Archive for December, 2009

5-HTP

Friday, December 18th, 2009

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, and the following is NOT medical advice. It is merely a list of things that have helped others during opiate withdrawal. Before starting any regiment including any medicine, it is imperative that the patient discusses it with a licensed physician. Some of the medicine listed can react badly with certain foods and other medicines.

CAUTION: 5-HTP must not be taken with any anti-depressant (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, etc.) due to an increased risk of a possibly fatal condition called serotonin syndrome. 5-HTP may exacerbate anxiety and depression in some individuals.

USEFUL FOR: Depression, anxiety, mood swings, insomnia

DESCRIPTION: 5-HTP works by naturally increasing serotonin levels. In the brain, 5-HTP is converted into serotonin, which is then converted into melatonin. Melatonin has proven to be an effective sleep-aid. Increasing serotonin levels may also create some relief from depression and anxiety. In some individuals, 5-HTP may be more effective than prescription anti-depressants.

WHERE CAN I BUY IT?

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

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Drug Rehabilitation

Friday, December 18th, 2009
  1. Introduction
  2. Ingredients of Effective Drug/Alcohol Treatment
  3. Overview of Different Types/Stages of Treatment
  4. Wikipedia: Drug Rehabilitation

I. Introduction

Detoxification and rehabilitation from drugs is considered by some people to be the single hardest thing one will ever encounter in life. Many people will try detoxifying from drugs at home, and equipped with a hefty stash of over-the-counter “comfort” medicine, as well as some benzodiazepines, a valid attempt is made. Some may last a day or two, others will succeed, but the majority will need some sort of outside help. Unfortunately, many people will say, “I can’t go into a drug rehab! I need to work!” Drug abuse negatively affects every aspect of the addicts life, as well as those around him or her. Pretty soon, that addict may find himself without a job. Thankfully, there are ways of getting help for drug addiction, even if completely broke.

“Ensuring Solutions to Alcohol Problems, a research-based project at George Washington University Medical Center, reviewed research literature and consulted with professionals in the treatment and rehabilitation industry to identify 13 active ingredients of effective alcohol treatment,” said About.com about the Ingredients of Effective Alcohol Treatment. The following, though it talks about alcohol treatment, applies to opioid depedency treatment as well, and is a good starting point in judging whether or not a facility is effective.

II. Ingredients of Effective Alcohol Treatment

  • Early detection, including screening and brief interventions (for non-dependent problem drinkers). The earlier the treatment for drinking problems begins, the better the chance for success.
  • Comprehensive assessment and individualized treatment plan. Treatment for alcoholism and drug abuse is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Not all patients require the “acute care” approach.
  • Care management. Treatment programs need to be carefully managed every step of the way, sometimes involving family members and friends, from the initial assessment through continued follow-up after the intervention program ends.
  • Individually delivered, proven professional interventions. Several interventions, based on different treatment philosophies, can be effective in reducing alcohol consumption depending on the patient’s gender, severity of dependence and motivation to change. Effective treatment programs will offer more than one approach.
  • Contracting with patients. Also called contingency management or behavior contracting, contracting with patients to reward good behavior and to punish bad behavior can improve treatment outcomes.
  • Social skills training. The basis for cognitive behavioral therapy, people with alcohol problems can be taught to recognize stressful situations, in which their drinking has been a problem in the past, and skills to help them cope with those situations.
  • Medications. Medical treatments cannot “cure” drinking problems, but they can be combined with other interventions and therapies to produce treatment that is even more effective.
  • Specialized services for medical, psychiatric, employment or family problems. Treatment programs need to be targeted at the individual needs of the patient through “problem-to-service matching.”
  • Continuing care. Most who enter treatment have at least one relapse. Follow-up contact, as well as participation in support groups, have both been shown to improve long-term treatment outcomes.
  • Strong bond with therapist or counselor. Research shows that counselors and therapists who bond with patients through empathy, rather than confrontation, are powerful motivating influences in alcohol treatment.
  • Longer duration (for alcohol dependent drinkers). How long a patient stays in treatment matters more in most cases than if a patient is treated in an inpatient or outpatient setting. Studies indicate that outpatient treatment lasting less than 90 days results in poorer outcomes.
  • Participation in support groups. Project MATCH and other studies in the 1990s definitively proved that participation in support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, can be an active ingredient of treatment– both during a professional intervention and after.
  • Strong patient motivation. All approaches to alcoholism recovery depend on the desire of the person to get and remain sober. Effective treatment programs enhance this motivation with intervention and therapy.

Source: Ensuring Solutions to Alcohol Problems, The George Washington University Medical Center. The Active Ingredients of Effective Alcohol Treatment (PDF). June 2003.

