Can Benadryl make you addicted

On drug through pharmaceuticals

Drug abuse

On drug through pharmaceuticals


15 million Americans and increasingly also Germans abuse drugs as a drug substitute. It is alarming that there are more and more young people among the consumers. It is not uncommon for them not even to perceive the abuse as drug use, since the application is not invasive, but oral.


Medication abuse has doubled in "the land of opportunity" since the early 1990s. The US National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) estimates the number of those who misuse prescription opioids, tranquilizers, or CNS stimulants at 15 million. It is alarming that more and more young people are also enjoying trying out drugs as substitute drugs. Here the numbers have even tripled. In the (almost) unlawful area of ​​the chat forums, they exchange experiences, give tips and brag about trip reports. They rarely perceive the abuse as drug consumption, since the use is usually not invasive, but rather orally. However, "tried and tested consumers" do not shy away from syringes and cannulas. In addition, nasal applications are becoming more and more common. The high is longer and more effective because the first-pass effect is reduced.


Cough suppressant as a drug


Currently, the abuse of over-the-counter cough suppressants containing dextromethorphan (e.g. cough suppressants ratiopharm®, Neo Tussan® Wick Formula 44 cough suppressant®) in fashion. Both the Swiss Poison Control Center and the Schleswig-Holstein Chamber of Pharmacists warn of abuse. The Drugs Commission of the German Pharmacists (AMK) also advises against dispensing large quantities of these drugs.


Dextrometorphan (DMX) attacks the medulla oblongata in the cough center and thus centrally dampens the urge to cough. Compared to codeine phosphate, DMX has a stronger effect on the intensity of the cough and about the same effect on the frequency. Furthermore, the drug is said to have anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effects in cerebral ischemia, which are presumably based on interactions with opioid receptors of the Sigma type. It also has an antagonistic effect on the NMDA receptor. After oral ingestion, the substance is rapidly absorbed and converted in the liver. The main metabolite dextrophan has a strong cough suppressant effect. DXM does not have an analgesic effect.


30 mg DXM three to four times a day is recommended for coughing. At this dose the sedative effect is only weak. The path from drug to psychotropic substance is dose-dependent. Both the amount necessary for the intoxication and for an overdose varies greatly from person to person, which could be due to genetic factors.


The effect occurs quickly after ingestion. The high lasts up to six hours. Overdosing in the context of abuse can lead to undesirable effects such as somnolence, confusion, uncoordinated movements, agitation, tachycardia and mydriasis. In severe cases, a hypertonic crisis, convulsions, coma, muscle damage and psychosis can also occur.


In addition, DMX interacts with numerous centrally active substances. For example, alcohol or the simultaneous use of antihistamines increase the effect; the joint administration with MAO inhibitors can trigger a serotonergic syndrome.


Diphenhydramine and doxylamine


H1- Older generation antihistamines such as diphenhydramine and doxylamine are also very popular in the drug scene. They have an almost chameleon-like range of effects and indications and are used as antihistamine, sedative, antivertiginous and antitussive. Their therapeutic range is very narrow. The toxic dose in children is 2 mg / kg body weight (body weight), in adults 15 mg / kg body weight.


Both antihistamines act as reversible and inverse antagonists at central H1- Receptors in the limbic system, in the hypothalamus and in the formatio reticularis. In doing so, they do not competitively displace histamine from its receptor - rather it is the H1Receptor around a G-protein-coupled binding site, which is converted into the inactive form by antihistamines and thus no longer responds to histamine. After taking a toxic dose, symptoms of poisoning occur after one to eighteen hours.


Diphenhydramine has pronounced anticholinergic properties, especially when it is overdosed. An anticholinergic syndrome develops. Continuous use can cause kidney damage. It is not uncommon for antihistamines to be combined with dextrometorphan. The trip should be perceived particularly consciously and be remembered for a long time.


An anticholinergic syndrome can develop in the event of an overdose. This clinical picture is a serious, life-threatening emergency. All organ systems and functions in which acetylcholine is integrated as a transmitter are disturbed. The picture resembles poisoning with nightshade plants. These also have a parasympatholytic effect. Typical signs are restlessness, agitation, hallucinations, micturition disorders, tachycardia, dilated pupils and dry mucous membranes.


