- Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Oxycodone Hydrochloride And Ibuprofen
Combunox addiction, like other types of prescription drug abuse, is a growing problem in the United States. In 2010, approximately 7 million people in the United States took psychotherapeutic drugs like Combunox to get high or treat a condition for which it was not prescribed.
Each Combunox tablet contains 5 mg of oxycodone, a strong semi-synthetic opioid pain reliever. Pharmacologists create oxycodone from thebaine, an alkaloid extracted from the poppy plant Papaver somniferum. Combunox also contains 400 mg of ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID. Ibuprofen is a less potent pain reliever that also reduces fever and swelling.
Recreational users abuse Combunox tablets orally or intravenously. Abusers may also crush tablets and snort the powder or mix it with water and inject it into a vein. Others may heat the crushed tablet placed in foil and inhale the vapors.
Risk for Abuse
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency ranks drugs according to their relative risk for abuse. According to this system, a consumer is more at risk for abusing a schedule I drug than a schedule V medication. Heroin, for example, is a schedule I narcotic while Robitussin AC is a schedule V.
The DEA has classified all oxycodone drugs, including Combunox, as schedule II narcotics. This means Combunox poses the same relative risk for abuse as cocaine or codeine. To control this risk, Combunox is available only with a doctor's prescription.
The Definition of Addiction
The American Society of Addiction Medicine says that addiction is "a primary, chronic disease" that affects the brain's reward, motivation and memory circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits causes certain physical and behavioral symptoms, such as craving or a pathological pursuit of Combunox.
Combunox addiction is marked by an inability to abstain from drug abuse consistently and cravings. The individual has a diminished ability to recognize significant problems in his own behavior and in his relationships. As with other chronic diseases, Combunox addiction frequently involves cycles of relapse and remission. Addiction is a progressive disease, meaning it worsens with time. Without adequate treatment, Combunox may cause disability or premature death.
Addiction versus Dependence
Combunox addiction is different from physical dependence, although these two conditions are related through drug abuse. While many use the terms addiction and dependence interchangeably, these two conditions are separate and quite different from one another.
Opioid Dependence and Tolerance
The human body adjusts to the presence some foreign substances by adjusting its own chemistry. Long-term use of drugs, such as opioids like Combunox, causes some of these changes to become more permanent as the body learns to depend on a certain level of opioids to feel "normal." Anyone who uses Combunox for a long time can become opioid-dependent.
When opioid levels fall in an opioid-dependent person, his body struggles to regain chemical balance. The individual feels this battle through uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Doctors refer to this as detoxification. Missing a dose, taking an insufficient dose, or consuming a drug that lowers opioid levels will initiate the detoxification process in an opioid-dependent person.
The opioid-dependent person can halt the detoxification process by waiting for several days as his body adjusts to the new "normal," or by taking drugs that mimic the effects of Combunox such as methadone, or by taking another dose of Combunox.
Taking Combunox for more than a few days can increase a person's tolerance to this drug. Increased tolerance means it takes more Combunox to relieve pain or get high. Reduced tolerance means the individual's body is more sensitive to the effects of Combunox.
A doctor will diagnose a patient as being opioid-dependent if he experiences flu-like symptoms when opioid levels run low; this physician will say the patient is addicted if the individual craves Combunox or engages in drug-seeking behavior when supplies run now.
Drug-Seeking and Diversion
An addicted person craves Combunox and engages in drug-seeking behaviors and diversion to get more Combunox. Drug-seeking behaviors include "doctor shopping" to get as many written prescriptions as possible, or filing bogus or altered prescriptions to pharmacies. Many addicted individuals get free Combunox from friends or family, steal it from medicine cabinets or purchase it on the street.
The DEA classifies these activities as diversion because of the way the behaviors divert therapeutic drugs to non-medical purposes. To use a drug non-medically means to use it to get high or to treat a condition for which it was not prescribed.
Addiction: What Family Members Should Know
It is vital that family members know that Combunox addiction is a disease; addiction is not a choice or an indication of poor moral character. Counseling can help the family learn how to cope with this neurological disease without blaming the addicted individual for his condition.
As with other chronic diseases, treatment for Combunox addiction works best when the individual has the support of family members. It is common for a family member to locate the treatment center where the addicted individual eventually attends. Every person in the household should encourage the addicted individual to seek out and complete treatment.
About 10 percent of people who try drugs become addicted to them. Family member should know many factors influence the development of addiction, including genetics, stress and environmental causes.
Nobody is born doomed to become an addict but a person's genetic makeup may make him more vulnerable to developing an addiction at some point in life. While there is not a single "addiction gene," scientists think that addiction is caused by a certain interaction between a specific set of genes; this interaction makes a person more susceptible to the development of addictions.
