What Is the Most Expensive Drug in the World?

When people think of paying a lot for drugs, they typically pay large amounts for illegal substances like cocaine, which can be pretty pricey. However, the ten most expensive drugs in the United States are all prescription medications.  According to an article published by Becker’s Hospital Review, the most expensive drug in the United States is Zolgensma, a drug used to treat spinal muscular atrophy.

People who require this medication pay over $2 million a year out of pocket. After this medication, Zokinvy is the most expensive, costing those who need it over $1 million every year.  

Zolgensma As a The Most Expensive Legal Drug in The World

Unfortunately, major pharmaceutical companies monopolize on the needs of people with rare illnesses who require medication to survive. What makes these medications so expensive, and are there any alternatives that people in need can reach if they are in lower or middle-income brackets? Zolgensma does not currently have any alternatives.

It is used to treat a rare motor neuron disease that leaves children with a slim chance of survival if they don’t have access to the medication before they turn two years old. This drug is only available in the UK, and it is roughly 1.7 million pounds for a single dose. 

The Most Costly Illegal Drug on The Current Market

Of course, medications like this are an absolute necessity, and those who use them will never abuse them simply because they are so unobtainable and expensive. But which illegal drugs on the current market are the most costly, and which expensive drugs are abused the most frequently?

What Is the Most Expensive Drug in the World?

Drug Addiction Is a Very Expensive Habit 

Even people who use easily accessed drugs and relatively easy to afford, like methamphetamine and crack cocaine, often find themselves in a very bad financial place.  This is not only because the chemical substances themselves are expensive but also because people grappling with substance abuse disorders are rarely able to hold down a job and financially support themselves. As a result, they often resort to stealing money from relatives and friends, pawning valuables, and engaging in other illegal activities to support their habit. 

The Most Commonly Abused and The Most Expensive Drug in The United States Is…

 Interestingly enough, the most commonly abused and the most expensive drug in the United States (outside of the prescription medications we previously mentioned) is tobacco. The National Institute on Drug Abuse  Found that tobacco costs American citizens roughly $295 billion every year.  Outside of that, tobacco costs $130 billion alone in health care costs like cancer treatments and the treatment of emphysema and other smoke-related issues.

Alcohol As a Second The Most Expensive Drug in The Country

As one might imagine, the 2nd most expensive chemical substance throughout the country is alcohol, which costs Americans roughly $224 billion every year.  Think about it. If you go to the bar and purchase three alcoholic beverages, you probably spend around $30 every time.  

If you go to the bar 5 times a week, That’s roughly $150 that you would otherwise be saving.  Prescription painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone also cost Americans a significant amount of money, including cocaine, marijuana, and heroin.  If you have been struggling with a drug addiction of any type or severity and you take the time to do the math, you will be amazed at how much you spend on an annual basis.

Get Help For Drug Dependence at Recreate Life Counseling

At Recreate Life Counseling, we do more than provide our clients with a comprehensive addiction treatment program. We understand that active addiction strips people of their ability to control their finances adequately. We offer life skills training services that focus on budgeting and regaining financial independence.  We take the time to show each of our clients how much money they will save long-term should they maintain sobriety.

Contact us today to learn more about our drug addiction recovery program or get started with our simple admissions process. We look forward to speaking with you soon and helping you get started on a path that is undeniably much better than the path you are on now.


  • How do drugs compare in cost compared to drug rehab and jail time?

Published on: 2021-08-13
Updated on: 2024-04-18

Is Codeine or Tramadol Detox More Painful?

Mixing two opiates is never a good idea, but some users try to take Tramadol and codeine together for a stronger high which is very dangerous. Codeine is a pain medication that is prescribed to treat mind to moderate pain and is also commonly prescribed to be used as a cough suppressant.

Codeine is naturally derived from the poppy plant like other narcotics such as opium and heroin. Codeine is a narcotic opioid analgesic medication. Like other opioids such as hydrocodone or morphine, it binds to the opioid receptors in the brain that are integral is transmitting the sensation of pain throughout the brain and body. Codeine decreases comfort and increases tolerance to pain.

Is Codeine or Tramadol Detox More Painful?

What Are Tramadol and Codeine?

Tramadol, like Codeine, is also an opioid analgesic and is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Unlike Codeine, Tramadol is a synthetic opioid and not naturally derived from the poppy plant. This prescription medication comes as in pill form, either extended-release tablet or capsule or immediate release. Tramadol also connects to the opioid receptors in the brain to treat pain.