Methylphenidate as a replacement speed


In drug circles, methylphenidate (Ritalin®) acted as a "replacement speed". For use as a narcotic drug, the tablets are mostly taken orally or sniffed through the nose in powder form. Some addicts dissolve them in water and inject them. Sleep disorders, irritability, agitation, lack of appetite and dizziness are typical of amphetamine abuse. Often the consumers show strong personality changes. Physical symptoms include tremor, headache, diarrhea, and tachycardia. In the instruction leaflet, the manufacturer warns of a »psychological dependency potential in the event of improper use«.


Methylphenidate is rapidly and completely absorbed. The binding to plasma proteins is relatively low at 10 to 33 percent. The duration of action is between one and four hours. When administered orally or intravenously, the transport mechanism of the neurotransmitter dopamine is blocked, which increases its concentration in the brain. Like all amphetamines, methylphenidate also acts as a potent α-sympathomimetic. With parenteral injection, there is a strong vasoconstriction with subsequent necrosis, which can ultimately even lead to the loss of extremities.


K.o. by gamma hydroxybutyrate


In the late 1960s, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) was used as an anesthetic and sleep aid. However, it was soon taken off the market again because of serious side effects. GHB is a natural, dopamine-related neurotransmitter that controls, among other things, the state of wakefulness and sleep in the brain. Ten GHB laboratories seized in Germany suggest that the drug is gaining in importance.


The high begins with a feeling of relaxation. Some users describe a euphoric state that is comparable to the feeling after consuming hashish. Other users find the effects of a combination of ecstasy and LSD similar. Shifts in the experience of perception and a more intense experience of music are possible. A sexually stimulating effect can occur in doses of 1 to 2 g. Speech disorders and drowsiness are also documented. In addition to its sedating effect, GHB can lead to hypotension, hyperthermia, respiratory paralysis and confusion, among other things.


Modafinil to increase performance


Most drugs promote the release or inhibit the breakdown of the body's own substances. Modafinil (2-diphenyl-methylsulfinyl-acetamide), however, has a completely different effect. Under the name Vigil® or Provigil® the substance is used against narcolepsy. Unlike amphetamines, it does not act in the noradrenaline, serotonin or dopamine system, but rather inhibits the release of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). In addition, an inhibitory effect in the histamine system is likely. The substance normalizes the sleep-wake balance without causing central excitement. This means that three days without sleep and hang-over are possible.


Modafinil is not aimed at users looking for an alternative to ecstasy or cocaine. Rather, the performance-enhancing effect of athletes is valued as a doping agent. Even well-paid managers can use it to increase their performance. The manufacturer Cephalon received a reprimand from the US drug approval agency (FDA) for its aggressive and misleading advertising campaign for its preparation and ordered that the advertising material be withdrawn because the actual indication narcolepsy was only mentioned in the small print.


Clinical studies confirm that modafinil can also be used as a supportive treatment to reduce fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis and the lack of drive in depressed people. If you give a dose of 300 mg Modafinil daily to children with ADHD, the symptoms of the disease improve noticeably.


In contrast to the USA, Modafinil is classified as a narcotic in Germany. However, these regulations are a foreign word on the Internet. All it takes is a click of the mouse and Modafinil is delivered to your home under names such as BrainQuicken or Attentive Child. Conveniently, quickly, illegally from the postman. The pick-me-up will probably not become a "street drug". The price is too high, there is no kick when the flooding occurs and it takes a long time to take effect. The toxicity is low and the social consequences that the substance could have on managers, shift workers and soldiers cannot yet be foreseen.


Auxiliaries also damage vessels


One aspect that is seldom highlighted when considering drug abuse is the additional risk posed by improper use of the excipients. In 2004, for example, the Austrian Federal Institute for Healthcare presented a report on the harmfulness of talc when administered intravenously. Other insoluble excipients in drugs are, for example, starch, microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate, crospovidone and silicon oxide. They are completely harmless when taken orally. However, improper intravenous use can lead to significant damage. Crospovidone and microcrystalline cellulose can cause inflammation, foreign body granulomas and changes in the lungs, and the injection of talc can lead to irreversible lung damage such as pulmonary talcosis.


The latter has been detected in people from various occupational groups and occurs when dust containing talc is inhaled over a long period of time or in very high concentrations. In the 1960s, drug users were first reported to develop pulmonary talcosis after injecting tablets containing talc. They injected the drugs contaminated with talc particles both peripherally and venously. An intra-arterial injection closes the small blood vessels and capillaries. The result is ischemia with subsequent necrosis in parts of the extremities or other organs. Intravenous injection is more common. This can lead to foreign body granulomas in the lungs, liver, kidneys and retina.