III. Overview of Different Types/Stages of Treatment

  • Detoxification (i.e. detox) – This is the first step toward a better life. At a detox, the patient will rid themselves of the drug in a safe, clean medical environment. Often comfort medications are provided to make the transition a little easier. Some places may use methadone or buprenorphine for a few days to help ease withdrawal symptoms. At the end of this phase, the patient may be on some sort of maintenance therapy, but will be clean of their drug of choice with, hopefully, few lingering physical symptoms.
  • Inpatient drug rehab – Treatment for the behavioral, social, and psychological problems associated with drug use will be taken care of at this stage. This is a very hard period, many times marked by intense, frequent cravings, lingering withdrawal symptoms, and a complete reprogramming. Drug addicts often lose all coping mechanisms, to the point where if a problem arises, he or she compulsively turns to drugs to fix the problem, which only worsens things. At this stage, the patient is learning how to live again, without drugs. Some places are very strict as far as male-female contact, what time to get up in the morning, keeping the room clean, making the bed, etc. The support groups at residential drug rehabs are very helpful, and it is important to attend all of them. Don’t worry! It’s not as bad as it sounds!
  • Extended care – Extended care includes any programs attended after leaving the inpatient (residential) facility. Most programs include attending a few support groups a week, seeing a therapist, and/or a psychiatrist. This usually continues anywhere from three months to a year depending on circumstances.
  • Faith-based groups – Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and Narcotics Anonymous are included in this group. Many opioid addicts actually prefer AA over NA because it’s easier to find a meeting, and there are usually more people with more clean time. For some people, the idea of submitting to a “higher power” is not conceivable, so alternative groups are used. SMART Recovery is probably the best one out there. (http://www.smartrecovery.org)
  • Halfway houses / sober houses – Halfway houses are more restrictive than sober houses, but both promote a sober lifestyle. The good thing about something like this is that the recovering addict is surrounded by people in the same situation, so there is a degree of empathy, and understanding. The bad side is that there are rules, and they must be followed. TRUTH – this part of treatment has saved many lives!

IV. Wikipedia: Drug Rehabilitation (written by external sources)

Drug rehabilitation (often drug rehab or just rehab) is an umbrella term for the processes of medical and/or psychotherapeutic treatment, for dependency on psychoactive substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and so-called street drugs such as cocaine, heroin or amphetamines. The general intent is to enable the patient to cease substance abuse, in order to avoid the psychological, legal, financial, social, and physical consequences that can be caused, especially by extreme abuse.

Drug rehabilitation tends to address a stated two-fold nature of drug dependency: physical and psychological dependency. Physical dependency involves a detoxification process to cope with withdrawal symptoms from regular use of a drug. With regular use of many drugs, legal or otherwise, the brain gradually adapts to the presence of the drug so that normal functioning can occur. This is how physical tolerance develops to drugs such as heroin, amphetamines, cocaine, nicotine or alcohol. It also explains why more of the drug is needed to get the same effect with regular use. The abrupt cessation of taking a drug can lead to withdrawal symptoms where the body may take weeks or months (depending on the drug involved) to return to normal.

Psychological dependency is addressed in many drug rehabilitation programs by attempting to teach the patient new methods of interacting in a drug-free environment. In particular, patients are generally encouraged or required not to associate with friends who still use the addictive substance. Twelve-step programs encourage addicts not only to stop using alcohol or other drugs, but to examine and change habits related to their addictions. Many programs emphasize that recovery is a permanent process without culmination. For legal drugs such as alcohol, complete abstention–rather than attempts at moderation, which may lead to relapse–is also emphasized (“One drink is too many; one hundred drinks is not enough.”) Whether moderation is achievable by those with a history of abuse remains a controversial point but is generally considered unsustainable.

Various types of programs offer help in drug rehabilitation, including: residential treatment (in-patient), out-patient, local support groups, extended care centres, and sober houses.

Pharmacotherapies to a greater or lesser extent have come to play a part in drug rehabilitation. Certain opioid medications such as methadone and more recently buprenorphine are widely used and show significant efficacy in the treatment of dependence on other opioids such as heroin, morphine or oxycodone. Methadone and buprenorphine are maintenance therapies used with an intent of stabilizing an abnormal opioid system and used for long durations of time though both may be used to withdraw patients from narcotics over short term periods as well. Ibogaine is an experimental medication proposed to interrupt both physical dependence and psychological craving to a broad range or drugs including narcotics, stimulants, alcohol and nicotine. Some antidepressants also show use in moderating drug use, particularly to nicotine, and it has become common for researchers to re-examine already approved drugs for new uses in drug rehabilitation.

Drug rehabilitation is sometimes part of the criminal justice system. People convicted of minor drug offences may be sentenced to rehabilitation instead of prison, and those convicted of driving while intoxicated are sometimes required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. There have been lawsuits filed, and won, regarding the requirement of attending Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step meetings as being inconsistent with the United States’ Constitutional mandate of separation of church and state, although there is no such provision in the Constitution itself. Opponents cite a personal letter from President Thomas Jefferson, and attribute it to the First Amendment right. (source: http://www.usconstitution.net/jeffwall.html) (source: http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html)

Some psychotherapists question the validity of the “diseased person” model used within the drug rehabilitation environment. Instead, they state that the individual person is entirely capable of rejecting previous behaviours. Further, they contend that the use of the disease model of addiction simply perpetuates the addicts’ feelings of worthlessness, powerlessness, and inevitably causes inner conflicts that would be easily resolved if the addict were to approach addiction as simply behaviour that is no longer productive, the same as childhood tantrums. Drug rehabilitation does not utilize any of these ideas, inasmuch as they intrinsically contradict the assumption that the addict is a sick person in need of help.

Traditional addiction treatment is based primarily on counselling. However, recent discoveries have shown that those suffering from addiction often have chemical imbalances that make the recovery process more difficult. Often times, these imbalances may be corrected through improved diet, nutritional supplements and leading a healthy lifestyle. Some of the more innovative treatment centres are now offering a “Biochemical Restoration” process to supplement the counselling portion of treatment.