Dangers of Mixing Tramadol and Codeine

As previously mentioned, opioids and opiates work on the central nervous system’s opioid receptors to block out the sensations of pain on the body. Unfortunately, the opioid system also oversees the body’s reward pathways. This makes opioids like Codeine and Tramadol are highly addictive because it also releases endorphins that cause the body to be “rewarded” when a person gets high on Codeine or Tramadol. Both drugs cause feelings of euphoria, calmness, pleasure, and an overall sense of well being that people can get easily addicted to. Codeine and Tramadol can cause addiction both mentally and physically, making the body and the mind both crave the drug.

Detox and withdrawal from an opioid or opiate are going to be painful, especially when abuse and addiction come into the mix. Codeine and Tramadol are no exception. Common detox symptoms for both of these opioid drugs include:

  • Sweating
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Stomach pain and cramps
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Mental fog
  • Depression
  • Drug cravings

What Does Opioid Detox Feel Like?

While the experiences of detox may vary from person to person, Tramadol is a slightly stronger opioid medication, so the detox from this drug is likely to be more painful. Tramadol is also something that is being abused more today. From 2005 and 2011, the amount of tramadol related emergency visits increased by about 250%.

Whether you are taking Tramadol as prescribed or if you are abusing it, detox from this drug is likely to occur. Detox from this drug can be similar to having the flu. The first withdrawal symptoms will begin within hours after the last dose has left the person’s body or if the dose has been reduced. Symptoms can last for several weeks. Certain factors determine the intensity and duration of detox including

  • How often you have been using the drug
  • How long you have been using it
  • How much you take at a time
  • If you mix different drugs
  • Any underlying mental health conditions
  • Your personal medical history
  • Your age
  • Your gender

Opioid Addiction Rehab Program

Detoxing from drugs on your own is very risky no matter what the drug is. Medically assisted detox becomes necessary when a person becomes physically, mentally, and emotionally dependent upon a drug. It involves a supervised detox process where medical professionals and doctors create a personalized detox program specifically for you and monitor you to help ease the side effects to a minimum while your withdrawal from the drugs.

Once you have detoxed, the best and safest option to get off of and stay off of your drug of choice is by the use of one of the many treatment programs we offer at Recreate Life Counseling. Addiction treatment requires a multi-layered approach for maximum success. We want to make sure you have the tools you need to avoid relapse in the real world. If you want the help then we are here to assist you in any way we can.

Published on: 2020-11-04
Updated on: 2024-04-18

What Are the Street Names for Ecstasy?

Ecstasy is a synthetic drug chemically similar to hallucinogens and stimulants. It has a similar structure as methamphetamines and is a derivative of amphetamines. Ecstasy alters an individual’s mood and perception and also produces feelings of extreme pleasure, increased energy, distorted time and sensory perception, and emotional warmth.

Ecstasy used to be a legal medication. It was developed in 1912, by the Merck pharmaceutical company. The original form of the medication was called “MDMA”, and in 1953 it was used by the US Army in psychological warfare testing. In 1960, “MDMA” was used as a psychotherapy medication to lower inhibitions, and by the 1970’s it was being used as a party drug.

In the 1980s MDMA was the most popular drug for weekend parties. In 1984, it was sold under the brand name of “Ecstasy”, and in 1985 it was banned due to safety concerns.

According to the National Institutes of Health:

MDMA was initially popular in the nightclub scene and at all-night dance parties (“raves”), but the drug now affects a broader range of people who more commonly call the drug Ecstasy or Molly. People who use MDMA usually take it as a capsule or tablet, though some swallow it in liquid form or snort the powder. The popular nickname Molly (slang for “molecular”) often refers to the supposedly “pure” crystalline powder form of MDMA, usually sold in capsules. However, people who purchase powder or capsules sold as Molly often actually get other drugs such as synthetic cathinones (“bath salts”) instead. Some people take MDMA in combination with other drugs such as alcohol or marijuana.

Ecstasy usually comes in the form of a pill, but it can also be injected or taken as a liquid; the liquid form of the drug is called GHB. GHB is a central nervous system depressant, and it is a very dangerous form of the drug. There have been many instances where GHB has been unknowingly slipped into people’s drinks. They are then lured away from their original location and will wake up the next day without having any recollection of what happened to them.

