Magnacet Addiction

Magnacet addiction and other drug abuse problems are on the rise in the United States, and now most of these cases involve prescription drugs rather than illicit ones. In 2010, about 1.9 million Americans were addicted to prescription painkillers like Magnacet, as compared with only 359,000 heroin addicts.

Prescription painkiller use is widespread in the United States. Even though Americans constitute about 5 percent of the world's population, they consume 80 percent of the world's opioid painkiller supply.

Information about Magnacet

Shionogi, Inc. manufactures Magnacet in a tablet form for oral administration. The active ingredients in Magnacet are oxycodone hydrochloride and acetaminophen. Each tablet contains 400 mg of acetaminophen and 5 mg, 7.5 mg or 10 mg of oxycodone.

Doctors prescribe Magnacet to relieve moderate to severe pain. Recreational users target Magnacet because of the euphoric feeling oxycodone provides.

Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic pain reliever. Pharmacologists create oxycodone from thebaine, an alkaloid extracted from the opium poppy plant, Papaver somniferum. Drug abusers swallow Magnacet tablets whole, or crush the tablets and snort the powder. They may mix the powder with fluid and inject it into a vein, or heat the powder in a spoon and inhale the vapors.

Improper administration, high doses, chronic abuse and non-medical use increases the risk for drug dependence or Magnacet addiction. Non-medical use includes using a drug to get high or to treat an unrelated medical condition. In 2010, about 7 million people took prescription drugs like Magnacet non-medically.

Risk for Abuse

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, classifies substances according to their relative risk for abuse, and has classified the oxycodone in Magnacet as a schedule II narcotic. This means Endocet poses the same risk for abuse as raw opium or OxyContin. To reduce this risk, products containing oxycodone are available only with a doctor's prescription.

The Definition of Addiction

Magnacet addiction is a disease that affects the brain's reward, motivation and memory circuits in a way that causes characteristic physical and behavioral manifestations, including cravings and a pathological pursuit of Magnacet.

Rehabilitation specialists look for these characteristic manifestations when considering a diagnosis of Magnacet addiction. The addict is unable to abstain from Magnacet use consistently and experience cravings when he runs out. The addict will have trouble controlling his behavior in other ways and be unable to recognize the significant problems associated with his drug abuse. He will exhibit a dysfunctional emotional response, becoming anxious in relatively calm circumstances or seem unmoved by emotionally charged situations.

Magnacet is a chronic disease, often lasting for months or years and involving cycles of relapse and remission. Without adequate treatment, Magnacet addiction is progressive and may lead to disability or premature death.

Addiction versus Dependence

Closely related through chronic drug use, Magnacet addiction and dependence are two distinct and separate medical conditions. Someone can be addicted to Magnacet or physically dependent upon it, or both.

Opioid Dependence and Tolerance

The body adjusts to the presence of some substances by altering its own chemistry to maintain a safe chemical balance. Long-term use of these substances can cause these physical adjustments to become more permanent as the body learns to depend on a certain level of oxycodone to feel "normal." If the level of oxycodone were to fall drastically, the body would struggle to regain chemical balance. Doctors call this process "detoxification."

The patient feels the battle for detoxification through physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. The detoxification process causes withdrawal symptoms. A doctor will diagnose a person as being opioid-dependent if the patient feels flu-like symptoms a few hours after her last dose of Magnacet.

Taking Magnacet for a long time may increase the body's tolerance to opioids. High tolerance means the individual has to take more Magnacet to relieve pain or to get high. Low tolerance means the person's body is more sensitive to the effects of Magnacet.

Magnacet Addiction

A doctor will diagnose a person as having a Magnacet addiction if the patient feels cravings a few hours after her last dose, or if she engages in drug-seeking behaviors when her supplies run low.