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Suboxone vs. Methadone

Friday, December 18th, 2009

  1. Overview of Suboxone & Methadone
  2. Advantages and Disadvantages
  3. There’s no miracle cure for addiction!
  4. “Don’t meth it up, get subport!”
  5. “We all have belly buttons, but your’s looks funny!”
  6. Comments & User Experiences

I. Overview of Suboxone & Methadone

Methadone
(Methadose)
Buprenorphine
(Suboxone)
Classification Full Agonist Partial Agonist/Antagonist
Half-Life 8-59 hours 24-60 hours
Other Active Ingredients None Naloxone (opioid antagonist)
U.S. Legal Status Schedule II Schedule III
Dosage Schedule Typically Daily Varies (Every 1-4 days)
Visit Setting Clinic Doctor’s Office
Visit Frequency Typically Everyday (Varies according to program length, state laws, and other factors) Monthly – Biweekly
Abuse Potential High Moderate
Severity of Withdrawal Severe Mild-severe
Ceiling Effect No Yes

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II. Advantages & Disadvantages

Methadone Buprenorphine
Allows addict to temporarily avoid withdrawal symptoms Yes Yes
Allows addict to obtain medication in a safe, clinical environment as opposed to the streets Yes Yes
Eliminates many health risks, such as those associated with IV administration Yes Yes
Dosage can be controlled and gradually reduced Yes Yes
Available at a relatively low cost Yes Not Usually
Level of addiction High Moderate-high
Daily clinical visits required Yes No
Causes euphoria Sometimes Rarely
Level of withdrawal Severe Moderate to mild-severe
Short duration for withdrawal No No

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III. There’s no miracle cure for addiction!

The information listed above is intended to help guide anyone seeking to start an opioid replacement therapy regiment, whether the purpose is maintenance or complete detoxification. It’s extremely easy to run around the World Wide Web collecting facts about addiction, and reading peoples’ experiences with opioid withdrawal, only to scare the desire to quit right out of your bones; however, we must remain confident and remember that this is exactly what our addicted mind wants us to do. We will convince ourselves somehow, someway, that we need to stay on drugs, that “this isn’t a good time to quit,” and we are “better off” taking opioids on a daily basis.

Whether a person is taking Suboxone or methadone, the body will still be physically dependent on opioids as long as this treatment is continued, but it can make all the difference in the world to some folks — if there is a desire for freedom from addiction. Neither drug will work wonders by itself. Recovery is a process that, much like a car or truck, requires constant tuning and retuning, reflection, effort, persistence, and a good knowledge base. Coupled with an experienced drug counselor, support group meetings—whether Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, or SMART Recovery—and a positive attitude, methadone or buprenorphine can help pave the highway to a drug-free life, a life worth living.

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IV. “Don’t meth it up, get subport!”

There are horror stories on both sides of the fence. Both Suboxone and methadone offer their own unique benefits; however, most of the stories about individuals coming off of Suboxone pale in comparison with coming off of methadone cold turkey. Your mileage may vary—this is largely dependent on the individual. In my own personal life, I have found Suboxone to be the better treatment for opioid addiction. I have experience with both drugs; I used methadone for detox on one occasion, and took Suboxone in the long-term. Suboxone helped me to break old habits, and it definitely prevented a relapse or two! I won’t reiterate the advantages again, but I will say one thing: if you have to choose one, make sure you do extensive research and consider all variables.

If at all possible, don’t use either drug. Suboxone and methadone should be reserved as tools, your last resorts. It is counterproductive to use either drug during active addiction (to those out there that use it in between fixes). This drug is here to help break associations with the drug underworld and get people back on their feet again, and using it any other way creates negative connotations in your mind. A lot of doctors are too quick to prescribe these medicines. For people with small to medium-sized hydrocodone habits, taking Suboxone or methadone is akin to using a saw to cut your sandwich in half—overkill. Long-acting opioids like buprenorphine and methadone are very tough to withdrawal from, and if you can stick it out for a week without using any short-acting opioids, you’ll be much better off.

A lot of people who start Suboxone end up being on it for six months or even two years when the intention was to stop after a month or two. That’s way too long for most people. An eight week program (or less) should be sufficient to reduce withdrawal symptoms to a bearable level. During those eight weeks, the patient should be involved in an intensive outpatient program. An intensive outpatient program usually includes attending support groups (NA, AA, etc.) three days a week, seeing a psychiatrist as needed, and speaking with a drug counselor. If the root programs, those which (a) led to drug use, (b) were exacerbated by drug use, (c) hidden by drug use, and/or (d) caused by drug use, are not acknowledged and fixed, the patient will likely find himself in a neverending cycle of misery and despair.

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V. “We all have belly buttons, but your’s looks funny!”

Methadone will help some people, and buprenorphine will help others. Every human being has a unique body chemistry, and some may tolerate one drug better than another. Before making any decision we recommend talking to people and finding out what worked for them. Make sure the people you are getting advice from are clean, and involved in some sort of recovery program, if possible. Do plenty of research and read the “Prescribing Information” for each drug. Talk to individuals in support forums online, and read stories… you get the picture. Before deciding on anything, educate yourself and remember, these drugs are not miracle cures, and without any extra effort & support, these drugs will be but a candle in the wind.

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Addiction FAQ

Friday, December 18th, 2009

What is addiction?

Addiction is typically defined as compulsive, and uncontrolled use of a drug even in the face of negative consequences; however, not all healthcare professionals agree with this interpretation. Traditionally, addiction could only occur when a psychoactive substance was involved, but today, some people have expanded the definition to include other behaviors, such as gambling and sex. In addition, addiction usually involves both physical and psychological dependency.

Physical dependency will eventually occur with repeated use of opiates, and is defined as a state where withdrawal symptoms will appear upon abrupt cessation. After a person becomes physically dependent on opiates, discontinuation causes withdrawal symptoms which may include runny nose, gooseflesh, muscle pain, and diarrhea. Some drugs may cause physical dependency, but not addiction. For example, loperamide (an opiate) was originally categorized as a controlled substance because discontinuation of long-term, high doses induced morphine-like withdrawal symptoms; however, the compulsive and uncontrolled behavioral aspects which characterize addiction were not present.

