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Vicodin is the brand name for the popular painkiller, hydrocodone
bitartrate and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone bitartrate is an opioid
analgesic and antitussive, occurring as fine, white crystals or, as
a crystalline powder. The chemical name is:
4,5(alpha)epoxy-3-methoxy-17-methylmorphinan-6-one tartrate (1:1) hydrate (2:5).
Vicodin has the following structural formula:
C18H21NO3C4H6O6 – 2 1/2 H2O M.W. 494.50
In the U.S. there are over 200 products containing hydrocodone,
typically combined with acetaminophen (Vicodin, Lortab).
However, it is also combined with aspirin (Lortab ASA), ibuprofen
(Vicoprofen), and antihistamines (Hycomine). Both tablet and liquid
forms of hydrocodone are available (Tussionex). Other brand names
include Anexsia, CoGesic, Hydrocet, Hy-Phen, Lorcet, Maxidone, Norco,
Panacet, and Zydone. Street names for Vicodin include vikes and
Hydrocodone is in Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act.
Preparations containing hydrocodone in combination with other
non-narcotic medicinal ingredients are in Schedule III.
Hydrocodone dates back to the 1920’s when Knoll, a German
pharmaceutical company, believed hydrogenizing codeine could make it
less toxic, making it easier on the stomach. As its name implies,
hydrocodone is the codeine molecule with a hydrogen atom attached.
During this time in the U.S., a disturbing percentage of middle class
Americans were hooked on opium derivatives. The government, anxious
for a non-addictive painkiller, gave extensive funding to research
new compounds like hydrocodone.
Vicodin is a phenathrene-derivate opiate agonist, effective both as
an antitussive (anti-cough) agent, and as an opiate, an effective
analgesic for mild to moderate pain. Five mg of hydrocodone is
equivalent to 30 mg of codeine when administered orally. 15 mg
(1/4 gr) of hydrocodone is considered equivalent to 10 mg (1/6 gr)
of morphine. Hydrocodone is considered to be like morphine in all
Source: DEA: Drug Enforcement Administration
The combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone is available in
tablet or capsule form, as well as liquid, to be taken by mouth.
Generally, it is taken every 4-6 hours as needed (PRN). The usual
dose of Vicodin is 1 or 2 tablets, up to a maximum of 8 tablets per
day. The usual dose of Vicodin HP® is 1 tablet, up to a maximum of 6
tablets per day. For Vicodin ES®, the usual dose is 1 tablet, up to a
maximum of 5 tablets per day. Vicodin can be habit forming or
addictive, and it is imperative that patients take the medication
precisely as prescribed by their physician.
Do not increase the amount or frequency without your doctor’s
approval. Do not take this drug for any reason other than the one
FDA: Food and Drug Administration
Vicodin is a semisynthetic narcotic analgesic and antitussive with
multiple actions qualitatively similar to those of codeine. Most of
these involve the central nervous system and smooth muscle. The
precise mechanism of action of hydrocodone and other opiates is not
known, although it is believed to relate to the existence of opiate
receptors in the central nervous system. In addition to analgesia,
narcotics may produce euphoria; drowsiness; lethargy; relaxation;
difficulty in concentrating; decreased physical activity in some users
and increased physical activity in others; mild anxiety or fear, and
Typical side effects of Vicodin therapy include constipation, nausea,
vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, stomach pain, and
Less common but potentially hazardous effects include respiratory
depression and mood changes. If you experience either, call your
doctor immediately. Elderly patients are particularly susceptible to
respiratory depression, particularly when Vicodin is used in
conjunction with other CNS depressant medications.
Use Vicodin with caution if:
If Vicodin is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either
may be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important
to check with your doctor before combining Vicodin with the following:
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. A
severe overdose of Vicodin can be fatal. If you suspect an overdose,
seek emergency medical treatment immediately.
Symptoms of a Vicodin overdose include:
Blood disorders, bluish tinge to skin, cold and clammy skin, extreme
sleepiness progressing to a state of unresponsiveness or coma,
general feeling of bodily discomfort, heart problems, heavy
perspiration, kidney problems, limp muscles, liver failure, low blood
pressure, nausea, slow heartbeat, troubled or slowed breathing, and
Psychic dependence, physical dependence, and tolerance may develop upon repeated administration of vicodin.
Psychic dependence is unlikely when vicodin is used for a short period of time.
Vicodin addiction can develop when continued use of the drug is needed to
avoid withdrawal symptoms. This problem only becomes relevant after
several (2 weeks to 2 months) of continued narcotic use.
Tolerance is when ever increasing doses are required to produce the
same degree of analgesia. Tolerance is initially manifested by a
decreased duration of analgesic effect, followed by decreases in the
intensity of analgesia. The rate of tolerance varies among patients.