What Are the Street Names for Ecstasy?

What Are the Street Names for Ecstasy?

Ecstasy has many different street names. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has many alternative ecstasy names listed in their database because drug dealers often change the street names to try and confuse law enforcement.

Known as a party drug, ecstasy comes in pill or powder form; the pill has a variety of logos and colors. The street names put together by the DEA include:

  • Adam
  • Beans
  • Biscuit
  • Clarity
  • Disco Biscuit
  • E
  • Eve
  • Hug Drug
  • Lover’s Speed
  • MDMA
  • Peace
  • STP
  • X
  • XTC
  • Molly

There are also some other street names of ecstasy: Cadillac, California Sunrise, Essence, Elephants, Love Drug, Love Pill, Molly, Roll, Scooby snacks, Snowball, and XE.

Side Effects of Ecstasy Use

Ecstasy affects three different chemicals in the brain, dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Its effects can give the individual a greater sense of well-being, emotional warmth, enhanced sensory perception, and increased empathy towards others. Some of the side effects of the drug can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Attention problems
  • Decreased libido
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Reduced appetite
  • Memory problems
  • Impulsiveness

The onset of Ecstasy is about 45 minutes after a dose is taken, and the duration is usually between three to six hours.

Dangers of Ecstasy Abuse

Just like a lot of heroin, cocaine, and other substances in this country are being mixed with fentanyl, Ecstasy can also have a lot of additives. A person may purchase a pill that they believe to be pure Molly, but much of the time it is mixed with cocaine, methamphetamine, ketamine, bath salts, and/or over-the-counter cough medicine. You do not know what you are buying these days, and any of these substances can be extremely dangerous especially when mixed with MDMA.

Treatment for Ecstasy Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Recreate Life Counseling provides cutting edge addiction treatment. We tailor our programs to meet the individual needs of each person suffering from addiction. We offer a variety of different treatment programs to help recreate your life and get you on the road to a lasting recovery.


  • How long does Ecstasy stay in your system?

Published on: 2020-10-14
Updated on: 2024-04-18

Does CBD Help Relieve Opioid Withdrawal?

Opioids are a class of drugs used to treat mild to severe pain. Opioid withdrawal is a dangerous condition resulting from opioid addiction or dependence. The National Institutes of Health define opioid withdrawal as:

Opioid withdrawal occurs when a patient who is dependent on opioids suddenly reduces or stops taking opioids. It can also be caused when a patient has an opioid in his/her system and is given an opioid partial agonist like buprenorphine or antagonists like naloxone or naltrexone. The etiology of opioid withdrawal is complex.

Opioid withdrawal is very uncomfortable and a lot of addicts will tell you that they have stayed sick or continued to use opioids strictly out of the fear of the debilitating withdrawal symptoms that come with opioid addiction.

Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

There are four stages of withdrawal: anticipatory, early acute, fully-developed acute, and PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome). Some of the symptoms of early opioid withdrawal (early acute) can include:

● Anxiety
● Insomnia
● Agitation
● Muscle aches
● Runny nose
● Sweating
● Yawning
● Increased tearing

Symptoms of opioid withdrawal can typically start about 24 hours after an individual’s last use, but that time can vary depending on which opioid the person was dependent on. Some of the symptoms of late opioid withdrawal (fully-developed acute) can include:

● Vomiting
● Nausea
● Abdominal cramping
● Diarrhea
● Goosebumps
● Dilated pupils

Once the physical withdrawal symptoms have subsided the post-acute withdrawal stage (PAWS) starts. PAWS are psychological symptoms of opioid dependence that can persist for up to 24 months after the acute withdrawal phases end.

Does CBD Help Relieve Opioid Withdrawal?

What is CBD And What Is It Used For?

CBD stands for cannabidiol. CBD is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of marijuana (cannabis). CBD is derived from the hemp plant (cousin of the marijuana plant) although it is an essential component of medical marijuana.

CBD does not have the psychoactive properties that THC does, so it does not get you high. There are different kinds of CBD. It comes in different concentrations and is sold in a number of ways. Full-spectrum CBD does contain a small amount of THC in it, but it is less than 03%.

In 2018, a CBD oral solution, Epidiolex, was approved by the FDA for the treatment of certain rare forms of epilepsy in children under 2. CBD is also believed to influence opioid receptors that regulate pain and also glycine receptors which regulate serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone.