Everyone related to the addicted individual shares an inherited risk for addition, but environmental factors affect a person's chances for becoming addicted. Stressful environments, peer pressure, hypersensitivity to stress, and poor coping mechanisms increase the risk for addiction for everyone living within the home, especially for those who are genetically vulnerable to the development of addiction.
Frequent arguments, violence, substance abuse or instability raises environmental stress levels within the home or workplace, increasing the risk for addiction for everyone within that environment. Counseling can teach participants how to reduce the "background noise" of environmental stress through improved communication.
Some people are hypersensitive to stress and use drugs to relax. This hypersensitivity may be genetic, passed from parent to child. Parents should learn to recognize the signs of hypersensitivity and learn healthy ways to deal with stress.
Children pick up coping mechanisms by watching how a parent deals with stress. A parent who takes drugs to calm her nerves may inadvertently be teaching her child to take drugs as a way to handle everyday stress.
Combunox addiction inflicts collateral damage upon the whole family. Addiction can cause loss of income, divorce, loss of child custody, homelessness, criminal activity, infectious diseases and high hospital or legal bills. Addiction can result in toxic overdose and death.
Family members should know that it is illegal and unsafe to keep Combunox in the home without a prescription. Keeping illicit substances in the house increases the risk for criminal activity, including drug abuse and drug sales, as well as burglary or police raids. Keeping Combunox in the home also increases the risk for accidental consumption or overdose in a child.
Addiction: What Parents Should Know
In a recent national survey, about 3 percent of respondents between the ages of 12 and 17 years said they had used a prescription psychotherapeutic drug within the previous month. Psychotherapeutic drugs include pain relievers such as Combunox, stimulants and depressants. Young adults are at even greater risk for abusing drugs, with 5.9 percent of 18 to 25 year olds reporting psychotherapeutic drug use within the previous month.
When considering a diagnosis of substance abuse, medical professionals often look for behavioral changes that can indicate addiction, such as loss of interest or a narrowed behavioral repertoire. It is common for a teenager or young adult to lose interest in something he was passionate about as a child, making it especially difficult to spot the behavioral changes that can indicate a child has developed a Combunox addiction.
When a parent is concerned his child is addicted to Combunox, he should look for specific warning signs, including an unusual loss of interest in things that were once important, like playing with a favorite pet or talking with a childhood friend. The child's academic or athletic performance may decline, or she may quit an after-school job that she once loved.
She may seem more unmotivated than average for a teenager, or have no energy to do things typical for her age. She finds ways to sneak off to do drugs and then has trouble explaining her absence. Drugs are expensive, so she will have money issues that seem advanced for a child her age. Parents should remain vigilant for items or money missing from the home.
Caring for a Family Member with an Addiction
Caring for a family member with a Combunox addiction is similar to supporting a loved one with any chronic neurological disease. Family members should expect long-term recovery efforts that include cycles of remission and relapse. Rehabilitation usually involves frequent appointments with counselors and physicians, time away from work and family responsibilities, and medications. The family works as a supportive network to enable the addicted individual to participate in meaningful rehabilitative activities.
Family members are usually the first to intervene with the progression of addiction. It is common for a family member to locate the treatment facility where the addicted person eventually goes for rehabilitation. Every member of the family should encourage the addicted individual to seek and complete rehabilitation.
Family members can develop a care plan to help the addicted person fully participate in rehabilitation by sharing chores and responsibilities. A grandparent might prepare meals while a younger child does simple household tasks. An older child with a driver's license could transport the addicted person to counseling sessions.
It is critical that family members know it is not necessary for someone to hit rock bottom before recovery is possible - it is possible to arrest the progression of Combunox addiction at any time. Rock bottom can include divorce, loss of child custody, job loss, homelessness, infectious diseases, disability and death.
Signs of Addiction
Combunox addiction causes neurological changes on a cellular level; these changes result in specific signs that doctors look for when considering a diagnosis of addiction. Friends and family members can use these same signs of addiction when wondering if they should intervene with a loved one's substance abuse problem. Unfortunately, the signs of addiction sometimes drive friends and family away, reducing the likelihood that an intervention will take place.
Behavioral, Cognitive and Emotional Changes
Addiction alters the way a person behaves, thinks and feels. Many of these changes enable the progression of addiction; in other words, addiction causes changes that allow addiction to continue. Left untreated, addiction is self-perpetuating.
Someone suffering from Combunox addiction will use this drug excessively and more frequently than he intends. He may voice a desire to quit or cut down on Combunox use, even as he consumes more. The addicted individual may try to stop using drugs but seem ultimately unable or unwilling to make the commitment.
