Overdoses are typically treated with symptomatic and supportive care in a hospital environment, and adverse effects typically resolve in 1 to 3 hours.

Respiratory support is rarely needed, but additional ventilation or supplemental oxygen may be required. Respiratory depression is more likely to occur if ketamine is combined with sedatives or other depressants.

Managing Withdrawal

What Is Ketamine? | Harmony Recovery Center | North Carolina

Psychological withdrawal symptoms that manifest as a result of long-term or frequent use of ketamine can often be controlled by a progressive tapering of the drug dosage, as directed by a health provider over the course of a few weeks. Using this method, the person’s system can slowly adapt to receiving decreasing amounts of the drug, and psychological withdrawal symptoms will be minimized in comparison to abrupt discontinuation.

Treatment for Drug Abuse

After detox, counseling and therapy are highly recommended for recovery from ketamine abuse. Harmony Recovery Center offers these treatments in partial-hospitalization and intensive outpatient formats. Most ketamine abusers also suffer from polysubstance abuse or co-occurring mental health conditions, and treatment is designed to address these issues in combination with abuse of ketamine itself.

Clients who choose to undergo treatment will learn the critical coping skills they will need to manage drug cravings, prevent relapse, and sustain long-term sobriety. They also gain insight into the reasons why they choose to engage in substance abuse in the first place, and receive help for co-occurring mental health disorders, if any.

Ketamine is an intoxicating and potentially psychologically addictive drug that can lead to severe mental distress and intense cravings upon abrupt cessation. If you or someone you love is abusing this substance, please contact us today for a consultation and to discuss treatment options. You don’t have to do this alone – we can help!

What Is Oxycodone?

What Is Oxycodone? | Harmony Recovery Center | North Carolina

What Is Oxycodone? – Oxycodone (oxycodone hydrochloride) is a prescription semi-synthetic opioid found in many painkilling medications. Oxycodone is intended to be taken orally, but when abused, can be crushed and snorted, or diluted in water and injected. The best-known prescription drugs that contain oxycodone are OxyContin and Percocet.

OxyContin is an extended-relief medication indicated for the relief of moderate-severe pain that requires treatment for more than a few days, such as the pain associated with musculoskeletal conditions. Percocet includes acetaminophen as a secondary ingredient alongside oxycodone and is used to manage mild-moderate pain following minor surgeries or for other temporary injuries or conditions.

How Is Oxycodone Abused?

No one starts out trying to develop an addiction to substances such as oxycodone. The jump from use to dependence to addiction can be surprisingly brief even for someone using a doctor-prescribed dosage. It might begin when a person begins taking more of the medication than recommended as a result of increasing tolerance to the drug.

Tolerance is a normal process that is based on the body’s propensity to diminish the effects of some substances following repeated exposure. When tolerance occurs, the regular dose no longer induces the desired effects.

For recreational users who take oxycodone for the relaxation and euphoric high it can provide, addiction might begin with casual use, such as that encountered in party environments, or as self-medication during periods of distress. In any case, the sense of well-being that oxycodone can produce is highly addictive and sought after.

Increasing tolerance can quickly contribute to the development of dependence, a condition in which users may start to rely on oxycodone just to feel normal. At this point, the user must now take the drug in order to prevent withdrawal symptoms that will torment them if they try to quit. Ultimately, drug use will begin to take over the person’s life, and he or she will start to feel guilty or ashamed and try to conceal their habit from friends and family.

Someone is considered to have full-blown addiction when they continue obtaining and using the drug despite adverse consequences or the physical harm that results. Social, financial, and legal troubles may ensue, and the person may end up performing poorly at work or school and put a strain on interpersonal relationships.

If the abuse continues, health problems and cognitive dysfunction are likely to follow. During active addiction, the risk of death by overdose is significant and rises in proportion to the frequency and severity of use.

About the Opioid Crisis and Oxycodone Abuse

What Is Oxycodone? | Harmony Recovery Center | North Carolina

Oxycodone addiction is a noteworthy contributor to the opioid epidemic that has taken form in recent years. Although other more powerful and dangerous drugs such as heroin and fentanyl have recently taken the spotlight, the problem really began with new formulations of oxycodone in the mid-1990s.

In 1995, pharmaceutical companies were looking for a way to treat severe pain with less risk of addiction. After some experimentation, it was believed that an extended-release tablet would decrease the risk of addiction by reducing the rate of drug absorption into the system, thereby keeping patients within a constant range of effectiveness with less frequent dosages.