CBD is useful for various mental and physical conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Some of the other conditions that CBD may help with are cancer-related symptoms, epilepsy, depression, drug addiction and withdrawal, glaucoma, muscle spasms, anorexia, Parkinson’s Disease, acne, heart health, and high blood pressure.

Can CBD Help Get Through Opioid Withdrawal?

Although CBD has not been approved for the treatment of opioid withdrawal and dependence, the future looks promising and it may be helpful. Some researchers and users say that CBD can help you or a loved one get through opioid withdrawal if used appropriately.

Based on preclinical research and emerging human research, cannabidiol (CBD; a major constituent of the cannabis plant) is a promising pharmacotherapy for the treatment of opioid withdrawal. Most recently, CBD decreased cue-induced craving and anxiety (two common withdrawal symptoms) among abstinent heroin-dependent individuals relative to placebo. As of June 2018, Epidiolex, an oral formulation of plant-derived pure CBD, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating severe forms of epilepsy and can be prescribed for other off-label indications. Epidiolex has a low side effect and a high safety profile. Given the recent FDA approval of Epidiolex, and a growing interest to develop existing pharmaceuticals to address issues related to Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and its recovery, the investigators are proposing a pilot study to examine the safety of Epidiolex in a human laboratory model of clinically relevant withdrawal. The study will be a residential within-subject comparison; methadone-maintained participants will undergo spontaneous withdrawal and receive placebo dosing and active cannabidiol. Data collected for this study will establish: (1) the safety of administering two dosing regimens of Epidiolex within the investigators’ withdrawal paradigm and (2) the feasibility of the investigators’ withdrawal paradigm for demonstrating clinically meaningful increases in withdrawal. (John Hopkins University)

As stated above, CBD is effective at alleviating pain, insomnia, anxiety, and depression, which are some of the symptoms that can come with opioid withdrawal. However, CBD has not yet been tested or approved as an official treatment for use with opioid withdrawal or opioid use disorder.

Effective Treatment for Opioid Addiction

If you or someone you love requires help with opioid dependence, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Recreate Life Counseling offers evidence-based addiction treatment. We specialize in individualized treatment programs to get you on the road to a lasting recovery.

Published on: 2020-10-04
Updated on: 2024-05-13

Is Benzo Detox More Painful Than Heroin Withdrawal?

Detox, which is also known as detoxification, is the process of expelling drugs from your system. This is the first step in the recovery of nearly all drug and alcohol addictions. It is your body’s ways of cleansing itself from the dangerous substances that are polluting it. Withdrawal is the physical and mental effects that happen to a person when they either lower their intake of a substance or stop taking it altogether.

Is Benzo Detox More Painful Than Heroin Withdrawal

How Painful is Opiate Withdrawal?

While the experience will vary from person to person, most people will say that the most painful experience is opiate withdrawal, which includes heroin. Heroin withdrawal can begin as early as a few hours from the last dose and will often feel like a very serious case of the flu, peaking during the second or third day. The symptoms can last even up to a couple of weeks. Common symptoms of heroin withdrawal include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Cold sweats
  • Anxiety
  • Crawling skin
  • Body cramping
  • Muscle aches

Even after the initial withdrawal symptoms from detoxing wears off, Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) is very common with heroin addiction. PAWS can last for up to 24 months after drug use has stopped and includes symptoms like poor sleep and concentration, heightened anxiety, panic attacks, depression, mood swings, restlessness, and even memory loss.

How Painful is Benzodiazepine Withdrawal?

This does not mean that benzodiazepine withdrawal and detox is less important or painful if the circumstances are different. Benzo withdrawal also comes with a list of symptoms like anxiety, panic attacks, muscle discomfort, sweating, cravings, and tremors. In more severe cases, a person can even experience hallucinations and seizures. The big difference between benzos and heroin is that benzos have a shorter half-life. This means the length of time the substance stays in the body after consumption ultimately resulting in a shorter withdrawal timeline.

Withdrawal is Different from Person to Person

While it is said that withdrawal from heroin is more painful than detox from benzodiazepines, all withdrawal and detox from a drug are different from person to person and different factors go into what each person will go through. These factors include:

  • How often you have been using the drug
  • How long you have been using it
  • How much you take at a time
  • If you mix different drugs
  • Any underlying mental health conditions
  • Your personal medical history
  • Your age
  • Your gender

Detoxing from drugs on your own is very risky no matter what the drug is. Medically assisted detox becomes necessary when a person becomes physically, mentally, and emotionally dependent upon a drug. It involves a supervised detox process where medical professionals and doctors create a personalized detox program specifically for you and monitor you to help ease the side effects to a minimum while your withdrawal from the drugs.