Psychological dependency is noted when upon cessation psychological withdrawal symptoms, such as cravings, irritability, insomnia, depression, and anxiety, appear. “Rewarding” activities such as gambling, sex, and shopping can induce the same sort of psychological withdrawal symptoms as a drug, and are all thought to be due to the effect on the dopamine, a chemical in the brain thought to cause feelings of pleasure. Psychological dependency may also occur when a drug or activity is used to take the place of a typically undesirable activity, making it a habitual behavior. Others consider it to be an emotional, social, or psychological dysfunction, taking the place of “normal” positive stimuli not otherwise present.

How does habitual drug use produce changes in the brain that may lead to drug addiction?

Key Terms

  • dopamine — a neurotransmitter present in brain regions that regulate movement, emotion, motivation, and the feeling of pleasure.
  • locus ceruleus — a region of the brain that receives and processes sensory signals from all areas of the body; involved in arousal and vigilance.
  • noradrenaline — a neurotransmitter produced in the brain and peripheral nervous system; involved in arousal and regulation of blood pressure, sleep, and mood; also called norepinephrine.
  • nucleus accumbens — a structure in the forebrain that plays an important part in dopamine release and stimulant action; one of the brain’s key pleasure centers.
  • ventral tegmental area — the group of dopamine-containing neurons that make up a key part of the brain reward system; key targets of these neurons include the nucleus accumbens and the prefrontal cortex.

The “Changed Set Point” Model

The “changed set point” model of opioid addiction is based on alterations in the neurobiology of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area and of noradrenaline (also called norepinephrine) neurons of the locus ceruleus during early withdrawal and abstinence. The focal point in this model is that drug abuse changes a biological or physiological setting. One variation of this model is based on the idea that neurons of the mesolimbic reward pathways are naturally “set” to release enough dopamine in the nucleus accumbens to produce a normal level of pleasure. When opioids are introduced into this “stable environment” the natural set point is changed; thus, reducing the release of dopamine during typically pleasurable activities (eating, playing, etc.) when opioids are not present. A change also takes place in the locus ceruleus, but in the opposite direction, such that noradrenaline release is increased during withdrawal. This model accounts for the drug liking (increased dopamine levels, decreased noradrenaline levels) and drug withdrawal (decreased dopamine levels, increased noradrenaline levels) aspects of drug addiction.

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Over-the-Counter Withdrawal Comfort Medicine

Friday, December 18th, 2009

DISCLAIMER: We are not doctors, and the following information is NOT medical advice. It is merely a list of things that have helped others get through opiate withdrawal. Before starting a regiment with any kind of medicine, it is imperative that the patient discusses his/her plan with a licensed medical professional. Some of the medicine listed can react badly with certain foods and other medicines.

Other Names
Symptoms
Find the Lowest Price on the Internet
5-HTP
Depression, insomnia
Diphenhydramine
Sominex, Tylenol PM
Insomnia
DLPA
D- & L-phenylalanine
Pain, depression, etc.
Ibuprofen
Advil, Motrin IB
Muscle/bone pain
Kava Kava
Anxiety, insomnia
Loperamide
Imodium A-D
Diarrhea, etc.
L-tyrosine
Depression, energy, mood
Melatonin
Insomnia
Milk Thistle
Liver health
Multivitamin
Centrum or generic equiv.
General well-being
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Depression, general health
Valerian Root
Insomnia, anxiety
Vitamin B6
Energy, depression
Vitamin B12
Energy, brain function

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Over-the-counter opiates used to stop diarrhea and maybe ease withdrawal

Friday, December 18th, 2009

by Chris Strosser
Posted: 11/29/06
Last Edited: 2/24/09

Most people are not aware that opiates can be found over-the-counter at the local drugstore, and that anyone can buy them. In fact, one product in particular is widely used and isn’t restricted to those under 18 years of age. The drug I’m referring to is loperamide, meperidine’s strange distant cousin and the active ingredient in the popular anti-diarrheal, Imodium AD. Loperamide is an opioid. Another common formulation known as Lomotil has diphenoxylate as the active ingredient, which is also an opioid used to stop diarrhea. One annoyingly persistent side effect of opioid usage, which all those on pain management can attest to, is constipation, which is the desired effect with these medications.

How loperamide affects the body

All opiates cause constipation by binding to opioid receptors throughout the gastrointestinal tract. This binding causes muscles in the gastrointestinal tract to become tense. The increased muscle tension causes the normal progressive movement of food waste to stop—thus, causing the infamous, unrelenting, opiate-induced constipation. Though loperamide and diphenoxylate exert a powerful effect on the gastrointestinal tract, they have no effect on the brain. Ultimately, this means no euphoric high, which is why it is still available over-the-counter. Typical opiates are fat-soluble enough to cross the blood-brain barrier (also known as the BBB), and bind to opiate receptors in the brain.

From controlled substance to over-the-counter wonder

When loperamide was first introduced to the public, it was actually classified as a Schedule V substance, meaning it required a prescription to use. The reason officials classified this drug as a Schedule V substance was because the typical opiate withdrawal symptoms were present following abrupt cessation of long-term therapy. Loperamide’s status as a controlled substance was eventually removed and its standing was downgraded to nothing more than an over-the-counter medicine. Recent studies have, however, put forth evidence that it is possible to create an environment for the molecules to move across the BBB. “Drug-containing nanoparticles were coated with polysorbate 80 and injected intravenously into mice,” A prolonged, as well as significant analgesic effect occurred upon injection of the coated loperamide.