He loses an ever-increasing amount of time looking for Combunox, getting high or recovering from drug abuse. He stops participating in things he loved, including taking care of his family. This has a significant negative effect on his job, his relationships and his personal responsibilities. He continues to use Combunox despite the adverse impact drug abuse has on his life.
Combunox changes the way a person thinks, including causing preoccupation with substance use. The addict develops an incorrect view of the relative benefits and risks associated with drug abuse so he believes Combunox is entirely good. He might blame other people or unrelated events for his problems, instead of recognizing his troubles as being a predictable consequence of his drug abuse.
Many people take Combunox or other psychotherapeutic drugs non-medically to treat emotional pain and stress. Long-term use of these drugs, however, tends to have the opposite effect and actually increase anxiety and emotional pain. Combunox initially causes a sense of peaceful happiness, but Combunox addicts often feel the emotional opposite of euphoria, dysphoria.
Combunox and other opioids recruit the brain's stress systems to cause relaxation but addiction to these substances can cause an opposite effect and increase sensitivity to stress. This is especially true for those individuals who are hypersensitive to stress or have poor coping mechanisms.
Combunox addiction may make it difficult for the individual to identify or describe his feelings. He may also have trouble distinguishing between emotions and bodily sensations.
Symptoms of Addiction
Doctors also look for specific physical and psychological symptoms when considering a diagnosis of Combunox addiction. The patient may have gained or lost weight for no reason, or complain of a change in sleep patterns. Her physical appearance may be deteriorating and she may have poor hygiene; she may look sickly and her body or clothing may have an unusual or unpleasant odor. She could have a nagging cough, bloodshot eyes with large or small pupils, tremors and slurred speech.
The physician will perform an interview to find out if the patient can abstain from Combunox consistently or if she experiences cravings when she stops using opioids. The doctor will discuss the patient's personal life to find out if the individual is able to recognize significant problems and if the person has an appropriate emotional response to those difficulties.
Males are twice as likely as females are to use drugs, and men are more likely to become addicted to drugs like Combunox. More men than women die from prescription drug overdoses.
While fewer women abuse or become addicted to drugs, females face more challenges overcoming addiction. Women tend to progress more quickly from drug abuse to dependence. Females also develop medical or social consequences of addiction more quickly than males. Women may find it more difficult to overcome addiction and dependence, and seem to suffer more relapses than do men.
While more men than women abuse illicit drugs, females are more apt to use prescription drugs, such as opioids, to get high or to treat a condition for which it was not prescribed. Females are also more likely to combine prescription drugs like opioids with alcohol, marijuana or other opioids.
Men abuse their drug of choice differently than women do. Men tend to get high in social settings, while women abuse drugs alone, in the privacy of their own homes. Women with substance abuse problems hold very few friendships, whereas addicted men have wide social circles. The way the two genders abuse drugs such as opioids could be because men feel comfortable getting high while women face strong social stigmas against drug use and addiction among females.
Men and women may come to opioids addiction differently. Men abuse drugs for recreational purposes while women often begin opioids addiction after using this medication as prescribed. For example, studies suggest physicians prescribe mood-altering drugs more frequently to female alcoholics than to male alcoholics because the healthcare providers attribute the cause of the female's condition to be rooted in depression, anxiety or some other emotional difficulty.
Men and women start abusing drugs differently. Men typically start using drugs recreationally, to get high with friends. Women start using drugs after receiving them as part of a prescribed therapy.
Physicians are more likely to prescribe opioid pain relievers to females than to males. This could be because women suffer chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia, more commonly. More women than men go to the emergency room because they abused opioids.
A female Combunox addict faces additional barriers to recovery, such as being able to afford quality treatment or finding childcare while she participates in counseling or is in detoxification. A woman also faces strong social stigmas against drug abuse and addiction. Many women have partners who are also dependent or addicted to drugs; these women may feel like they are abandoning their partner if they quit drugs.
About 1.9 million Americans are addicted to prescription painkillers like Combunox.
Addiction can cause disability or premature death, especially when left untreated or undertreated. In 2010, about 17.9 million Americans needed treatment for a problem related to drug or alcohol abuse but only about 2.6 million people received this help.
There are two parts to treatment for Combunox addiction: detoxification and rehabilitation. Detoxification is the medical process of lowering opioid levels and dealing with the ensuing withdrawal symptoms. Rehabilitation addresses the behavioral aspects of Combunox addiction and teaches the individual how to live without Combunox.
A person going through the detoxification process typically experiences five or more days of intense withdrawal symptoms as his body adjusts to the lack of opioids. While detoxification is not usually life threatening, withdrawal symptoms may lead to dangerous complications. A person can stop these withdrawal symptoms by waiting for them to go away on their own, taking medication that mimics opioids, or by taking another Combunox. Without professional treatment, potent withdrawal symptoms force many to relapse to opioid abuse.