Once you have detoxed, the best and safest option to get off of and stay off of your drug of choice is by the use of one of the many treatment programs we offer at Recreate Life Counseling. We offer many different treatment programs that provide therapeutic education and guidance for each individual to help them safely reintegrate into society. With the help of our team of therapists, we offer one on one, group therapy, as well as many other specialized options to fit each person’s needs.

Treatment for Drug Addiction

Addiction treatment requires a multi-layered approach for maximum success. We want to make sure you have the tools you need to avoid relapse in the real world. If you want the help then we are here to assist you in any way we can.


  • Is Benzo Detox More Painful Than Heroin Withdrawal?

Published on: 2020-08-25
Updated on: 2024-04-18

Is Oxymorphone Stronger Than Oxycodone?

Yes, Oxymorphone is stronger than Oxycodone. Oxymorphone or the brand name Opana is a prescription opioid medication used to treat severe pain. Oxymorphone is available in both IR (immediate-release) and ER (extended-release) formulations. When speaking of the strengths of various opioid medications, often Morphine is used as a baseline for comparison. Oral Oxymorphone is 3 to 7 times stronger than Morphine versus oral Oxycodone which is 1.5 times stronger than Morphine. Oxymorphone is 2 times stronger than Oxycodone.

Is Oxymorphone Stronger Than Oxycodone?

Opioids on the Market for Chronic Pain

There are prescription opioid medications available to treat very mild pain to significant or severe pain. Some of the opioid medications are so potent they can cause an almost instantaneous overdose in people who aren’t opioid-tolerant. Here is a list, in order, of some of the strongest opioids on the market. These opioids are considered to be the “stronger than Morphine” opioids.

  • Carfentanil
  • Fentanyl
  • Heroin (an illicit substance)
  • Hydromorphone and Oxymorphone
  • Methadone
  • Oxycodone

Oral Oxymorphone is a new formulation of an existing parenteral opioid that has become available for significant pain. Oxymorphone is a typical mu-opioid agonist that is effective in both immediate- and extended-release (IR and ER) formulations. Oxymorphone is more lipid-soluble than Morphine, resulting in a rapid onset of action when given in tablet formulation, with a duration of action of approximately 4-6 hours in IR and 12 hours in ER preparations. Oxymorphone provides excellent pain relief for significant pain, with typical opioid side effects that are usually mild or moderate in intensity. (NCBI)

Chronic pain management with the use of opioids under the careful supervision of a doctor is possible if you’re not an addict. However, for those that are searching for a high, opioids are extremely dangerous and you can quickly become dependent on them.

What Are Oxymorphone & Oxycodone?

Oxymorphone (Opana) and Oxycodone (OxyContin ER, Percocet, or Roxicodone) are both opioid medications used to treat moderate to severe pain. They are in a class of drugs called opioid analgesics or narcotics. They work on the opioid receptors of your brain and tell your brain that you are not in pain. Both medications change the way you think about pain, and this helps to dull your feeling of pain. Also, both medications are highly addictive.

Oxymorphone and Oxycodone work in the same way, so they both have similar side effects. Here is a list of some of the most common side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness

Side Effects from Oxymorphone and Oxycodone

Some of the more serious side effects of the medications include slowed breathing, stopped breathing, cardiac arrest (stopped heart), low blood pressure, or shock. Each medication does have a couple of different notable side effects. Oxymorphone can cause fever and confusion while Oxycodone can cause sleeping trouble and lack of energy. Oxymorphone and Oxycodone are not recommended for long-term use. Both medications are controlled substances, and they are known to cause addiction and can be abused or misused.

Although Oxymorphone and Oxycodone work in similar ways, they do have some notable differences. Both drugs come as tablets, but Oxymorphone also comes as an injection. Oxymorphone is more expensive than Oxycodone, and they have a couple of slight differences in side effects as noted above.

Stopping either drug suddenly can cause some very intense and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Here is a list of some of the withdrawal symptoms of Oxymorphone and Oxycodone:

  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate

We are Here to Help You Stop Taking Deadly Opioids

You should never stop taking any opioid medication on your own. Medical detox is optimal to minimize and control symptoms of withdrawal. Medical professionals within a treatment center can help you by using medical and pharmaceutical tools along with counseling.