Drug seeking behaviors include visiting several doctors to gain multiple prescriptions, an activity known as "doctor shopping." Addicted individuals may show up at a doctor's office just as it is closing for the night in an attempt to coerce staff into writing a prescription without performing a proper exam. She may present fake or altered prescriptions at pharmacies. Many addicted individuals get free drugs from friends or family; people commonly save painkillers in case of emergency later. Others purchase illicit drugs on the street.

Addiction: What Family Members Should Know

Family members should know they share a common risk for addiction, and that they play a vital role in recovery. About 10 percent of people who experiment with drugs become addicted to them. Many factors influence the development of addiction, including genetics, environmental stress, hypersensitivity to stress and poor coping skills.

Magnacet addiction is a neurological disease, not a choice - nobody wants to be an addict. It is important that the family be compassionate and supporting, and avoids blaming the individual for his illness. Counseling can give family members the tools they need to help a loved one battling Magnacet addiction.

Inherited Risk

Family members should know they share a risk for developing an addiction at some point in their lives. Researchers now think a person's genetic makeup can make them more vulnerable to addiction. While there is no single "addiction gene," interaction between a certain groups of genes makes a person susceptible to developing an addiction. Like other inherited traits, addiction may be passed from one generation to the next.

Environmental Risk Factors

Nobody is destined to be an addict simply because genetic makeup - environmental factors, like stress, hypersensitivity to stress, peer pressure and poor coping skills play a role in the development of Magnacet addiction.

Stress within the home, school or work setting increases the risk for substance abuse; some individuals try to "self-medicate" this stress with drugs or alcohol. Environmental stress includes frequent or violent arguments, financial distress, unequal workloads, relationship issues, criminal activity and substance abuse. Counseling helps family members reduce stresses within the home by developing communication skills to decrease arguments, redistributing workloads and reducing substance abuse within the home. Family counseling also improves coping mechanisms to help individuals deal with stress in health ways.

Many addicted individuals are hypersensitive to stress, feeling anxious even in relatively calm situations. Researchers believe this hypersensitivity is inherited. Poor coping skills are also passed from one generation to another, as children learn how to deal with stress by watching their parents.

Collateral Damage

Family members should know that Magnacet addiction affects and endangers the entire family, not just the addicted individual. Addiction can cause financial hardship, divorce, child custody problems, criminal activity, prison and high legal bills. Addiction can also cause high hospital bills associated with infectious diseases, complications, side effects and overdose.

It is illegal to keep Magnacet in the home without a prescription. Possession of illicit substances increases the risk for home invasion, burglary and police raid resulting in forfeiture of the family's home or vehicles.

It is unsafe to maintain large amounts of drugs, especially when children live in the home. Someone can accidently discover the stash and consume a toxic dose of Magnacet. In cases of suspected overdose, take the victim to the nearest medical center or fire department.

Addiction: What Parents Should Know

Parents should know some teenagers and young adults abuse prescription pain relievers, including Magnacet. In a recent national survey, 3 percent of respondents aged 12 to 17 said they were currently using a psychotherapeutic drug for non-medical reasons. Examples of psychotherapeutic drugs include depressants, stimulants and pain relievers like Magnacet.

Psychotherapeutic drug abuse rates increase in young adults aged 18 to 25; nearly 6 percent of respondents reported using this class of drugs for non-medical use.

Magnacet addiction is characterized by behavioral changes, including losing interest in things that were once important. Children typically gain and lose interest in countless pursuits as they age and go through various phases; these naturally-occurring behavioral changes sometimes makes it difficult to recognize the signs of addiction in a child or young adult. Parents should look for other warning signs to help determine whether a child has developed a Magnacet addiction.

A child battling Magnacet addiction suffers an unusual loss of interest in things she once felt were important; she may stop showing affection for a beloved pet or suddenly develop new social circles. Her academic or athletic performance may decline, and she may quit an after-school job she once loved. Her energy levels or motivation may be unusually low, even for a teenager. A parent should question a child who sneaks off and has trouble explaining her absence.