Some people try to overcome Combunox dependence alone, without the help of medicine to reduce withdrawal symptoms or the expertise of trained professionals. Doctors call this self-detoxification, while an everyday person may refer to it as "going cold turkey." Cold turkey refers to how a person's skin looks during detoxification: pale, cold, clammy with goose bumps, like plucked poultry.
During self-detoxification, the individual may experience intense withdrawal symptoms, such as profound vomiting, diarrhea and sweating. He may vomit and inhale stomach contents in a complication known as aspiration, which may lead to lung infections and fluid in the lungs. Excessive vomiting, diarrhea and perspiration may cause dehydration.
The primary complication associated with detoxification is relapse to opioid abuse. Detoxification lowers the body's tolerance to Combunox. Someone who has recently gone through any amount of detoxification can potentially overdose on a smaller dose than he used to take.
The Thomas Recipe
Some people develop a treatment plan to deal with withdrawal symptoms. One such remedy is The Thomas Recipe, which calls for a variety of medicines to treat individual symptoms. The individual takes valium to ease anxiety and induce sleep, along with Imodium to curb diarrhea, plus vitamins and supplements to soothe achy muscles. L-Tyrosine with B6 combats fatigue and gives a burst of energy.
While The Thomas Recipe addresses withdrawal symptoms, it does not reduce the risk for complications such as aspiration, dehydration and overdose.
Overdose of prescription pain relievers killed nearly 15,000 people in the United States in 2008. In cases of suspected overdose, take the victim to the nearest emergency room or fire station.
Emergency room doctors will administer naloxone to bring Combunox to non-toxic levels. Nurses will establish an airway to help the patient breathe and monitor the patient's condition for complications. Emergency personnel will perform CPR and other life-saving measures as necessary. When the patient's condition is stabilized, she may participate in rehabilitation.
Those who are not in immediate danger of overdose may participate in DRT, or Drug Replacement Therapy. DRT patients take drugs that mimic the effects of Combunox without causing euphoria. This allows the individual to engage in behavior modification therapy before going through the detoxification process. Once the patient learns how to live without Combunox, he weans himself from the DRT drug by taking smaller doses increasingly further apart.
Common DRT drugs include methadone, buprenorphine and Suboxone. Many patients have trouble quitting the replacement drug. About a quarter of methadone users eventually stop using drugs forever, while another 25 percent continue to take methadone forever. About half of methadone users spend the rest of their lives going on and off methadone.
Many inpatient hospitals now offer standard detoxification. During this procedure, doctors administer naloxone and anti-withdrawal medications. Standard detoxification lessens the severity of withdrawal symptoms somewhat, but the patient must still battle lengthy and demoralizing psychological symptoms.
Rapid detox is the most humane form of detoxification available today. During rapid detox, board-certified anesthesiologists administer the standard detoxification and anti-withdrawal drugs along with anesthesia and sedation, so the patient dozes in a "twilight sleep" during the detoxification process. When she awakens, she will have no memory of the grueling withdrawal symptoms and be in a better psychological state for recovery.
Detoxification is the first stage in treatment and, by itself, does little to change the behaviors associated with drug abuse. Combunox addiction is a complex neurological condition that requires a multi-faceted approach to treatment. Rehabilitation usually includes behavior modification along with individual, family and group counseling; medications are often an important part of treatment. No one type of treatment is right for everyone, and most people engage in a variety of therapies during the course of recovery.
Rehabilitation changes the behaviors associated with addiction to reduce the risk for relapse. Counseling arms the individual with the tools he needs to live without drugs.
Rehabilitation can take place at weekly or monthly outpatient counseling sessions, in short-term in-patient settings, or in long-term residential settings. Outpatient rehabilitation offers more freedom but long-term residential care is often more complete.
No matter which course of treatment the person chooses, it needs to be readily available to encourage participation and completion. It is critical to remain in treatment long enough to restore neurological function and change the behaviors associated with drug abuse.
Effective treatment for Combunox addiction attends to multiple needs of the individual and not just his drug abuse. Chronic drug abuse causes physical, psychological and social collateral damage that can interfere with recovery - effective rehabilitation addresses these issues along with Combunox abuse. Many people who struggle with addiction suffer from physical problems, mood disorders or mental illnesses; medications are an important part of treatment for these individuals.
Rehabilitation specialists will develop a treatment plan according to an initial assessment of the patient's needs and condition. The counselor will monitor the patient's progress and modify the treatment plan as necessary to ensure it always fits the patient's changing needs.
Drug testing may be mandatory, as relapses do occur. Testing for infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis B and C may be required. The patient may receive instructional material on how to reduce the risk for contracting or spreading these diseases.