Loperamide as a comfort medicine in opiate withdrawal

Loperamide may also work as an aid in detoxification. Several medical journals, as well as countless unofficial accounts report significantly diminished withdrawal symptoms upon dosing with loperamide; however, there is a lot controversy on this subject. At the very least, loperamide will aid in reducing the gut-retching diarrhea that comes with most opiate detoxifications. Loperamide works for some people, and doesn’t work for others. As always, one should always seek the professional advice of a doctor before starting any sort of therapy or withdrawal treatment.

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Opiate Slang Dictionary

Friday, December 18th, 2009

[ A ]

AC/DC — codeine cough syrup
Agonies — withdrawal symptoms
Ah-pen-yen — opium
AIP — heroin from Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan
Al Capone — heroin
Amidone — methadone
Antifreeze — heroin
Apache — fentanyl
Aries — heroin
Aunt Hazel — heroin
Aunti — opium
Aunti Emma — opium
Author — doctor who writes illegal prescriptions

[ B ]

Back jack — injecting opium
Bad bundle — inferior quality heroin; damaged heroin
Balloon — heroin supplier; balloon containing narcotics
Ballot — heroin
Bang — to inject a drug
Barr — codeine cough syrup
Bart Simpson — heroin
Batman — cocaine; heroin
Batt — IV/hypodermic needle
Beans — OxyContin; Percocet
Big bag — heroin
Big guys — 80 mg OxyContin pills or generic equivalent
Big H — heroin
Big Harry — heroin
Big O — opium
Bin Laden — heroin (post-9/11)
Bindle — small packet of drug powder; heroin
Bipping — snorting heroin and cocaine, either seperately or together
Black — opium
Black eagle — heroin
Black hash — opium mixed with hashish
Black pearl— heroin
Black pill — opium pill
Black Russian — opium mixed with hashish
Black stuff — heroin; opium
Black tar — heroin
Blanco (Spanish) — heroin; cocaine
Blank — container of unknown, nonnarcotic powder sold as heroin
Blows — heroin
Blue bag — heroin
Bomb — crack; heroin; large marijuana cigarette; high-potency heroin
Bombido — heroin; injectable amphetamine; depressants
Bombs away — heroin
Bonita (Spanish) — heroin
Boy — cocaine; heroin
Bozo — heroin
Brain damage — heroin
Brea (Spanish) — heroin
Brick gum — heroin
Broja — heroin
Brown — heroin
Brown crystal — heroin
Brown rhine — heroin
Brown sugar — heroin
Brown tape — heroin
Bull dog — heroin
Bundle — heroin
Burned — purchase fake drugs; getting ripped off during a drug deal
Butu — heroin

[ C ]

Caballo (Spanish) — heroin
Caca — heroin
Calbo (Spanish) — heroin
Canade — heroin/marijuana combination
Candy — OxyContin
Capital H — heroin
Caps — heroin; psilocybin/psilocin; crack; gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB)
Carga (Spanish) — heroin
Carne (Spanish) — heroin
Chandoo/chandu — opium
Chapopote (Spanish) — heroin
Charley — heroin
Chasing the dragon — smoking heroin; crack mixed with heroin; chasing the initial high
Chasing the tiger — to smoke heroin
Chiba — heroin
Chicle (Spanish) — heroin
Chieva — heroin
China girl — fentanyl
China town — fentanyl
China white — fentanyl; heroin; synthetic heroin
Chinese molasses — opium
Chinese red — heroin
Chinese tobacco — opium
Chip — heroin
Chipper — an occasional drug user (applies to all drug use, including cigarette smoking)
Chipping — using drugs occasionally (applies to all drug use, including cigarette smoking)
Chiva/chieva (Spanish) — heroin
Choco-fan — heroin
Chocolate — marijuana; opium; amphetamine
Chocolate-chip cookies — MDMA combined with heroin or methadone
Climax — heroin; crack; isobutyl nitrate; inhalants
Cocofan (Spanish) — brown tar heroin
Cold turkey — quitting drugs abruptly and without tapering first
Cook — mix heroin with water; heating heroin in preparation for injection
Cook down — process in which users liquefy or “melt” heroin in order to inhale it
Cop — to obtain/purchase drugs
Cotics — heroin
Coties — codeine
Cotton brothers — cocaine, heroin, and morphine
Cotton fever — critically high temperature associated with accidentally injecting cotton fibers into the bloodstream
Courage pills — heroin; depressants
Crackers — Talwin (Pentazocine) and Ritalin injected for effects similar to the effects produced by heroin mixed with cocaine
Crank — crack cocaine; heroin; amphetamine; methamphetamine; methcathinone
Crap — low quality heroin
Crash — the dysphoric effects that arise after the primary effects of a drug wears off
Crop — low-quality heroin
Crown crap — heroin
Cruz (Spanish) — opium from Veracruz, Mexico
Cura (Spanish) — heroin
Cut — an adulterant mixed in with powdered drugs to increase quantity and profit, which also lowers potency
Cut-deck — heroin cut with powdered milk

[ D ]