Magnacet and other drugs are expensive, especially on the wages the typical teenager or young adult earns. A youngster battling Magnacet addiction will have money issues advanced for her age, as she struggles to support her habit. 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 Magnacet addiction requires a long-term commitment. As with other chronic illnesses, family members should prepare for cycles of relapse and remission. Counseling gives family members the tools they need to support a loved one through months or years of recovery efforts.

The family plays a primary role in halting the progression of Magnacet addiction. Collateral damage, like coming home high, doing drugs in the house, arrest or overdose usually prompts family members to speak out or hold an intervention.

It is common for a family member to locate the treatment facility the addicted person eventually attends. It is vital that every member of the family encourage the addicted person to seek out and complete treatment.

It is not necessary to let someone hit "rock bottom" before seeking help; in fact, hitting rock bottom can actually make things worse. The collateral damage and health hazards accumulate at rock bottom and could include prison, infectious disease, homelessness, divorce or loss of child custody, overdose and death.

While there is a long distance between rock bottom and recovery, it is possible to stop the progression of Magnacet addiction at any time.

Recovery works best when the individual feels safe in his home environment. As with any neurological disease, family members should recognize Magnacet addiction as a medical condition and avoid blaming the individual for his illness. Counseling can help family members learn to support the addicted individual without enabling his addiction.

While it is important to provide comfort and support, it is imperative that the family allow the addicted individual to recognize the problems his addicted causes and to experience the consequences of his drug abuse. Counseling can help family members support their addicted loved one without enabling his disease.

Signs of Addiction

Magnacet addicted changes the neurological system on a cellular level; these changes alter how a person acts, thinks and feels in specific ways. Addiction is a progressive disease, meaning drug abuse will continue altering the neurological system, worsening the behaviors associated with addiction. Rehabilitation and behavior modification reverse some of these effects and restore behavioral patterns.

Behavioral, Cognitive and Emotional Changes

Doctors look for hallmark behavioral, cognitive and emotional changes when considering a diagnosis of Magnacet addiction. Friends and family members can look for these same characteristic changes when concerned that a loved one is suffering from Magnacet addiction. Unfortunately, these changes can drive families apart, separating the addicted individual from the ones who could best recognize that the addicted person is behaving differently.

Behavioral:

Someone battling Magnacet addiction will use this drug at higher doses or more frequently than he intends. He may voice a desire to quit or cut down, even as he seeks out and abuses more Magnacet. He may try to quit several times but seem ultimately unwilling or incapable of quitting.

He loses an excessive amount of time looking for Magnacet, getting high or recovering from drug abuse. He begins to lose interest in anything that does not result in getting high. In time, this has a significant negative impact on his performance at work or school and in his personal relationships.

He continues to abuse Magnacet, even though he says he is aware that his drug abuse causes significant physical, psychological and social problems.

Cognitive:

Magnacet addiction causes preoccupation with substance use; getting high is all he can think of. His view of the relative benefits and risks of Magnacet change so that he can only see the positive aspects of drug abuse. He may blame other people or circumstances for his problems in life, instead of recognizing them as being a predictable consequence of Magnacet addiction.

Emotional:

While doctors prescribe Magnacet to relieve physical pain, and some people use opioids to self-medicate emotional pain or cause euphoria, Magnacet addiction can actually increase anxiety, emotional pain and cause the emotional opposite of euphoria, dysphoria.

A person suffering from Magnacet addiction may have trouble identifying or describing emotions. He may also have difficulty distinguishing emotions from bodily sensations.

Opioid addiction recruits the brain's stress systems so that Magnacet addiction actually makes a person more sensitive to stress, especially if this person is hypersensitive.

Symptoms of Addiction

Magnacet addiction causes physiological and neurological changes that result in physical and psychological symptoms that doctors use to diagnose a patient with Magnacet addiction.

