What is Pseudoephedrine? What You Need to Know
In this day and age, people are using everything they can get their hands on to get high or try something different. Just look at the Tide Pod Challenge that once took social media by storm. It seemed like a fun and exciting idea for those who engaged in it. People really wanted to be involved in it. Social media seemed to show the fun that people were having with the experiment. But, it may not have shown how the challenge was sending hundreds of teenagers to the Emergency Room. Just like all of the other harmful drugs and products-made-drugs that people have used, pseudoephedrine can be found in a number of over the counter medications It can be extremely dangerous when taken in high doses. It acts as a stimulant. This causes some people to begin to abuse it in order to be awake and get a rush of energy.
It’s true that pseudoephedrine is a stimulant. But, medically, it is commonly used to shrink mucous membranes that often become inflamed due to allergies or a cold. This is why you can find it in a number of allergy and cold medications including Aleve, Allegra, Claritin, Mucinex, and Zyrtec. Although a lot of individuals only use it for medicinal purposes, some have found themselves abusing and misusing the substance. Many individuals purposely take an excessive amount of these medications to achieve a high similar to other stimulants like cocaine. In large doses, it will cause a sudden rush of energy, excitability, and hyperactivity. On the downside, taking this drug in excess can cause a rapid heartbeat and increased blood pressure which can lead to heart and cardiovascular issues. The effects of pseudoephedrine abuse can be very intense, so it’s important for individuals to go through a prescription drug rehab program.
About Pseudoephedrine Abuse
It is believed that pseudoephedrine has a very low chance of becoming addicting. This substance does not have the same properties as opioids or even alcohol that make the user want more. It doesn’t create the same dependence. But abusing it can still be extremely dangerous. Even if the user does not become physically addicted to the drug, he or she can become mentally or emotionally addicted to it. Many do not understand that addiction isn’t just a matter of the body craving a drug or alcohol. Substance abuse and addiction are also characterized by an emotional and mental connection to the individual’s drug of choice. So, when it comes to the use of pseudoephedrine, individuals may or may not be physically dependent on the drug. But, they may become attached and connected to the substance, thinking and feeling that they want more and more. This can create a regular habit which can lead to a number of health issues.
Why are People Becoming Addicted to Pseudoephedrine?
So, if abusing this substance can cause such terrible effects, why do people abuse it? Well, there are a few reasons why people use and, eventually, begin to abuse pseudoephedrine. For one, remember how we mentioned that people sometimes experiment with substances in order to “get high”? Sometimes, that’s the case with those who start misusing this particular substance. Pseudoephedrine can cause a sense of euphoria. It causes a pleasant feeling in the body of the user. Many of the individuals who use this substance frequently do so because of these pleasurable effects. So, it can be hard for individuals to stop using the substance. After all, it’s difficult to stop using something that makes them feel good. The individual may be completely aware of the negative impact substance abuse can have on his or her body. But, because the person is mentally, emotionally, or even physically addicted to the substance, it becomes hard to end the problematic usage.
Why You Should Avoid Abusing This Substance
But, the use of this substance can cause various health problems. In some situations, pseudoephedrine can cause an increase in blood pressure. It can also cause bowel problems. For some individuals, it has even caused appendicitis. This substance has also been known to cause hallucinations, convulsions, and other problems in the nervous system even with small or regular doses. Pseudoephedrine abuse can also cause other serious and uncomfortable symptoms. Some of the effects of the abuse of this substance could include the following:
- Weight loss
- Increased anxiety
- State of confusion
- Cognitive problems
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Weakness in the muscles
- Sleeplessness (insomnia)
- Tightness in the chest area
These symptoms could be the results of pseudoephedrine misuse. And, if a person experiences them, it can negatively impact his or her everyday life. This is why prescription drug rehab is so important. Individuals
A Possible Gateway to Methamphetamine Use
Until now, you may have only thought of pseudoephedrine as an ingredient of over-the-counter medications. But it is also important to point out that pseudoephedrine is the main ingredient that characterizes meth, an extremely addictive and harmful drug. So, it can be easy for someone to start using something innocent like Sudafed, begin abusing it, and slowly gravitate towards meth use. Meth, also known as methamphetamine, is extremely habit forming and is incredibly difficult to give up. It is very possible for a person who has had a Sudafed addiction to eventually turn to the use of meth. Keep in mind that one form of substance abuse can definitely lead to another type of drug use. Even if an individual doesn’t begin to use another substance, he or she will still feel the negative effects of substance dependence. So, it’s absolutely important to be careful about how you use pseudoephedrine.
Being Careful with a Pseudoephedrine Prescription
Of course, this does not mean that you can never take any of the drugs that contain this substance. In fact, many of them are helpful and can make a world of difference for someone suffering from allergies or a cold. They will not usually cause addiction or substance abuse if they are taken at the right dose. However, when the recommended dose is exceeded, it can create a number of unpleasant side effects, including the “high” that some people are chasing. Also, if you are taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor, it is important to be especially careful about using anything that contains pseudoephedrine. When combined with an MAO inhibitor, it can cause malignant hypertension. This is a serious condition that can cause your organs to shut down. It’s critical to keep the dangers of using drugs that could cause harm to you, even if they are medications. These meds could contain pseudoephedrine and lead to very serious consequences.
Get Help for Pseudoephedrine Abuse
It is essential to get help if you or someone you know is abusing this drug. Alone, it can cause problems. Even if you get by physically and don’t have any symptoms, it can be the beginning of a downward spiral filled with addiction. That is not something that anyone wants to face throughout their life.
There are many California treatment programs that can help people overcome substance dependence. But, as you search for help in recovering from a drug abuse problem, it’s important to find the right prescription drug rehab program for you. Your needs are unique and your journey to recovery will be unique. Amongst the luxury treatment centers throughout the area, Wellness Retreat Recovery Center stands as a place of hope for those who are suffering from substance dependence. So, if you suspect someone else may be abusing a drug like Sudafed, help them get help. It is especially important to be vigilant with teenagers and young adults. They are particularly susceptible to peer pressure and trying new things. And, their young bodies can take an especially hard hit from the drug abuse. Also, getting help can prevent a lifetime of addiction struggles.
Pseudoephedrine abuse is not something to be taken lightly. Even if it is just used one or two times, this drug can have negative health consequences. You should never take more than the recommended dose. And, if you think you have a problem, it’s important to speak to someone about your struggle. You don’t have to fight substance dependence and addiction on your own. Hope and help are available for you through treatment and recovery. With help from those who understand your needs as you recover, you can find your way to a life of total freedom from drug abuse. You deserve to live in liberty and peace. We want to make sure you are able to do just that. If you’ve been looking for helpful California treatment programs, rest assured that the search is over. Just, give us a call today to begin your journey to recovery.
**Originally posted on December 20, 2018. Updated on March 15, 2019.