Vicodin has an analgesic potency similar to or greater than that of
oral morphine. Generally, this drug is abused by oral rather than
When taken as directed, Vicodin can produce physical dependence in a
few weeks time.
According to the FDA, addiction is characterized by compulsive use,
use for non-medical purposes, and continued use despite harm or risk
Patients no longer requiring Vicodin, should set a gradual taper
schedule to avoid acute withdrawal.
If a regular Vicodin user abruptly stops taking Vicodin, withdrawal
should begin within six to twelve hours. The intensity of withdrawal
depends on the degree of the addiction, and symptoms are usually not
life-threatening. Typically, Vicodin withdrawal symptoms may intensify
for twenty-four to seventy-two hours and then gradually decline over a
period of seven to fourteen days.
The symptoms of Vicodin withdrawal include but are not limited to:
restlessness, muscle pain, bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting,
cold flashes, goose bumps, involuntary leg movements, watery eyes,
runny nose loss of appetite, irritability, panic, nausea, chills, and
Any person using Vicodin for more than several weeks should consult
their medical professional before stopping the drug. Generally
speaking, a gradual weaning off of the drug is optimal and less
traumatic to the user’s physical and emotional health. With a
moderate to severe addiction, an in patient detox in a hospital or
medically supervised setting is highly recommended for its
multi-disciplinary approach. The “information age” has
produced numerous on line support forums, popular with many recovering
addicts, useful to some addicts as their sole means of support and for
others, as adjunct therapy. Drug addiction is treatable, with help out
there for everyone.
Description: Valium withdrawal, effects of Valium, Valium and alcohol, Valium abuse, Valium street names
Valium (C16H13ClN2O), manufactured by Roche, is a benzodiazepene derivative is in the anti-anxiety agent drug class. Chemically, diazepam is 7-chloro-1,3-dihydro-1-methyl-5-phenyl-2H-1,4-benzodiazepin-2-one. It is a colorless crystalline compound, insoluble in water and has a molecular weight of 284.74.
Diazepam is the well known generic name for Valium which is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepenes. Other popular “benzos”includes Ativan, Alcelam, Alplax, Alpram, Alprax, Alprazolam Intensol, Alzolam, Anpress, Ansiopax, Pharnax Prinox Ralozam, Tafil, Trankimazin, Tricalma, Zacetin, Zanapam, Zenax, Zolarem, Zoldac, Zoldax and Zotran.
include candy, downers, sleeping pills, and tranks.
Valium is in the anti-anxiety agent class and in Schedule IV of the DEA Controlled Substances Act.
Early in 2004, Valium celebrated its 30th anniversary. After three decades of both appropriate use and inappropriate abuse, the drug has stayed well mired in ongoing controversy. Much of the dispute around the use of Valium is because new prescriptions written in good conscience can turn out to be a problem later. Known generically as diazepam, the drug was widely prescribed in the 1960s and 70s, before its potential for serious addiction was realized.
Valium and chlordiazepoxide (Librium)were introduced in the early 1960s by Roche. These benzodiazepines were lauded as a safer alternative to barbiturates and meprobamate because they were thought to be non-habit forming and less lethal in overdose. Since the late 1960s there has been considerable debate over their side effects, potential for addiction, and abuse.
Valium is prescribed for anxiety disorders and the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety. Valium is also used to relieve the symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal; to relieve skeletal muscle spasm; to control involuntary movement of the hands (athetosis), to relax tight, aching muscles; and, with other medications, treat convulsive disorders such as epilepsy.
In acute alcohol withdrawal, Valium provides symptomatic relief of acute agitation, tremor, impending or acute delirium tremens and hallucinations.
Valium is also used as an adjunct prior to endoscopic procedures if anxiety or acute stress reactions are present.
Valium tablets are intended to be swallowed whole and are available in the following strengths: 0.2 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg. Valium injectable emulsion is intended for intravenous use only and should never be administered intramuscularly or subcutaneously.
One inappropriate use of Valium is by snorting, which many users will try to minimize the unwanted effects of street drugs, such as cocaine.
Never increase the amount or frequency without your doctor’s approval, or take this drug for any reason other than the one prescribed.
The effects of Valium are felt within thirty minutes after oral injestion and one to five minutes after injection. This medicine works by increasing a chemical in your brain (gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA) that acts as a sedative.
Valium is one of the most slowly eliminated benzodiazepines. It has a half-life of up to 200 hours, which means that the blood level for each dose falls by only one half in about 8.3 days. This makes it an ideal choice for withdrawing off the shorter acting benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Ativan.
This slow elimination of diazepam allows a smooth, gradual fall in blood level, allowing your body to adjust slowly to a decreasing concentration of the drug. With more rapidly eliminated benzodiazepines such as Ativan (with a half-life of 10-20 hours) the blood concentration drops rapidly and withdrawal symptoms can occur between doses, because your body has little time to adjust to low concentrations.