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to opioids, our admissions counselors here at Recreate Life Counseling are available around the clock to assist you. We offer many different treatment plans to help you continue on your journey to sobriety. Let us help you get on track to getting your life back!

Published on: 2020-07-22
Updated on: 2024-04-18

Codeine vs Dihydrocodeine

Codeine and dihydrocodeine are two commonly prescribed opioid medications with similar uses but notable differences in their pharmacology and effects. Understanding these distinctions is crucial for healthcare professionals and patients alike.

Codeine is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved opioid analgesic medication that is naturally occurring and found in the poppy plant that is typically prescribed for things such as a severe cough and is used to relieve the symptoms of mild to moderate pain. When codeine is used for treating pain, it acts by changing the way your nervous system and brain respond to that pain.

It’s main difference when it comes to Chemical Composition and Derivatives is that Codeine is a naturally occurring alkaloid derived from the opium poppy plant and is chemically classified as an opiate, while Dihydrocodeine (DHC), which is also derived from the opium poppy plant, DHC is a semi-synthetic derivative of codeine, structurally similar but with some differences in its effects.

Codeine vs Dihydrocodeine

On the other hand, when it comes to potency and analgesic effect, DHC is generally considered to be more potent than codeine, providing stronger analgesic effects at equivalent doses.

Furthermore, when it comes to metabolism and pharmacokinetics, toth codeine and DHC undergo hepatic metabolism, primarily via the CYP2D6 enzyme pathway. However, DHC is metabolized more efficiently than codeine. Also, Codeine is metabolized into morphine via CYP2D6, which contributes significantly to its analgesic effects.

DHC is metabolized into dihydromorphine, which also contributes to its analgesic properties.

What is Dihydrocodeine?

Dihydrocodeine is also an opioid analgesic medication, but it is semi-synthetic. While it is structurally similar and related to codeine, and they also have the same activity and effects, it is twice as strong as codeine and has a higher euphoric impact on the person taking it, as well as a higher risk of dependence and abuse. Dihydrocodeine was developed in the hopes of finding a more effective and better alternative to codeine.

Dihydrocodeine is also used for the treatment of cough, used as a pain medication, and also is used for the treatment for dyspnea (difficult breathing). Also, unlike Codeine, which is generally only found in couch syrup form, dihydrocodeine can be found in more forms such as tablets, solutions, elixirs, and other oral forms. In some countries, dihydrocodeine can also be found as an injectable that is used for intramuscular and deep subcutaneous administration. This is unlike codeine, which cannot be injected due to the risk of anaphylaxis or pulmonary edema, along with a potential large histamine release.


  1. Combination Formulations:
    • Codeine is often formulated in combination with other medications, such as paracetamol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen, to enhance its analgesic effects.
    • DHC may also be found in combination formulations with other analgesics or non-opioid medications.

The big difference: Dihydrocodeine is semi-synthetic and almost twice as strong as Codeine.

Similarities Between Codeine and Dihydrocodeine

While most of the differences between codeine and dihydrocodeine are primarily within the structure of the two substances, it is important to talk about the biggest similarity between the two. That is their risk of abuse and addiction. While these two substances may not be the most potent when taken as prescribed, if they are taken in excess and more often than needed, you risk the possibility of addiction.

After all, both substances are still opioids, which have a very high likelihood of misuse and physical dependence, like most pain relievers.  Not only is abuse and addiction to these two substances possible, but it also can act as a gateway to stronger opioid use like stronger prescription medications or illegal street drugs such as heroin.


How Does Codeine Help with Coughs?

When it is prescribed for a cough, it works by decreasing the activity in that particular part of the brain that causes coughing. Compared to other opioid medication options, codeine is thought to have pretty low potency and is not generally used for pain treatment due to there being better options available. While codeine is normally found in the form of cough syrup because it is most prescribed for that, it can also be found in tablet form.

Basically, it has two main uses:

  • Pain Management – Both codeine and DHC are used for pain relief, ranging from mild to moderate pain. However, DHC is often preferred for cases of moderate to severe pain due to its increased potency.
  • Antitussive Properties – Codeine is commonly used as an antitussive (cough suppressant), particularly in over-the-counter cough medications. DHC may also possess antitussive properties, although it is less commonly utilized for this purpose.

