What You Should Know about Fioricet Addiction
In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded higher death rates due to painkiller abuse than cocaine and heroin. In 2010, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found out that approximately 2.4 million people in the US used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes for the first time during that same year.
It is an alarming trend to see that painkillers and prescription medications used to treat all kinds of body pains are being sold in millions, multiplying by the number each year. Fioricet, a pain reliever often given to alleviate acute headaches, is among those that are abused. Fioricet addiction now happens consciously and unconsciously, most of the time starting from medical prescriptions that go overboard.
What is Fioricet?
Fioricet is a prescription drug for migraines and other forms of severe headaches. It has three major components, namely, Butalbital, Acetaminophen, and Caffeine.
Components of Fioricet
Butalbital is a barbiturate, a drug that works as a depressant to sedates a person’s ability to feel certain sensations at varying levels, depending on the person’s tolerance.
Acetaminophen, on the other hand, is an analgesic, which relieves pain and fever. Taking too much of this drug causes severe damage to the liver. Extreme cases need liver transplants to prevent death.
Caffeine, like the one found in coffee, soda, and chocolates, acts as a mild stimulant that treats certain types of headaches. The amount present in Fioricet is relatively low.
Fioricet with Codeine is available, which is even more addictive due to the presence of the opiate drug Codeine. Opiates are synthetic drugs instigates euphoria while reducing the pain that is felt by the body.
Among the four, Butalbital and Codeine are the most addictive.
How Does One Get Addicted to Fioricet?
Either by prescription or non-medical use, an individual can start the journey to being addicted to Fioricet, due to the drug’s tolerance-building nature. A level of tolerance can be developed for both drugs. When it happens, the person will need higher doses to achieve the same results as before. The average Fioricet addict, as does any barbiturate addict, takes about 1500mg of the drug to achieve the same level of satisfaction.
Many Fioricet addicts use the drug with other opiates and narcotics to amplify the effects of the latter. Some use Fioricet as a temporary replacement for more powerful narcotics whenever they run out of stock.
Fioricet is considered the last option for the treatment of a migraine, only when all other options fail to provide the necessary cure.
Symptoms of Fioricet Addiction
- Doctor Shopping to get more prescriptions
- The need for ever increasing doses to cure recurring headaches
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when Fioricet intake is stopped or decreased
- Inability to function normally without the drug
- Obsession with taking Fioricet
Taking the drug, regardless of addiction or not, causes lightheadedness, nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, shortness of breath, and a sense of intoxication. Some develop skin rashes, breathing problems, and itching. In rare cases, taking Fioricet causes constipation, fever, gas and heartburn, dry mouth, muscle pain, and difficulty in swallowing.
Taking Fioricet with alcohol, tranquilizers, sedatives, antidepressants, and anesthetic drugs may mean the enhancement of the effects of one or both drugs. This causes extreme side effects, or worse, coma and death. High amounts of acetaminophen taken from Fioricet can also be fatal, or at the very least, cause damage to the liver.
When a person is addicted to Fioricet, he or she experiences withdrawal symptoms when the dose is suddenly stopped or decreased. If you are suffering from nausea, delirium, anxiety, convulsions, and hallucinations, contact your doctor immediately. These, according to the FDA, appear within 16 hours after the last dose.
People who are withdrawing from the drug also feel emotional, depressed, anxious, and irritable. Some have hypertension, depression of the respiratory system, and confusion.
Treatment and Rehabilitation
As soon as addiction is suspected or determined, the patient should consult a medical specialist for treatment. Prolonging addiction and withdrawal will only end in severe cases such as liver failure or coma.
There are many types and methods of treatment available for Fioricet addicts. Outpatient and inpatient rehab are available in many drug abuse facilities. However, of the two, inpatient rehabilitation programs are preferable due to the comprehensive and continuous medical attention that can be provided to the patient.
Patients are free of the usual daily obligations related to living and running his or her house. When enrolled in an inpatient rehabilitation program, the patient can fully concentrate on the rehab until he or she has fully recovered.
Apart from professionally-supervised weaning, patients receive different types of therapies depending on what most suits them. Support and psychosocial activities are provided to divert their attention from compulsive Fioricet intake. Mental and psychological therapies are also available, where pain management is taught.
Most of all, patients have significantly lower risks of relapse. Recovering from addiction is a challenging path, but it is totally possible with the help of the right persons and institution.