Benzodiazepines act at the level of the limbic, thalamic and hypothalamic regions of the CNS, producing any level of CNS depression including sedation, hypnosis, skeletal muscle relaxation, anticonvulsant activity, and coma. The action of these drugs is mediated through the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Central benzodiazepine receptors interact allosterically with GABA receptors, potentiating the effects of GABA and increasing the inhibition of the ascending reticular activating system. Benzodiazepines block the cortical and limbic arousal that occurs following stimulation of the reticular pathways.
Clinically, all benzodiazepines cause a dose-related central nervous system depressant activity varying from mild impairment of task performance to hypnosis.
While side effects cannot be anticipated, typical Valium side effects include: drowsiness, abdominal cramps, clumsiness, blurred vision, dry mouth, fatigue, light-headedness, heart palpitations, slurred speech, difficulty urinating, convulsions, hallucinations, amnesia, difficulty breathing, loss of muscle coordination, trembling, headache, and confusion.
If any of your side effects change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Valium.
If you experience any of the following symptoms they should be brought to the immediate attention of your physician.
Valium intoxication symptoms include, but are not limited to: confusion, diminished reflexes, sleepiness, coma, and death. If overdosage or life-threatening withdrawal is even suspected, seek immediate medical attention.
Side effects due to rapid decrease in dose or abrupt withdrawal from Valium are
abdominal and muscle cramps, convulsions, sweating, tremors, and vomiting.
Fatalities have been reported in patients who have overdosed with a single benzodiazepine, such as Valium, and alcohol, although the blood alcohol levels in some of these patients was lower than those usually associated with alcohol-induced fatality. In other words, alcohol and benzodiazepines is a potentially fatal combination. Again, immediate medical attention is required if this ingestion of this combination is suspected.
Combining Valium with certain other drugs can increase, decrease, or alter its effects. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Valium with:
*Antiseizure drugs such as Dilantin
*Antidepressant drugs such as Elavil and Prozac
*Barbiturates such as phenobarbital
*Levodopa (Larodopa, Sinemet)
*Major tranquilizers such as Mellaril and Thorazine
*MAO inhibitors (antidepressant drugs such as Nardil)
*Narcotics such as Percocet
Other Medical Problems:
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of benzodiazepines. If you have any of the following conditions, make sure you discuss your use of Valium with your physician. Examples include:
* Alcohol or Drug abuse or dependence (or history of)
* Brain disease – Benzodiazepine use may increase CNS depression and other side effects
* Emphysema, asthma, bronchitis, or other chronic lung disease
* Mental depression
* Mental illness (severe)
* Myasthenia gravis
* Sleep apnea (temporary stopping of breathing during sleep)
* Epilepsy or history of seizures
* Kidney or liver disease
Dependency and Withdrawal:
Valium depresses the nervous system much like alcohol and is abused by all segments of society.
Valium is both physically and psychologically addicting and as is considered one of the toughest addictions to break. With chronic use, its abuse potential is high. Withdrawal symptoms can be seen after only 2 or 3 days of repeated use.
Tolerance to Valium builds quickly and is the effect of cellular adaptive changes or enhanced drug metabolism. This tolerance develops over days, weeks, or months is a diminished response associated with chronic use of this drug.
All benzodiazepines, even when used as recommended, may produce emotional and/or physical dependence. Valium has the potential to cause severe emotional and physical dependence in some patients and these individuals may find it exceedingly difficult to stop using. It is important that your physician help you discontinue this medication in a careful and safe manner to avoid severe withdrawal.
To abruptly stop Valium after an extended period of use is extremely dangerous and can cause seizures and sometimes death. Discontinuation of the medication must include a physician supervised gradual taper schedule and/or adjunct medications to minimize acute withdrawal.
Essentially, withdrawal symptoms from Valium are like the mirror of its therapeutic effects. Valium withdrawal can produce especially severe withdrawal symptoms similar to those in alcohol and barbiturate withdrawal, including jittery, shaky feelings and any of the following: rapid heartbeat, tremor, insomnia, sweating, irritability, anxiety, blurred vision, decreased concentration, decreased mental clarity, diarrhea, heightened awareness of noise or bright lights, impaired sense of smell, loss of appetite, loss of weight, muscle cramps, seizures, tingling sensation, and agitation. In more extreme cases, typically associated with sudden cessation of the drug, users may experience convulsions, tremor, abdominal and muscle cramps, vomiting and sweating. After extended abuse, abrupt discontinuation should be avoided and a gradual dosage tapering schedule carefully followed.
Obviously, the severity of withdrawal symptoms is directly related to the amount of the drug taken and the length of time over which it has been taken.
Long term Valium users must taper down slowly under a knowledgeable physician’s care, or enter a detox center for 24/7 treatment. With a moderate to severe addiction from relatively long term use, an in patient detox in a hospital or medical supervised setting is highly recommended for its multi- disciplinary approach.