There are also prescribing considerations when taking codeine: 

  • Individual Variability – Due to genetic variability in the CYP2D6 enzyme, some individuals may metabolize codeine and DHC differently, leading to variations in efficacy and side effects.
  • Patient-Specific Factors – Prescribing decisions should consider factors such as the patient’s pain severity, medical history, concomitant medications, and risk of opioid misuse.

Aside from the prescribing consideration, users or patients may experience the following side effects and adverse effects, especially if they take more than what is prescribed. 

It’s common Side Effects for both codeine and DHC can cause side effects such as drowsiness, constipation, dry mouth, and sedation.

When it comes to respiratory depression and toxicity, high doses of both medications can lead to respiratory depression, a potentially life-threatening side effect, while toxicity risk increases with higher doses and prolonged use.

Meanwhile, if the user experiences an abrupt cessation of either medication, it can lead to withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, insomnia, sweating, and gastrointestinal disturbances.


In conclusion, while codeine and dihydrocodeine share similarities in their opioid properties and therapeutic uses, there are notable differences in potency, metabolism, and side effect profiles. Healthcare professionals must consider these factors when prescribing these medications for pain management and cough suppression, taking into account individual patient needs and safety concerns.

Treatment for Codeine Abuse

We at Recreate Life Counseling understand the seriousness of drug dependence and abuse, no matter what the substance is, and we believe your addiction must be treated as soon as possible. We focus on treating addiction with a combination of effective treatments, predominantly focusing on group and individual therapy.

If you or someone you love has been struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please feel free to give us a call today. We will discuss treatment options and do our best to point you in the right direction. Now is the time to turn your life around. Let us help you do it.

Published on: 2020-07-05
Updated on: 2024-04-23

Using Opiates While on Subutex

Subutex is a widely used prescription medication utilized in the treatment of individuals who are struggling with severe opiate abuse disorders. Subutex and Suboxone are commonly confused, however, they are different medications – though they do share the same active ingredient. Subutex is most commonly used in inpatient treatment settings and is administered by medical professionals to help combat the severe psychological cravings and withdrawal symptoms that are common in very early recovery. The active ingredient found in Subutex is buprenorphine, a partial opioid antagonist that was initially used as a pain reliever, and is now used in the treatment of opiate addiction.

When used in a medically monitored setting, this specific medication is extremely beneficial. Unfortunately, when it is used in combination with opiates like prescription painkillers or heroin and can pose several significant issues. Take a look at the dangers involved in using opiates while you are on Subutex, and please feel free to reach out to Recreate Life Counseling with any additional questions you may have.

Using Opiates While You’re on Subutex

More on Subutex

Some of the benefits of taking Subutex in a treatment setting include:

  • Aiding in medical detox. Subutex will help alleviate physical symptoms of withdrawal while minimizing cravings that often lead to relapse when left untreated.
  • Working to prevent relapse in early sobriety – cravings have been known to last long after medical detox and can lead to relapse within the first three to six months of sobriety when not properly treated. Eliminating cravings is essential in preventing relapse.
  • Allowing the individual, the opportunity to focus on his or her treatment goals without struggling through uncomfortable symptoms of post-acute withdrawal.

This is a short-term solution, but one that has been proven effective time and time again.

More on Opiates 

Over the past two decades, opiate addiction throughout the United States has spiked significantly. Currently, prescription painkiller addiction and heroin addiction remain leading causes of accidental death. Not only are these drugs extremely lethal, but they are extremely hard to quit without professional assistance. Recreate Life Counseling specializes in the treatment of individuals who are struggling with opiate addiction of all types and severities. We understand how impossible quitting may seem, and how devastating the effects of long-term addiction can be.

We also specialize in the treatment of individuals who struggle with polydrug abuse (meaning using more than one drug at a time to feel the effects more intensely). If you or someone you love has been combining Subutex and opiates professional help must be sought immediately, both long and short-term effects of polydrug abuse can lead to lasting – sometimes permanent – health-related issues.

Combining Subutex and Opiates

At Recreate Life Counseling, we provide medication-assisted treatment to those who require it, though we always ensure that prescription medication ingestion is closely monitored, and if we believe that any of our clients are attempting to abuse a medication we prescribe we will immediately switch to a more holistic method of recovery. When used correctly, Subutex can be extremely effective in the treatment of opiate addiction. However, we do understand that this drug can be a predominant source of abuse, thus we also treat individuals who may be struggling exclusively with Subutex addiction.