This idea turned into a marketing strategy in which drug manufacturers such as Purdue Pharma (the makers of OxyContin) would encourage doctors to prescribe extended-release oxycodone instead of milder opioids with a standard-release formula. An increase in prescriptions corresponded with a spike in overdoses and related fatalities, which ultimately got noticed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In 2003, the FDA sent a letter to Purdue Pharma warning of the risks of abuse and addiction.

When the epidemic became apparent more than 100,000 deaths later, doctors were finally becoming discouraged from prescribing oxycodone without very good reason. This trend made it more difficult for patients to obtain the drug legally, so many people who were addicted resorted to using easily accessible, cheap street narcotics such as heroin and fentanyl.

Getting Help for Oxycodone Addiction

In summary, addiction to oxycodone most often occurs due to misuse, but may also develop even if a person uses the medication as directed by a doctor. Long-term use of oxycodone can result in chemical dependence, and when a user attempts to quit, they will experience highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that will likely compel them to resume use.

Thus, the cycle of addiction begins, as at this point the person is usually engaging in compulsive drug-seeking behavior and has become obsessed with obtaining the drug and planning the next time they can use it. As noted, almost no one consciously wants to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Addiction is now widely considered to be a disease due to the long-lasting brain changes it induces and high relapse rate.

Although there is no cure for addiction, it can be effectively treated using a modern comprehensive approach that includes psychotherapy, counseling, medication-assisted treatment, group support, and aftercare planning for the long-term sustainment of sobriety.

If you’re or someone you love is ready to take the first step toward achieving recovery, contact us today. Our addiction specialists can answer any questions about our programs and available treatment options. We are dedicated to helping people free themselves from the grip of addiction and reclaim the healthy and fulfilling lives they deserve!

What Is Desomorphine (Krokodil)?

Desomorphine or Krokodil | Harmony Recovery Center

Desomorphine (dihydrodesoxymorphine) is an injectable derivative of the opiate codeine. On the street, the drug is commonly known as Krokodil or Crocodile. Krokodil is a drug that first appeared in Siberia in 2002, and has spread further into other areas of Russia since that time.

It is believed that the name “Krokodil” refers to the changes in the appearance of a user’s skin that results from regular use. Krokodil is a very caustic drug that can cause an addict’s skin to become green, scaly, and bumpy, like that of a crocodile. Also, if the user misses a vein and injects the drug into flesh, infected abscesses are very likely to form. Finally, it is common for addicts to develop gangrene and require amputations, and the flesh on some body parts may rot off completely, exposing bare bone.

Desomorphine is classified as a Schedule I substance in the U.S., indicating that it is considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medicinal purpose. In its purest form, desomorphine is about 8-10 times more potent than morphine, and also has a more rapid onset of action (about 2-3 minutes) and shorter half-life. These factors account for its increased potential for addiction. Likewise, the short elimination half-life compels those who are dependent on Krokodil to inject more frequently to avoid withdrawals than those who are addicted to heroin and many other opioids.

Desomorphine: A Cheap Heroin Substitute

Reports indicate that Krokodil use has spread rapidly across parts of Russia, with perhaps hundreds of thousands of people having injected the drug in recent years. The drug has also continued to spread to surrounding countries like the Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Although use appears to be centered in the Soviet region, countries like Norway and Germany have also reported incidents of Krokodil use, as well.

Krokodil is produced from codeine and medications that contain codeine. In drug markets such as those in Russia where heroin is relatively difficult to obtain, people have turned to alternatives such as Krokodil. Krokodil is frequently used as a substitute for heroin, due to its low cost and increasing availability.

Krokodil is appealing to those seeking an intense high because it is cheap, relatively easy to make or obtain, and produces a high similar to that of heroin. Effects can last up to two hours and include euphoria, sedation, and potent pain relief.

Krokodil Manufacturing

Users have stated that krokodil can be made in as little as 45 minutes with codeine and minimal equipment. Similar to homemade methamphetamine, users often combine several toxic ingredients, such as hydrochloric acid, gasoline, and household cleaning products, with the codeine.