Dance fever — fentanyl
Dead on arrival (DOA) — heroin (DOA has also been used to describe crack & PCP)
Dead president — heroin
Deck — 1 to 15 grams of heroin
Deuce — heroin
Diesel — heroin
Dime bag — $10 worth of drugs
Dime’s worth — amount of heroin to cause death
Dinosaurs — heroin users in their forties and fifties
Dirt — heroin
Dog/dogg (dawg) — close/good friend
Dog food — heroin
Dogie — heroin
Doogie/doojee/dugie — heroin
Dooley — heroin
Doosey — heroin
Dope — heroin; marijuana; any other drug
Dope fiend — a person dependent on drugs
Dopium — opium
Dors and 4s — combination of Doriden and Tylenol #4 (60 mg of codeine phosphate)
Double-breasted dealing — dealing cocaine and heroin together
Dover’s deck — opium
Dover’s powder — opium
Down — codeine cough syrup
Dr. Feelgood — heroin
Dragon rock — mixture of heroin and crack
Dream gun — opium
Dream stick — opium
Dreamer — morphine
Dreams — opium
Dreck — heroin
Duji — heroin
Dujre — heroin
Dynamite — cocaine mixed with heroin
Dyno — heroin
Dyno-pure — heroin

[ E ]

Easing powder — opium
Eighth — an eighth ounce of marijuana or heroin
Eighty — an 80 mg OxyContin pill or generic equivalent
El diablito (Spanish) — cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and PCP
El diablo (Spanish) — cocaine, marijuana, and heroin
Emsel — morphine
Estuffa — heroin

[ F ]

Feenin — having a strong craving for a drug
Ferry dust — heroin
Fi-do-nie — opium
First line — morphine
Fix — administering a drug after being in withdrawal and the relief associated with being high again
Fizzies — methadone
Flea powder — low-purity heroin
Foil — heroin
Foo foo stuff — heroin; cocaine
Foolish powder — cocaine; heroin
Forty — 40 mg OxyContin pill or generic equivalent
Forty bar — 40 mg OxyContin pill or generic equivalent
Frisco special — cocaine, heroin, and LSD
Frisco speedball — cocaine, heroin, and a dash of LSD
Front — have drugs lended on a credit-based system
Furra — heroin

[ G ]

Galloping horse — heroin
Gallup — heroin
Gamot — heroin
Garbage — low-quality heroin
Gato (Spanish) — heroin
Gee — opium
George — heroin
George smack — heroin
Get off — to inject a drug; to get high
Getting snotty — using heroin
Give wings — inject someone or teach someone how to inject heroin
Glacines — heroin
Glass — heroin; amphetamine; hypodermic needle; methamphetamine
God’s drug — morphine
God’s medicine — opium
Gold — marijuana; crack cocaine; heroin
Golden girl — heroin
Golpe — heroin
Goma (Spanish) — black tar heroin; opium
Gondola — opium
Gong — marijuana; opium
Good — PCP; heroin
Good and plenty — heroin
Good H — heroin
Good Horse — heroin
Goodfellas — fentanyl
Goric — opium
Gravy — heroin
Great bear — fentanyl
Great tobacco — opium
Gum — opium
Guma — opium

[ H ]

H — heroin
H & C — heroin & cocaine
H Caps — heroin
Hache — heroin
Hairy — heroin
Half piece — half ounce of heroin or cocaine
Hard candy — heroin
Hard stuff — heroin; opium
Harry — heroin
Hayron — heroin
Hazel — heroin
H-bomb — MDMA mixed with heroin
Heat — police or narcotics officers
Heaven — cocaine; heroin
Heaven dust — cocaine; heroin
Helen — heroin
He-man — fentanyl
Henry — heroin
Hera — heroin
Hero — heroin
Hero of the underworld — heroin
Heroina (Spanish) — heroin
Herone — heroin
Hillbilly heroin — OxyContin or generic equivalent
Him — heroin
Hocus — marijuana; opium
Hombre (Spanish) — heroin
Homicide — heroin cut with scopolamine or strychnine
Hong-yen — heroin in pill form
Hop/hops — opium
Horse — heroin
Horsebite — heroin
Hospital heroin — Dilaudid
Hot dope— heroin
Hot heroin — heroin poisoned to give a police informant
Hows — morphine
HRN — heroin
Hype — herion addict; an addict; MDMA
Hype stick — hypodermic needle

[ I ]

Indonesian bud — marijuana; opium
Isda — heroin
Itchies — OxyContin; opioids in general (stems from the side effect caused by histamine release in the brain, itching)

[ J ]

Jackpot — fentanyl
Jee gee — heroin
Jerry Springer — heroin
Jive — marijuana; heroin; drugs
Jive doo jee — heroin
Joharito — heroin
Jojee — heroin
Jolly pop — casual user of heroin
Jones — heroin
Jonesing/jonesin’ — drug craving
Joy — heroin
Joy flakes — heroin
Joy plant — opium
Joy powder — cocaine; heroin
Junco — heroin
Junk — cocaine; heroin
Junkie — addict

[ K ]

Kabayo — heroin
Karachi — heroin, phenobarbital, and methaqualone
Karo — codeine cough syrup
Keester plant — drugs hidden in the rectum
Kick — getting off a drug habit
Kicker — OxyContin or generic equivalent
Kiddie dope — prescription drugs
King ivory — fentanyl

[ L ]

La buena (Spanish) — heroin
LBJ — heroin; LSD; PCP
Lean — codeine cough syrup
Lemonade — heroin; poor-quality drugs
Lipton Tea — poor-quality drugs
Little bomb — heroin; amphetamine; depressants
Load — (25) twenty-five bags of heroin
Loaded — high

[ M ]

