People who strugglewith getting high will look just about anywhere to get their fix, which meansthat any substance on the market could become the target of abuse. The FederalFood and Drug Administration (FDA) can put guidelines and safeguards in place,but when people are struggling with addiction they often defy these ruleswithout even realizing it, and bad things will happen.
Addiction is avery strong force that moves people to try anything, even eating bizarresubstances such as cotton. One great motivating force when it comes to drugsis access. If a substance is inexpensive and easy to obtain legally, there isa greater chance someone is going to try to use it for non- medical purposes.There are plenty of substances on the market that, when taken in high doses orin combination with other drugs, produce an out-of- your-mind feeling thatkids are curious about and addicts crave.
Propylhexedrine is astimulant meant to be inhaled for relief of nasal congestion. It is marketedunder the brand name Benzedrex and is available without a prescription in mostdrugstores. Addiction rates of propylhexedrine are hard to track because it islumped into the stimulant category, but according to the
Propylhexedrine abuse was documented as far back as 1949 when it replacedamphetamine in nasal decongestant inhalers. The switch was made, ironically,to reduce amphetamine abuse. Benzedrex is readily available and veryinexpensive — two facts that attract recreational drug users.
However,it is almost impossible to overdose on an inhaler – the method through whichpropylhexedrine produces a high. An inhaler is designed to contain themedicine in a piece of cotton so air can be forced across it and releasevapors for inhalation.
Toconsume propylhexedrine in larger doses than recommended, drug users breakopen the inhaler and take out the cotton wick which is saturated with thedrug. They then go through an elaborate procedure to separate the drug fromthe cotton. Some end up actually swallowing the cotton. Others soak it in abeverage and then strain the cotton before drinking.
Manufacturers addeucalyptus, menthol, camphor and other ingredients to Benzedrex to give it apleasant odor and increase the decongestant effect. Recreational drug userswho abuse propylhexedrine end up ingesting these other substances along withthe drug. This could account for reports of a nasty taste. Propylhexedrineabuse is sometimes referred to as eating cotton. The cotton itself can causebowel obstructions and lead to serious problems.
The Effects of aPropylhexedrine High
Thanks to the Internet,anyone can access anecdotal information about recreational drug use. Now youdon’t have to know someone who has tried drugs or go to places whererecreational drug abusers hang out to get a firsthand account. Theavailability of this information makes recreational drug use seem moremainstream and acceptable since it is being discussed in the open. On apositive note, people sharing their bad experiences can prevent others fromrepeating those mistakes.
Most of the anecdotalevidence on the propylhexedrine high is unpleasant. Users report a dirty highcombined with very unpleasant tastes and odors from ingesting the substanceand the camphor, eucalyptus and menthol it is infused with. Some say the tasterecurs for hours, providing a definite deterrent from using the drug again.The high is described as fleeting, coupled with anxiety and paranoia, andfollowed quickly by a terrible crash. The withdrawal process has been comparedto that of meth.
If you are not familiar with thesensation, keep in mind that methamphetamine is a highly addictive centralnervous system stimulant. There is no medication available to counteract methwithdrawal symptoms. People who are addicted to meth fight very hard to breakthat addiction.
Propylhexedrine vs. Adderall
Propylhexedrineis believed to increase focus in adults, although it is not listed by anyofficial source as a treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder. Students whotypically abuse drugs in an effort to increase their mental performance havebeen known to try propylhexedrine, possibly because it is so inexpensive andreadily available. The information available on this type of use is thin andmostly anecdotal.
Adderall is a brand name for amphetamine, a highlyaddictive stimulant that has had many medical uses over the years. Adderall isoften prescribed for Attention Deficit Disorder and narcolepsy. It stimulatesbrain function, speeding up the message transmission process.
Propylhexedrine and Adderall are similar in that both are stimulants andcan have a calming effect on individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder,helping them to focus their thoughts and be more productive and organized.Adderall is only available with a prescription, while propylhexedrine can belegally purchased in any drug store right over the counter.
If you havea problem concentrating and suspect you could benefit from medicalintervention, you should talk to your doctor. He or she can help you throughmethods that are both safe and legal. It is never a good idea to self-medicate with someone else’s prescription or by ignoring the dosinginstructions on over-the-counter drugs. Just because your roommate has figuredout a formula that works for him doesn’t mean it will work for you, and youcould be exposing yourself to serious health risks.
While its chemical make-up is structurallysimilar to methamphetamine, propylhexedrine is not an amphetamine.Propylhexedrine works on brain chemicals, specifically dopamine,norepinephrine and serotonin, and has the result of stimulating certain typesof messages. This is why at certain doses Benzedrex can make people feel morefocused and energetic.
