Prescription painkillers are powerful drugs that interfere with the nervous system’s transmission of the nerve signals we perceive as pain. Most painkillers also stimulate portions of the brain associated with pleasure. Thus, in addition to blocking pain, they produce a “high.”
The most powerful prescription painkillers are called opioids, which are opium-like compounds. They are manufactured to react on the nervous system in the same way as drugs derived from the opium poppy, like heroin. The most commonly abused opioid painkillers include oxycodone, hydrocodone, meperidine, hydromorphone and propoxyphene.
Oxycodone has the greatest potential for abuse and the greatest dangers. It is as powerful as heroin and affects the nervous system the same way. Oxycodone is sold under many trade names, such as Percodan, Endodan, Roxiprin, Percocet, Endocet, Roxicet and OxyContin. It comes in tablet form.
Hydrocodone is used in combination with other chemicals and is available in prescription pain medications as tablets, capsules and syrups. Trade names include Anexsia, Dicodid, Hycodan, Hycomine, Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Tussionex and Vicodin. Sales and production of this drug have increased significantly in recent years, as has its illicit use.
Meperidine (brand name Demerol) and hydromorphone (Dilaudid) come in tablets and propoxyphene (Darvon) in capsules, but all three have been known to be crushed and injected, snorted or smoked. Darvon, banned in the UK since 2005, is among the top ten drugs reported in drug abuse deaths in the US. Dilaudid, considered eight times more potent than morphine, is often called “drug store heroin” on the streets.
“At the age of 20, I became an addict to a narcotic, which began with a prescription following a surgery. In the weeks that followed the operation in addition to orally abusing the tablet, crushing it up enabled me to destroy the controlled release mechanism and to swallow or snort the drug. It can also be injected to produce a feeling identical to shooting heroin. The physical withdrawal from the drug is nothing short of agonizing pain.”—James
Why choose acupuncture for Drug Addiction Treatment?
In 1997, the National Institutes of Health accepted acupuncture therapy as an acceptable procedure complementary to Western medicine . Evidence for its therapeutic effects comes mainly from clinical practice and research into pain control, fibromyalgia, headaches, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and depression . Acupuncture therapy can be administered using either manual insertion of needles or electroacupuncture (EA), a mild electrical stimulation of acupoints. Extended acupuncture methods may involve finger pressure (acupressure) and laser therapy .
In 1985, Dr. M. Smith finalized the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) protocol that is currently practiced in over 250 hospitals in the United Kingdom and United States . In 1996, the World Health Organization accepted acupuncture as a treatment for drug abuse . The latest modification to this treatment protocol was developed in 2005 by Dr. Ji Sheng from Peking University, Beijing, China . Currently, more than 700 addiction treatment centers use acupuncture as an adjunctive procedure .
Prominent effects of acupuncture are increases in the levels of enkephalin, epinephrine, endorphin, serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the central nervous system and plasma that might mediate substance abuse. Acupuncture has been used to treat addiction for three decades.
For Tough pain or Drug addiction, Acupuncture can help!