Physical Symptoms

Physical symptoms of Magnacet addiction include an unexplained change in weight or sleep patterns. The addicted person may look sickly and have a nagging cough. She may have poor hygiene and her body or clothing may have an unusual odor. Her eyes may be bloodshot and her pupils may be unusually large or small. Her hands may shake and her speech may be slurred.

Psychological Symptoms

The physician will interview the patient to look for psychological symptoms of Magnacet addiction. The patient may report an inability to abstain consistently. Magnacet addiction causes cravings and pathological pursuit of drugs. She may seem unable to recognize significant personal or relationship problems, or display a dysfunctional emotional response.

Gender Differences

Men are twice as likely as women are to abuse illicit substances, such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin. In a 2010 national survey, 5.9 percent of females admitted to using illicit drugs, as compared to 11.6 percent of males.

While men are more likely to abuse illegal drugs, women are more apt to use prescription drugs, such as Magnacet, in non-medical ways. Doctors prescribe painkillers to women more frequently for chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia.

Even though men are less likely to abuse prescription drugs, more men than women die from prescription painkiller overdose.

Women go to the emergency room for drug abuse problems more frequently than men do but women seem to face additional barriers to recovery. There are strong social stigmas against drug abuse among women, preventing many women from seeking long-term treatment. Addicted women are less able to afford quality treatment. An addicted woman might also have trouble finding affordable childcare while she engages in detoxification or counseling sessions.

Treatment Options

In 2010, 17.9 million Americans needed treatment for substance abuse problems including Magnacet addiction but only about 2.6 million people received the treatment they needed that year. Left untreated or inadequately treated, Magnacet can cause disability or premature death.

There are two phases of treatment: detoxification and rehabilitation. Detoxification is the physiological process of lowering oxycodone levels and dealing with withdrawal symptoms. Rehabilitation is the process of learning how to live a drug-free life.

Detoxification

Skipping a dose, taking an inadequate dose, or using a medication that lowers opioid levels initiates the detoxification process in an opioid-dependent person. Unless the detoxification process is interrupted, the individual will face five or more days of intense symptoms, with the worst symptoms occurring on or about the fourth day. A person can halt the detoxification process and stop withdrawal symptoms by taking medicine that mimics oxycodone or by taking another dose of Magnacet.

Self-detoxification

Many people attempt to overcome opioid dependence alone, without the help of medicine to ease withdrawal symptoms or professionals to monitor for complications. Physicians refer to this as self-detoxification but it is commonly called "going cold turkey." Cold turkey is a reference to the skin's appearance during the detoxification process: pale, cold, clammy with goose bumps, similar to a plucked turkey.

Without medicine to curb withdrawal symptoms or professional help with the psychological aspects of the detoxification process, self-detoxification leaves the individual vulnerable to complications. One such complication is aspiration, where the person vomits then inhales stomach contents. Aspiration may lead to lung infection or fluid in the lung. Another complication is dehydration caused by excessive vomiting, diarrhea and sweating.

The primary complication associated with detoxification is relapse to Magnacet abuse. Any amount of detoxification reduces tolerance, leaving the person more sensitive to the effects of oxycodone. As a result, it is possible for someone to overdose on a smaller dose of Magnacet than he used to take before experiencing even modest withdrawal symptoms.

The Thomas Recipe

Some people develop a treatment plan including medicines to ease withdrawal symptoms. One such remedy is The Thomas Recipe, which calls for valium or another medication to calm anxiety and help the person sleep. Imodium curbs diarrhea. Vitamins, supplements and hot baths soothe muscle aches and body pains. L-Tyrosine with B6 boosts energy levels.

While The Thomas Recipe reduces the severity of withdrawal symptoms, it does little to reduce the risk for complications including aspiration, dehydration and overdose due to relapse.