However, Propylhexedrine is also avasoconstrictor, which is one of its properties that helps reduce inflammationin the nasal passages and relieves congestion. Constricting blood vessels,especially at high doses of the medication, can have serious cardiovascularside effects. The heart has to work harder to move blood through vessels thatare constricted. If there are any small obstructions in the vessels, it ispossible to create a complete blockage when constricted.
Depending on age and health, there is a limit to how hardthe heart can work before giving out. Think of how you feel when you run uphill. You may be able to tolerate the increased exertion of running at asteady pace for a set amount of time. But if your course suddenly takes you upan incline, your heart beats faster and you begin to pant at the extra powerneeded. Once you get to the top of the hill and the course levels off againyou are ok. But if that incline had been any longer or any steeper, you mighthave had to stop.
An overdose of propylhexedrineconstricts your blood vessels, putting extra pressure on your heart. You haveno control over how long this condition lasts, so you can’t stop in the middleof this hill to catch your breath. Your heart will continue to work to movethe blood through your body until it can’t do it anymore. Then, it juststops.
Benzedrex Abuse Side Effects
When takenaccording to package instructions, propylhexedrine has few side effects. Usersmight experience burning, stinging, sneezing and a runny nose. These are alltolerable and limited because when you inhale Benzedrex, the drug is actingtopically on the nasal passages. Very little, if any, gets into the major bodysystems to cause systemic reactions. It generally doesn’t get past thesurfaces it comes in contact with.
Abusing propylhexedrine changes allof the parameters because it puts the drug into systems in the body where itwasn’t meant to go. By ingesting the Benzedrex cotton, the user multiplies thedosage and introduces it to the digestive tract, which leads into thebloodstream.
Some of the effects a user might feelwhen ingesting a large dose of propylhexedrine include:
- Changes inmood
- Reduced appetite
An overdose of Benzedrex couldresult in these side effects:
- Heart attack
- Loss of brain function
- Suicidal thoughts
As withmany drugs, propylhexedrine can be harmless and effective when taken accordingto the package instructions. When abused, however, it can be deadly. The keyis knowing how much is too much. Each individual should allow medicalprofessionals to make that judgement. Once you break into that cheap inhalerand start experimenting with Benzedrex, you could quickly end up in serioustrouble.
Signs of Propylhexedrine Abuse
Signsof drug abuse are always there if you know what to look for, and they arequite similar no matter what substance is being abused. Many recreational drugusers even combine substances, taking them at the same time or randomlyabusing different substances and adding alcohol to the mix.
Drug abusers usually exhibit some if not all of these behaviors:
- Isolation — avoiding friends or social situations ordeveloping new friendships but keeping them secret.
- Financialstruggles — constantly short on money with no sign of where it isbeing spent.
- Insomnia — can be drug-related or dueto the stress of keeping secrets and scoring the next high.
- Moodiness — changing from happy to sad and back againrather quickly.
- Weight loss — noticeable loss ofweight without new diet or exercise routine.
- Defensive— quick to anger and wanting to fight.
- Loss ofProductivity — not keeping up at work or school.
Drug abuse develops for many reasons, oftenresulting in addiction which escalates the abuse. Abusing a so-called non-addictive substance or one that is considered safe, does not mean a person isnot in danger. In some ways, feeling like the abuse is OK because the drug issupposed to be safe just exacerbates the problem because it is allowed to gounchecked for too long.
Possibly the most vulnerable people toBenzedrex abuse are teenagers. It is an inexpensive drug and young people aregenerally more daring than others. They have yet to fully develop the part oftheir brains that understands mortality. Since a large dose is needed and theinhaler must be taken apart to ingest it, there are additional signs you couldlook for. Broken inhalers or empty packaging in the trash might indicate yourteen is experimenting with propylhexedrine. Also, bits of cotton that have abrownish tinge being saved or stored somewhere in a teen’s room or book bag isanother sign.
Although there are a limited number of statistics aboutpropylhexedrine abuse, it is a serious problem. Anyone who would go throughthe required steps, endure the foul taste and risk digestive complications byswallowing cotton is desperate to get high. That person may have developedtheir desire to be high on other drugs and is now just experimenting with acheaper alternative. The addiction itself doesn’t have to be to Benzedrex.Abusing any drug is a sign of trouble.
If you or someone you love is abusing propylhexedrine, help is available.Drug abuse and addiction are closely linked, and even if you think the drug ofchoice is not that harmful, you must recognize the bigger picture. The desireto seek a chemically induced euphoric state is a sign of trouble. Thewillingness to jeopardize your health and life for this euphoria is at theheart of addiction.
Substance abuse is extremely damaging — physicallyand emotionally. People are hurt, families torn apart, and careers ended whenaddiction enters the picture. Contact 12 Keys so we can help you fight forsober, happy living. We can help you put the pieces back together. Ourindividualized programs meet your current needs, whatever they are, and bringyou through to recovery. We help people build healthy, happy, substance-freelives every day. Let us help you.