Manteca (Spanish) — heroin
Matsakow — heroin
Mayo — cocaine; heroin
Meth speedball — methamphetamine combined with heroin
Mexican brown — marijuana; heroin
Mexican horse — heroin
Midnight oil — opium
Mira (Spanish) — opium
Miss Emma — morphine
Mister blue — morphine
Mojo — cocaine; heroin
Moonrock — crack mixed with heroin
Moonstone — when a dealer shaves a slice of MDMA into a bag of heroin
Morf — morphine
Morotgara — heroin
Morpho — morphine
Mortal combat — high-potency heroin
M.S. — morphine
Mud — heroin; opium
Murder one — heroin and cocaine
Murder 8 — fentanyl
Murotugora — heroin
Muzzle — heroin

[ N ]

Nailed — arrested; caught
Nanoo — heroin
New Jack Swing — heroin and morphine
Nice and easy — heroin
Nickel bag — $5 of drugs; heroin
Nickel deck — heroin
Nod — an effect of opiates and opioids where the user switches between a half-asleep dreamy state and semi-consciousness
Nods — codeine cough syrup
Noise — heroin
Nose — cocaine; heroin
Nose drops — liquefied heroin
Number 3 — cocaine; heroin
Number 4 — heroin
Number 8 — heroin
Nurse — heroin

[ O ]

O — opium
Ogoy — heroin
Oil — heroin; PCP
Old navy — heroin
Old Steve — heroin
On the ball — when a dealer shaves a slice of MDMA into a bag of heroin
On the nod — under the influence of an opiate or opioid
One and Ones — Talwin and Ritalin combination injected to produce an effect similar to cocaine mixed with heroin
One way — LSD; heroin
One-on-one house — where cocaine and heroin can be purchased
One-plus-one sales — selling cocaine and heroin together
One-stop shop — Place where multiple drugs are sold
O.P. — opium
Ope — opium; an opiate; an opioid
Opes — opiates; opioids (SE PA)
Orange crates — OxyContin or generic equivalent
Orange crush — OxyContin or generic equivalent
Orange line — heroin
Ox — OxyContin pill or generic equivalent
Oxicotten — OxyContin pill or generic equivalent
Oxy — OxyContin pill or generic equivalent
Oxy 80 — an 80 mg OxyContin pill or generic equivalent
Oxycet — pharmaceutical containing both oxycodone and acetaminophen; a semisynthetic opiate
Oxycotton — OxyContin pill or generic equivalent

[ P ]

Pack — marijuana; heroin
Pancakes and syrup — combination of glutethimide and codeine cough syrup
Pangonadalot — heroin
Paper — a dosage unit of heroin; one-tenth gram or less of the drug ice, or methamphetamine
Paper boy — heroin peddler
Parachute — to pulverize a pill into a fine powder, wrap it in a tissue, and swallow to get high faster; heroin; smokable crack and heroin mixture
Peg — heroin
Pen yan — opium
Perfect high — heroin
Perks/percs — Percocet; oxycodone/acetaminophen containing pharmaceuticals
Perlas (Spanish) — street dealer (heroin)
P-funk — crack mixed with PCP; heroin
Pharming — consuming a mixture of prescription drugs
Pill houses — residences where pills are illicitly sold
Pin gon — opium
Pin yen — opium
Poison — heroin; fentanyl
Polo — mixture of heroin and motion-sickness drug
Polvo (Spanish) — heroin; PCP
Poor man’s heroin — OxyContin pill or generic equivalent
Poppy — heroin
Pox — opium
Predator — heroin
Primo — crack; marijuana mixed with cocaine; crack and heroin; heroin, cocaine, and tobacco
Primos — cigarette laced with cocaine and heroin
Pulborn — heroin

[ Q ]

Quill — cocaine; heroin; methamphetamine

[ R ]

Racehorse Charlie — cocaine; heroin
Ragweed — inferior-quality marijuana; heroin
Rambo — heroin
Rane — cocaine; heroin
Raw fusion — heroin
Raw hide — heroin
Red chicken — heroin
Red eagle — heroin
Red rock — heroin
Red rock opium — incense sold as opium; heroin, barbital, strychnine, and caffeine
Red rum — heroin, barbital, strychnine, and caffeine
Red stuff — heroin, barbital, strychnine, and caffeine
Reindeer dust — heroin
Rhine — heroin
Ritz and Ts — a combination of Ritalin and Talwin injected
Rollers — police

[ S ]

Sack — heroin
Salt — heroin
Sam — federal narcotics agent
Sandwich — two layers of cocaine with a layer of heroin in the middle
Satch cotton — fabric used to filter a solution of narcotics before injection
Scag — heroin
Scat — heroin
Scate — heroin
Scott — heroin
Second to none — heroin
Serial speedballing — sequencing cocaine, cough syrup, and heroin over a half-day period
Sharps — hypodermic needles
Shit — heroin
Shmeck/schmeek — heroin
Shoot — heroin
Silk — heroin
Skag — heroin
Skee — opium
Skid — heroin
Skunk — marijuana; heroin
Slanging — selling drugs
Sleeper — heroin; depressants
Slime — heroin
Smack — heroin
Smoking gun — heroin and cocaine
Snow — cocaine; heroin; amphetamine
Snowball — cocaine and heroin
Speedball — cocaine mixed with heroin; crack and heroin smoked together; methylphenidate (Ritalin) mixed with heroin
Speedballing — to shoot up or smoke a mixture of cocaine and heroin or any stimulant and depressant for that matter
Spider — heroin
Spider blue — heroin
Spike — heroin cut with scopolamine or strychnine; to inject a drug; IV/hypodermic needle
Spoon— one-sixteenth ounce of heroin; instrument used to prepare heroin for injection
Stuff — heroin
Sweet dreams — heroin
Sweet Jesus — heroin

[ T ]