Overdose

Prescription drug overdose is a growing problem in the United States. In 2008, nearly 15,000 people died from overdose of drugs like Magnacet. It is possible to overdose on the oxycodone in Magnacet or the acetaminophen, or both. Many cases of acetaminophen overdose occur because the patient took multiple products that contained this common analgesic.

Overdose of the oxycodone component may cause respiratory depression, a potentially fatal breathing condition. Symptoms of respiratory depression include slow or shallow breathing, irregular breathing patterns or a bluish tint around the victim's eyes, lips and fingertips.

Symptoms of oxycodone overdose include respiratory depression, flaccid muscles, extreme sleepiness and cold or clammy skin. Very low blood pressure or slow pulse may occur. In cases of severe oxycodone overdose, stopped breathing, circulatory collapse, cardiac arrest and death may occur.

Acetaminophen overdose can cause kidney or liver damage. Symptoms of acetaminophen overdose include nausea, vomiting, excessive perspiration and general malaise. These symptoms may not appear for 48 to 72 hours after ingestion of the toxic dose.

Transport all cases of suspected Magnacet overdoses to the hospital immediately. Emergency department physicians will administer naloxone to lower oxycodone levels or the antidote for acetaminophen overdose, N-acetylcysteine. Nurses will establish an airway and induce vomiting, pump the stomach or introduce charcoal into the stomach to absorb excess Magnacet. Doctors and nurses will perform CPR and other life saving procedures as necessary.

Drug Replacement Therapy

Those people not in immediate danger of Magnacet overdose may participate in DRT, or drug replacement therapy. During DRT, the individual takes medications that mimic the effects of oxycodone but do not cause euphoria, so the patient does not experience withdrawal symptoms and he does not get high. DRT medications include methadone, Suboxone and buprenorphine.

DRT allows a person to skip the detoxification process temporarily while he engages in rehabilitation. Once the individual learns how to live without Magnacet, he weans himself from DRT drugs by taking successively smaller doses further apart. Supporters of DRT point out that it allows subjects to continue working and taking care of their families while they engage in meaningful rehabilitation. Opponents feel DRT is merely trading one addiction for another.

Standard Detoxification

Many institutions now offer detoxification services. During standard detoxification, physicians administer naloxone to lower oxycodone levels alone with medicines to ease individual withdrawal symptoms. Nurses monitor the patient for complications. Standard detoxification reduces the severity of withdrawal symptoms but does little to address the psychological aspects of withdrawal.

Rapid Detox

Many consider rapid detox the most humane form of detoxification available today. During rapid detox, board-certified anesthesiologists administer the standard detoxification and anti-withdrawal medications along with sedatives and anesthesia. The patient dozes in a pleasant "twilight sleep" during the detoxification process. She awakens in a positive mental state, ready for meaningful rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation

Detoxification does little to change the behaviors associated with Magnacet addiction and is only the first stage of treatment. Comprehensive rehabilitation includes behavior modification along with individual, family and group counseling. Treatment needs to address the multiple needs of the individual, and not just her Magnacet addiction. Some individuals benefit from medications, especially those people who suffer from physical, mental or mood disorders.

Magnacet addiction is a complex but treatable neurological disease that affects each person's brain function and behavior a little differently - every person experiences Magnacet addiction a little differently. As a result, no single treatment is right for everyone.

Some may benefit from weekly or monthly counseling sessions from an outpatient clinic, while others may prefer treatment from a long-term residential center. Whether the individual chooses counseling, medication-assisted treatment or long-term care, the treatment needs to be readily available to encourage participation and completion. It is critical to remain in treatment long enough to restore brain function and behavior.

Rehabilitation counselors will create a treatment plan based on an initial assessment of the patient's condition. The counselor will monitor the patient's progress and modify the treatment plan as necessary to ensure it continues to meet the patient's changing needs.

The counselor will require drug testing, as relapses do occur. Testing for infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis B and C may be required. Counselors may provide risk-reducing education to help patients modify behaviors that put them at risk for contracting or spreading these diseases.