Effects of Desomorphine

Krokodil’s effects can be devastating and life-threatening. Injection of the drug can result in the following complications:

  • Skin and soft tissue infections
  • Thrombophlebitis (inflammation of veins)
  • Skin ulcers
  • Gangrene
  • Necrosis (death of living tissue)

When the drug is administered intravenously, it can damage veins and result in localized infections, which may ultimately spread to other areas and lead to organ damage. If some parts of the body, such as the limbs are severely infected, doctors may need to amputate or perform surgery.

Because Krokodil is a homemade opiate, the conditions in which it is manufactured can also introduce a number of other health risks. Users making the drug often share equipment and needles for injection. The sharing of syringes increases a person’s risk of contracting HIV and the hepatitis C virus. And because Krokodil is a drug with a short-half life that is often administered repeatedly throughout the day, this can substantially increase the likelihood that use of non-sterile needles will occur.

Even short-term Krokodil use can result in severe health complications and fatalities. Death for chronic users is common within 2-3 years of the first dose, but even initial use can be fatal in some cases.

Desomorphine or Krokodil | Harmony Recovery Center

Why Is Desomorphine Called the “Zombie Drug”?

Krokodil has frequently been referred to as the “zombie drug” by the media. Many reports of desomorphine drug use by the press have shown affected individuals having gangrene or dead patches of skin (eschars) on their body, which may in many ways resemble what we think of as having the appearance of a zombie. Also, the skin of Krokodil users can become black, grey, or green, and scabby, scaly, and flaky.

Is Krokodil in the United States?

There have been a few sensational reports about the appearance of desomorphine in the U.S. based on a small number of suspected cases. At the time of this writing, however, neither the Drug Enforcement Administration nor the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), had confirmed any cases of Krokodil use in the country.

Treatment for Opioid Addiction

In the United States, the most serious opioid addictions are related to heroin, and it’s even more potent cousin, fentanyl. These drugs devastate lives and result in severe, life-threatening health complications, as well as social withdrawal and financial hardship.

Harmony Recovery Center offers intensive treatment for heroin addiction that includes evidence-based services vital to the recovery process, such as behavioral therapy, counseling, group support, medication-assisted therapy, and aftercare planning.

If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin addiction, please contact us immediately. We provide people with the tools and support they need to reclaim their lives and free themselves from the deadly grip of addiction indefinitely!

The Dangers of Mixing Sleeping Pills and Alcohol

Sleeping Pills and Alcohol: The Dangers

Combining sleeping pills and alcohol can be life-threatening. An increasing number of Americans are relying on sleep medications that when mixed with alcohol, can cause harmful and dangerous side effects.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Sleep Aids and Prescription Sedatives

According to some estimates, nearly half of all Americans have suffered from symptoms of insomnia, which include difficulty falling or remaining asleep or getting sufficient rest. Many of these Americans turn to either OTC or prescription sleep aids for help with their sleeping. The following statistics suggest that the use of sleep aids is indeed ubiquitous:

  • 10-20% of Americans use over-the-counter sleep aids each year, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
  • As many as 30% of American women reported using some kind of sleep aid each week.
  • 4% of Americans were prescribed a sedative or hypnotic medication for sleep within the past month, and prescriptions for sleep aids have increased three-fold among Americans between the ages of 18-24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Even when taken infrequently and as directed, these sleep aids can have unpleasant and potentially severe side effects. Also, according to the CDC, a shockingly large number of Americans reported misusing these pills, taking them far longer than intended or not as directed by a physician.

Moreover, research from Brown University and the University of Rhode Island revealed that 60% of people using prescription drugs that should not be taken with alcohol (including sleep aids) still drink.

Combining sleeping pills and alcohol is, in fact, a common form of misuse, according to research by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Recently, the number of emergency department related to zolpidem, the active ingredient in Ambien and a number of other sleep aids, nearly doubled between the years 2005-2010. Referred to as “overmedication” – using too much zolpidem or taking it in combination with alcohol and other drugs – this misuse of substances was reported as the main cause of this dramatic increase.

Also, 14% of all zolpidem-related emergency department visits involved alcohol in combination with zolpidem.

The Dangers of Combining Alcohol and Sleeping Pills

The dangers of mixing alcohol and sleeping pills or other prescription or illicit drugs are not to be minimized – a study published in the American Journal of Therapeutics found that using alcohol in conjunction with zolpidem doubled a person’s chances of being admitted into an intensive care unit.