However a person chooses to free themselves from the clutches of a drug, there is one constant each needs: Support. Narcotics Anonymous remains a successful choice for many addicts, with world-wide availability. The “information age” has produced numerous on line support forums, popular with many recovering addicts, useful to some addicts as their sole means of support and for others, as adjunct therapy. Drug addiction is treatable, with help out there for everyone.
Treatment Information: Valium Addiction Treatment – Valium abuse can be treated successfully
Tobacco is closely related to garden vegetables, flowers, weeds, and poisonous
herbs. Common plants such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, petunias,
jimson wood, ground cherries, and nightshade, as well as tobacco, are of
the family of plants called Solanaceae. The genus (sub-group of
Solanaceae) Nicotiana contains about 100 species, only two of which have
been extensively cultivated for use in tobacco products. Of those two,
Nicotiana tabacam, is the type of tobacco used today in smoking and
chewing tobacco and it is the predominant variety of crop tobacco. The
active ingredient, and the addictive substance, in tobacco of any form
Experts believe that, as early as 6000 B.C., the tobacco
plant, as we know it today, began growing in the Americas. Throughout
the 16th and 17th centuries tobacco proliferated
throughout Europe and Asia. Although the negative health effects of
tobacco were documented as early as 1600, it was not until the 1950s
that the United States began regulating tobacco advertising and sales.
Only recently has there been a widespread realization of the dangers of
long-term tobacco use.
Tobacco is available in a number of forms including snuff, chewing
tobacco, pipe tobacco, cigars and cigarettes. Tobacco is either chewed,
in the case of snuff and chewing tobacco, or smoked in a pipe, cigar or
Nicotine is a stimulant and smokers feel that tobacco helps relieve
boredom and tiredness and also helps reduce stress and anxiety. The
effects are almost immediate but fade quickly, which encourages
continual use. Some people may experience nausea and dizziness when they
inhale tobacco smoke for the first few times.
Tobacco use has been conclusively linked to health problems
including, but not limited to, heart disease, stroke, emphysema, blood
clots, cancer, bronchitis, poor circulation and ulcers.
Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the
United States, causing more than 400,000 deaths each year and resulting
in an annual cost of more than $50 billion in direct medical costs. Each
year, smoking kills more people than AIDS, alcohol abuse, drug abuse,
car crashes, murders, suicides, and fires combined.
Source: Center for Disease Control
Physical Dependence: Moderate to severe
Psychological Dependence: Moderate
Tolerance: Moderate to strong
Many more treatment facilities are beginning to institute
short-term, or weekend, smoking-cessation programs. Contact the centers
listed below for information on such programs.
Peyote (Lophophora williamsii) is native to the Chihuahan Desert,
including portions of the Rio Grande Valley in Southern Texas, and as
far south as the state of San Luis Potosi in Mexico. A small, round
cactus with fuzzy tufts instead of sharp spines, it rarely rises more
than an inch or so above the soil surface. The largest part of the
cactus is underground in the long, carrot-like root. The above ground
portion, known as the “button”, contains the psychoactive
ingredient. It is cut and can be consumed fresh or dried.
Mescaline is the psychoactive ingredient in Peyote cactus.
Peyote has a long history of medicinal and sacramental use, generally
thought to be about 7000 years. Trade in, and knowledge of, the
psychoactive cactus was well established prior to the European conquest
of Mexico. At that time, Spanish Inquisitors declared its use to be a
crime against God. Native users, believing that the cactus would provide
them with divine guidance and inspiration, became targets of ruthless
evangelism. Peyote has been an item of commerce for a very long time.
Most recently it has been commercially harvested in the state of Texas,
though its sale is now restricted by law to the approximately 255,000
members of the Native American Church (NAC).
Generally, from 4-20 buttons, are eaten or made into tea. 500 mg is
considered a standard hallucinogenic dose of mescaline.
The effects of Peyote have been described as very dream-like, drifting,
almost a delirium-type state during the first couple of hours. The
sensation is similar to LSD but less edgy. While hallucinations, both
auditory and visual, occur, many users say that a peyote high lends
itself more to inner reflection and contemplation. Much depends on the
potency of the peyote and the blend of mescaline and the fifty some odd
alkaloids contained in cactus.
Physical Dependence: None
Psychological Dependence: Moderate
Source: The Merck Manual: Sixteenth Edition, published 1992
Mescaline is a mild to moderately habit-forming substance with no
physical addiction. It should be noted, though, that virtually any
substance can be addictive, to a greater or lesser degree, depending on
the user. It is a generally accepted notion among treatment
professionals that the addiction, whether physical or psychological, is
the problem, not the specific substance. Below are some treatment
programs that may be useful for mescaline users as well as others
seeking help with an addiction: