Why Do Opiate Addicts Take Benadryl?
Opiates are substances derived from the naturally-occurring opium poppy plant, Papaver somniferum. They can also be synthesized from morphine, an active compound in the poppy plant. Examples of opiates are codeine, heroin, methadone, and hydrocodone. Originally, morphine serves as an analgesic or a painkiller. Its mode of action is to act on the brain and reduce pain from any area of the body.
However, opiates can quickly become addictive. Individuals who use these substances for a prolonged period report having withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop usage. Also, because of how they act on the brain, people tend to use opiates for the feelings of calm or pleasure they elicit. Therefore, individuals may resort to taking higher dosages of their prescribed opiates or switch to illegal ones like heroin to sustain this high.
Benadryl, with the active ingredient called Diphenhydramine, is a drug used to treat allergies and the common cold symptoms. These symptoms include rash, watery eyes, runny nose, cough, and itching. The drug works by inhibiting the production of histamine, which is generated during an allergic reaction. Hence, Benadryl is called an antihistamine. The drug is used in treating nausea, dizziness, and insomnia. Due to this ability to induce relaxation and cause sleep, it is common for the drug to be misused. Since it is available over-the-counter, individuals with sleep difficulties can quickly obtain it, leading to addiction. Mixing opiates and Benadryl can increase the sedating effects of opiates and lower the itching sensation that many addicts feel when abusing opioid-based drugs.
What is the Interaction Between Opiates and Benadryl?
When Benadryl is misused, it elicits mild euphoria and relaxation. This quality is similar to that produced by opiate abuse. Therefore, individuals who already abuse opiates may take Benadryl as a substitute. Addiction to Benadryl does not necessarily mean a physical dependence on the drug as seen with other addictive substances. Thus, it may be taken for granted the implications of overusing or becoming addicted to the drug. Also, since Benadryl is readily available, it may seem like a relatively good and cheap replacement for opiates. In some cases, individuals may combine both drugs to boost their effects.
However, there are many dangers to developing an opiate addiction that includes Benadryl abuse. Some physical side effects include elevated heart rates, loss of appetite, organ damage, and increased sedation. Adverse psychological effects that can be expected include short-term memory loss, hallucinations, depressions, nightmares, and delusions. For individuals who mix both Benadryl and opiates, the risk of overdose becomes imminent. Overdosing on Benadryl can lead to complications like seizures and difficulty in breathing. If not adequately attended to, overdosing can result in fatality. Consequently, immediate help is needed to overcome addiction to opiates and Benadryl.
Find Help for Benadryl and Opiate addiction
Individuals who become addicted to opiates and Benadryl require urgent help to prevent harmful circumstances. Such aid comes in the form of a complete rehabilitation program spanning from detoxification to intensive therapy. First, detox will rid the body of the addictive substance. Then, mind healing is implemented through counseling and treatment.
NJ Addiction Resources is committed to assisting individuals in and around New Jersey overcome such addictions. By linking these individuals to addiction treatment centers that offer rehab programs best suited to them, we help them regain sobriety. For best results, 12-step meetings and alumni recovery programs are provided at these centers. To begin your recovery journey or find out more about our processes, contact a recovery advocate today.