Alcohol and sleep medications each affect the central nervous system and influence the same GABA receptors in the brain, so when used together, they can exponentially intensify possible side effects. Among the most dangerous is respiratory depression. Sedative and hypnotic medications for sleep suppress breathing, and in conjunction with alcohol, this effect can be intensified and result in cessation of breathing and cardiac arrest.

In addition to decreased or labored breathing, alcohol mixed with sleep aids can be related to occurrences of unusual and possibly life-threatening behavior. For instance, zolpidem medications like Ambien have been associated with episodes of sleepwalking and “sleep-driving” that have put the physical well-being of users and others at high risk.

Also, some people have reported engaging in sexual intercourse while on zolpidem and have later been unable to recall the incident. Drinking alcohol can increase the likelihood of these dangerous experiences which may be described as dissociative or fugue-like in nature.

In a study from 1995, researchers evaluated impairments in 24 healthy males who were given acute doses of zolpidem, both alone and combined with alcohol. The skills assessed included information processing ability/rate, immediate memory, and sustained attention. Both alcohol and zolpidem significantly impaired performance on each task, and in general, “additive” effects of alcohol were detected when consumed with 10mg of zolpidem.

Other negative reactions from using sleeping pills and alcohol may include the following:

  • Extreme drowsiness and sleepiness
  • Memory impairment
  • Impaired motor functioning

Commonly Used Sleeping Pills and Alcohol: Interactions

In addition to hypnotics and sedatives containing zolpidem, a number of other sleep aids are known to have interactions with alcohol. They include but are not limited to the following:

  • Lunesta
  • Prosom
  • Restoril
  • Sominex
  • Unisom
  • Certain herbal supplements, such as valerian root, chamomile, and lavender

Addiction Treatment

If you are addicted to sedatives, alcohol, or other drugs, there is treatment available. Our center offers comprehensive, integrated treatment that includes evidence-based services such as psychotherapy, psychoeducation, individual and family counseling, group support, and aftercare planning.

We employ professional medical staff who specialize in addiction and deliver services in both inpatient and outpatient formats. We provide clients with the tools they need to be successful at sobriety and enjoy a long-lasting recovery.

We can help you restore sanity to your life and experience the happiness you deserve – contact us now to find out how!

List of Opioids Strongest To Weakest

List of Opioids Strongest to Weakest | Harmony Recovery NC


Carfentanil is a painkiller and analgesic used on large animals such as elephants and is 10,000 times stronger than morphine. As such, it is not intended for use in humans, as there is no known safe dosage.

In recent years, carfentanil, which is likely illicitly produced, has been used as a buffering agent in heroin and other drugs. As a result, it has been responsible for hundreds of deaths in the U.S.

Just two milligrams of carfentanil is enough to sedate an elephant. Moreover, law enforcement and first responders have been warned that if bare skin touches even a small amount of carfentanil, severe effects may occur, including death.


In November 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Dsuvia, a relatively new prescription opioid. It comes in the form of a sublingual tablet that is placed under the tongue where it dissolves. It induces pain relief rapidly in people (such as combat soldiers) who have experienced profound trauma, such as a gunshot wound or severely broken bone.

Dsuvia contains the synthetic opioid sufentanil is five times to 10 times stronger than fentanyl itself, and 1,000 times more potent than morphine. Detractors of the drug claim that an opioid of this strength is unnecessary and will only provide more fuel to the ongoing U.S. opioid overdose crisis.


Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid up to 50 times more potent than heroin. Legally, fentanyl is a prescription drug prescribed to patients to manage severe pain after injury or surgery. It may also be prescribed to patients who suffer from chronic pain who do not respond well to less potent opioids or have built up a physical tolerance to them.

Due to its strength and high potential for addiction, Fentanyl is classified as a schedule II drug and is considered to be extremely dangerous. Like carfentanil, just a two-milligram dose of Fentanyl can be lethal in humans.


Heroin is a semi-synthetic opiate derived from the opium alkaloid morphine. Heroin is not considered to have any legitimate medical purpose. Also, heroin’s potency is profoundly affected by other agents used as buffers, which may include fentanyl and other opioids.

Heroin has a very high potential for abuse and addiction and can be administered by injecting, snorting, or smoking. It is typically found as a whitish powder or a black sticky substance (black tar heroin). When injected, heroin enters the brain and bloodstream more rapidly than many other opioids, converts back to morphine, and produces near immediate feelings of euphoria.


