Diphenhydramine is most widely known as Benadryl. It’s an antihistamine that many end up abusing for recreational purposes. It’s also an active ingredient in other over the counter sleep aid drugs like Nytol, Unisom, and ZzzQuil. The drug has proven effective at treating problems such as motion sickness, itchiness, cold symptoms and more.
Benadryl is the powerful go-to drug for major allergic reactions. Buying diphenhydramine is very easy since it’s an over-the-counter drug and available just about everywhere. Prescription diphenhydramine can come in injectable form and it’s used to treat the most severe of allergic reactions. It is to note that just because a drug is available over-the-counter doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. Addiction can still occur.
Diphenhydramine, like many other cold remedies, can be abused in large doses. Taking this drug for euphoria effects can increase your risk of addiction. Diphenhydramine addiction is a life-threatening disease, and treatment may be necessary.
Diphenhydramine is sometimes used on the streets as an enhancer of opiates. The drug has proved to have only limited abuse effect in the United States, thanks to its potentially serious side effects warning labels and limited euphoric effects, and it’s not a controlled substance.
The FDA requires special warning labels against the use of many products that have diphenhydramine. In some jurisdictions, diphenhydramine is frequently found in after-death exams collected during investigations of sudden baby deaths. It’s possible the drug may play a role in these deaths.
Despite diphenhydramine being widely used and generally considered safe, many cases of addiction and abuse have been recorded. Since the drug is cheap and sold over the counter in almost all countries, teenagers without access to stronger and illegal drugs are especially at risk.
Those with mental health problems are also prone to abuse the drug, which is taken in large doses to treat tremors and spasms caused by the use of antipsychotics. People with schizophrenia are especially prone since they take many antipsychotic drugs.
Users describe a calm effect, euphoria, and hallucinations as the wanted effects of the drug. Research has shown that diphenhydramine can have antidepressant and mood-elevating effects as well.
A study that was conducted on adult men with a history of sedative abuse found that those who were given a high dose of diphenhydramine reported a desire to take the drug again, even while reporting negative effects, such as concentration problems, tremors, confusion, and blurred vision.
Diphenhydramine Addiction Side Effects
Even with the safe dosage amount, diphenhydramine causes many side effects. Dry throat and mouth are the most common. It can also cause dizziness, constipation, dilated pupils, and rapid heartbeat.
Hallucinations and blurry vision can also occur. Diphenhydramine is also connected with a wide range of cognitive problems. Even if you take the recommended dose for a legitimate reason, you may have problems focusing, have memory loss or feel confused.
The most significant side effect is sedation. A normal dose can create driving impairment that equals a blood alcohol level of 0.10. That’s higher than the limit of most state drunk driving laws, which is 0.08.
Other noteworthy side effects include urinary retention, constipation, and, at higher doses, delirium, and hallucinations. There’s also flushed skin, possible motor impairment, blurred vision, and temporary sensitivity to bright light.
There are other less known and less reported effects that include visual disturbances, irregular breathing, short-term memory loss, irritability, itchy skin, increased body temperature that’s usually in the feet and hands, and erectile dysfunction. Despite the fact that diphenhydramine can be used to treat nausea, higher doses can cause vomiting.
Other side effects, like twitching, can be delayed until the drowsiness ends and the person is more awake. Certain people may have an allergic reaction to the drug in the form of hives. Also, restlessness can also be a side effect that could be made worse by higher levels of diphenhydramine, especially if taken recreationally.
As diphenhydramine is very much absorbed by the liver, those who take the drug that already have liver problems should use extreme caution. In addition, long-term Diphenhydramine addiction is connected with major risks of cognitive decline or dementia among the elderly.
Diphenhydramine abuse has a limited effect of euphoria, which is what makes the drug appealing to people who want to get high, especially if they don’t have access to other stronger and illegal drugs. However, its own strength makes it dangerous and potentially addictive.
Diphenhydramine addiction causes many negative physical and psychological effects, including:
- Stomach pain
- Severe dizziness
- Abnormal speech
- Vomiting and nausea
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Uncomfortable mouth and throat dryness
- Inability to urinate and constipation
- Hallucinations and delirium
- Coma and death
If you or a loved one have a Diphenhydramine addiction, 12 Keys can help you today.
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If you are taking diphenhydramine to get high or you know someone who is, addiction might be a problem. You may be abusing the drug if:
- You continue to use diphenhydramine even though your symptoms are gone
- You take diphenhydramine because you’re desperate to find drugs
- You combine diphenhydramine with another substance such as alcohol
- You hide how much you use or deny using it
- You spend more time thinking about and trying to get high
- You spend more time alone or time with people who aren’t really your friends
- You’re having problems with school or at work
- You can’t relax or feel normal without diphenhydramine
If any of these problems sound familiar, it’s time to quit using drugs.
Diphenhydramine Addiction Treatment
Quitting diphenhydramine addiction can be extremely difficult when you try to do it alone. Detox or weening off could be life-threatening and is not recommended without assistance. At 12 Keys Rehab, we help people get better through treatment every day.
From medically monitored detox to comprehensive holistic care customized for your specific needs, we can help you recover from the physical, emotional and spiritual damage caused by addiction.
You do not have to let a drug like diphenhydramine control your decisions. You can get sober and start living a lifestyle defined by freedom. Don’t wait for your problem to get worse. The longer you wait, the harder it will be for you to quit.
Why let substance abuse take control of your life? Call us now for a no-obligation consultation — the call is free and confidential — and let us help you find your path to freedom. 866-480-4328