The abuse of the Duragesic patch occurs when a patient develops a tolerance for the dosage he or she was initially prescribed. Most of the time an abuser will exaggerate the pain he or she is experiencing in order to get a prescription for this drug. Sometimes an abuser will pretend to be injured or in great pain just to get their hands on a prescription for Duragesic. It is also common for a patient to become addicted to it.
This occurs when a patient develops a dependency to the drug because they have been taking a very high dose over a long period of time.
Duragesic patches can be abused by people who simply want to get "high". This drug produces a euphoric high in persons who have never been prescribed the drug before because they are not in any pain at all.
Use of the Duragesic patch is known to cause a few serious, life-threatening side effects including addiction, liver damage, and respiratory depression. A severe allergic reaction marked by hives, breathing difficulties, facial swelling and death may also occur. In addition to these side effects, it's important to note that prolonged use of this pain medication can cause withdrawal. The withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Hot Flashes
- Loss of Appetite
- Night Sweats
Duragesic Abuse Treatment Options
Due to the fact that Duragesic is only prescribed for patients who need long-term relief from severe pain problems, a patient addicted to it has to slowly taper off of this drug under their doctors supervision. Or, to be on the safe side, a patient may 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 medically supervised setting is highly recommended. Treatment will ultimately depend on the patient's individual degree of addiction.