Tango & Cash — fentanyl
Tar — crack and heroin smoked together; heroin; opium
Taste — heroin; small sample of drugs
Tecata (Spanish) — heroin
Tecatos — Hispanic heroin addict
Thanie — heroin
The beast — heroin
The witch — heroin
Thoroughbred — drug dealer who sells pure narcotics
Thunder — heroin
Tigre (Spanish) — heroin
Tigre blanco (Spanish) — heroin
Tigre del norte (Spanish) — heroin
Tits — black tar heroin
T.N.T. — heroin; fentanyl
TNT — fentanyl
Tongs — heroin
Tools — equipment used for injecting drugs
Tootsie Roll — heroin
Top drool — heroin
Toxy — opium
Toys — opium
Tracks/track marks — needle marks, many times forming a row/line, on a person
Train — heroin
Twin Towers — heroin (post-9/11)

[ U ]

Uncle — federal agents
Unkie — morphine

[ V ]

Vidrio (Spanish) — heroin

[ W ]

When-shee — opium
White — heroin; amphetamine
White boy — heroin
White girl — cocaine; heroin
White horse — cocaine; heroin
White junk — heroin
White nurse — heroin
White stuff — heroin
Wicked — a potent brand of heroin
Wings — cocaine; heroin
Witch — cocaine; heroin
Witch hazel — heroin
Works — equipment for injecting drugs
WTC — heroin (post-9/11)

[ Y ]

Yen Shee Suey — opium wine

[ Z ]

Z — one ounce of heroin
Ze — opium
Zero — opium
Zoquete (Spanish) — heroin

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A Short History: Opiates Timeline

Friday, December 18th, 2009
  • 1804Morphine is isolated by Friedrich Wilhelm Adam Sertürner.
  • 1832Codeine is first extracted from opium.
  • 1853 — Scottish physician Alexander Wood co-invents the hypodermic syringe with French surgeon Charles Pravaz.
  • 1874 — C.R. Alder Wright synthesizes diacetylmorphine, heroin, from anhydrous morphine alkaloid.
  • 1898 — Bayer Pharmaceutical Company markets heroin as a safe, non-addictive morphine substitute, and cough suppressant for children.
  • 1913 — Bayer Pharmaceutical Company stops production of heroin.
  • 1914 — The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act is passed, which put a tax on opium, heroin, and cocaine.
  • 1924 — The Heroin Act is passed, making manufacture and possession of heroin illegal.
  • 1937Hoechst 10820 is invented, later to be called methadone, by German scientists Max Bockmühl and Gustav Ehrhart.
  • 1930 — The Federal Bureau of Narcotics was created.
  • 1970 — The Controlled Substances Act was enacted into law, creating a legal system that divided drugs into categories, set regulatory standards, and set penalties for illicit possession.
  • 2002Buprenorphine is approved for treatment of opioid dependency under the tradename Suboxone.

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Quotes about Opiates

Friday, December 18th, 2009

“Junk is the ultimate commodity, the merchandise is not sold to the consumer- the consumer is sold to the merchandise.”
-William S. Burroughs

“Junk is not like alcohol or weed, a means to increased enjoyment of life. Junk is not a kick. It is a way of life.”
-William S. Burroughs

“The junk merchant doesn’t sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to the product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client.”
-William S. Burroughs, “Naked Lunch

“It is not opium which makes me work but its absence, and in order for me to feel its absence it must from time to time be present.”
-Antonin Artaud

“Tobacco and opium have broad backs, and will cheerfully carry the load of armies, if you choose to make them pay high for such joy as they give and such harm as they do.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Thou hast the keys of Paradise, oh just, subtle, and mighty opium!”
-Thomas De Quincey

“Everything one does in life, even love, occurs in an express train racing toward death. To smoke opium is to get out of the train while it is still moving. It is to concern oneself with something other than life or death.”
-Jean Cocteau

“It is difficult to live without opium after having known it because it is difficult, after knowing opium, to take earth seriously. And unless one is a saint, it is difficult to live without taking earth seriously.”
-Jean Cocteau

“Opium teaches only one thing, which is that aside from physical sufffering, there is nothing real.”
-André Malraux

“Among the remedies which it has pleased Almighty God to give to man to relieve his sufferings, none is so universal and so efficacious as opium.”
-Thomas Sydenham

“Our current drug crisis is a tragedy born of a phony system of classification. For reasons that are little more than accidents of history, we have divided a group of nonfood substances into two categories: items purchasable for supposed pleasure (such as alcohol), and illicit drugs. The categories were once reversed. Opiates were legal in America before the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914, and members of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, who campaigned against alcohol during the day, drank their valued “women’s tonics” at night, products laced with laudanum (tincture of opium).

I could abide—though I would still oppose—our current intransigence if we applied the principle of total interdiction to all harmful drugs. But how can we possibly defend our current policy based on a dichotomy that encourages us to view one class of substances as a preeminent scourge while the two most dangerous and life-destroying substances by far, alcohol and tobacco, form a second class advertised in neon on every street corner of urban America? And why, moreover, should heroin be viewed with horror while chemical cognates that are no different from heroin than lemonade is from iced tea perform work of enormous compassion by relieving the pain of terminal cancer patients in their last days?”
-Stephen J. Gould, evolutionary biologist (Taxonomy as Politics, Dissent, Winter 1990, p.73

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List of Known Opiate Addicts

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Note: Clicking any links below will take you away from TPC!.

Actors, Actresses, Models, and Directors

Writers, Poets, and Journalists

Singers & Musicians

Other Celebrities & Public Figures

Politicians

References and Footnotes

  1. Maser, Werner Hermann Göring. Hitlers janusköpfiger Paladin. Die politische Biographie (German language)

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