Our comprehensive program of recovery caters to men and women who are struggling with addictive disorders of all kinds, and our team of dedicated medical professionals thoroughly understands that while prescribing an opioid antagonist to one client might work, prescribing the same medication to another client might backfire. Our program is highly personalized, and each client will undergo an intensive assessment upon admission, which will help us determine which course of treatment will be the most appropriate and effective. To learn more, please give us a call today.


  • What will happen if I take Heroin AFTER I have taken SUBATEX?

Published on: 2020-06-10
Updated on: 2024-05-13

Can You Potentiate Xanax?

Xanax, or alprazolam, is a very powerful benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety disorders and panic disorders and can even be used as a muscle relaxant during medical procedures. It was created to take the place of barbiturates believing benzos would be less addictive. However, this is far from the truth. It is extremely addictive when used long term. Xanax is the most commonly prescribed Benzodiazepine in the United States. According to the NIH:

Between 1996 and 2013, the number of adults who filled a benzodiazepine prescription increased by 67%, from 8.1 million to 13.5 million. In 2015, 23 percent of people who died of an opioid overdose also tested positive for benzodiazepines.

Benzodiazepines such as Xanax are not typically primary drugs that are abused. This means they are commonly used in combination with other drugs. They are commonly mixed with narcotic pain medications, alcohol, stimulants, and illegal opiates such as heroin.

Can You Potentiate Xanax?

Potentiation of Xanax

When a user mixes two or more different drugs at the same time, they heighten the risk of experiencing effects that are different than what they would feel taking a drug individually. There are different kinds of reactions a person will have depending on what is mixed together. The four major groups are:

  • Antagonism: This happens when one drug reduces the effect of another drug. For example, taking Xanax while taking cocaine at the same time will reduce the effects of both the cocaine and the Xanax taken.
  • Synergism: This happens when two or more drugs work jointly to produce a therapeutic effect.
  • Interactions: With a person, metabolism will occur in multiple places in the body and can either facilitate or slow down the elimination of the drug from one’s system.
  • Potentiation: Happens when the effects of one drug strengthen the effects of another drug. For instance, taking Xanax with alcohol will produce and enhancement of the depressant effects in both things that are taken.

The potentiation of Xanax occurs when a person abuses Xanax with other central nervous system depressants mixed in for a synergetic effect. This can include drugs like narcotic pain medications, alcohol, sedatives, cannabis, and other benzo products. When taken on their own, central nervous system depressants result in reduced blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and reaction time that will result in effects such as poor coordination, poor balance, impaired reflexes, and impaired judgment. When taking central nervous system depressants with other depressants, you will potentiate these effects. Different potentiating effects are depending on the doses of each drug. It is important to know that the amount of a drug that can produce an overdose is decreased when combined with other central nervous system depressants.

Get Help Now With Xanax Addiction

If you or someone you love are ready to take the necessary steps to get sober, the best way to start is with a medically assisted detox process. Due to the brains rewiring after prolonged use, withdrawal symptoms can be extremely intense and even deadly when you abruptly stop. These symptoms include seizures, coma, hallucinations, muscle pain, and cramping, and even suicidal thoughts, to name a few. Medical detox is always recommended and your doctors will come up with the best plan for you to safely detox the benzos from your system.

Once you have detoxed, the best and safest option to get off of and stay off Benzodiazepines is by the use of one of the many treatment programs we offer at Recreate Life Counseling We offer many different treatment programs that provide therapeutic education and guidance for each individual to help them safely reintegrate into society. With the help of our team of therapists, we offer one on one, group therapy, as well as many other specialized options to fit each person’s needs. Benzodiazepine treatment requires a multi-layered approach for maximum success. We want to make sure you have the tools you need to avoid relapse in the real world.

Addiction isn’t an easy thing to face. Luckily you do not have to face it on your own. Our admissions counselors and professionals are available around the clock. We are ready to help you or a loved one overcome the disease of addiction. Now is the time to change your life. Let us help you do it.


  • What potentiate’s Xanax?
  • What chemicals potentiate benzodiazepines, antagonize them or have an adverse reaction when mixed?
  • What can cause a Xanax overdose?

Published on: 2020-04-25
Updated on: 2024-04-18