Forty times stronger than morphine, buprenorphine is most commonly used to treat opioid addiction, and for these reasons, among others, it is tightly controlled. But as a partial opioid agonist, buprenorphine does not induce the powerful painkilling or euphoric effects of other opioids, due to this fact, it is sometimes used for the treatment of pain.

U-47700 or Pink

U-47700 is an illicit synthetic opioid about 7-8 times more powerful than morphine. It was developed in the 1970s by Upjohn and an intended painkiller but has remained inactive in the pharmaceutical industry. Recently, however, it has resurfaced on the streets, believed by the FDA to be imported from China and Eastern Europe.

U-47700 (also known as Pink) is widely available on the black market, and due to its high potency and absence of government regulation, it has health officials very concerned as overdoses continue to increase.


Hydromorphone is another prescription opioid about four times more potent than morphine. It is commonly prescribed as a painkiller under the brand name Dilaudid. Because it has a high potential for abuse, and can quickly lead to both physical and psychological dependence, hydromorphone is classified as a schedule II drug.

It has been frequently misused as a heroin substitute because it can be diluted in liquid and injected into the bloodstream, a method that helps the user to experience the effects more rapidly. Indeed, that is precisely how it is administered in hospitals (as an intravenous drip) to treat severe pain.


Oxymorphone is a prescription painkiller about three times as potent as morphine. It used to be found by the brand name Opana and was prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. It was typically found in tablet form but was sometimes prescribed as an injectable solution.

Oxymorphone is classified as a schedule II opioid with a high potential for both abuse and addiction. Its presence in the legal or illicit drug market currently appears to be scant. The makers of Opana, Endo International, has announced in the summer of 2017 that it would voluntarily remove Opana ER from the market, following the FDA’s request to withdraw the reformulated opioid pain medication.


Like oxymorphone, methadone is about three times as potent as morphine. Methadone is primarily used under strict medical supervision to treat addiction or withdrawal symptoms, and non-medical use is illegal. Even though methadone is somewhat chemically dissimilar to heroin and morphine, it still can induce similar effects of euphoria and sedation and lead to abuse, dependence, and addiction.


Oxycodone isn’t considered to be as powerful as the aforementioned opioids, it is still classified as schedule II substance with a high potential for abuse and dependence. It is only about 50% stronger than morphine.

Found in brand names pharmaceuticals such as Oxycontin and Percocet, Oxycodone is commonly prescribed to relieve moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone is regularly prescribed in the U.S. and has been misused since the 1960s for its relaxing and euphoric effects.


Derived directly from the opium poppy, morphine is the only true opiate (natural versus synthetic) on the list and is included because the potency of opioids is most often compared to that of morphine. Like its human-made cousins, morphine is a schedule II controlled substance and has been used and misused as an injectable liquid, oral solutions, and ingestible tablets.


Hydrocodone is nearly as potent as morphine and is indicated for the treatment of moderate pain. Common brand names for Hydrocodone include Vicodin and Norco. Hydrocodone is currently the most frequently prescribed painkiller in the U.S.

Hydrocodone is a schedule II drug and is an excellent example of how a relatively weak opioid can still be abused and pose significant health risks. In 2011, more than 82,000 emergency room visits were related to the misuse of hydrocodone.


Codeine has a relatively low potency, and is generally used to treat mild to moderate pain, and is frequently used in prescription cough and cold medications. It still has a potential for abuse and overdose, however – in recent years, it’s become popular in the hip hop community as Lean or Sizzurp, a drug cocktail that sometimes also includes Sprite and hard candy.


Meperidine (Demerol) was the first opioid ever synthesized. Meperidine is less potent than most other opioids but is still classified as a schedule II drug because of its potential for abuse. Meperidine is now widely considered to be relatively ineffective when compared to other opioids.


Tramadol’s potency is similar to that of meperidine. However, it is classified as a schedule IV drug and is therefore considered to have less potential for physical dependence, tolerance, and misuse. Nevertheless, tramadol (Ultram) can still be misused by those who suffer chronic pain.

Opioid Addiction Treatment Options

If you are suffering from opioid addiction, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss treatment options. Harmony Recovery Center offers a full spectrum of evidence-based services, tools, and support that patients so desperately need to achieve abstinence and begin to experience long-lasting sobriety and wellness!