Should we be more worried about Desoxyn—a prescription methamphetamine with a high abuse potential?
Per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there are MORE rehab admissions for amphetamine drugs than for prescription opioids.
Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, estimates 30% of all legally-produced stimulants in America are diverted for misuse. This is significant, because 80% of the world’s pharmaceutical stimulants are consumed in the US.
What is Desoxyn?
“Administration of methamphetamine for prolonged periods of time in obesity may lead to drug dependence and must be avoided. Particular attention should be paid to the possibility of subjects obtaining methamphetamine for non-therapeutic use or distribution two others…”
~ Desoxyn product warning
Desoxyn, aka methamphetamine hydrochloride, is a prescription stimulant medication dispensed for ADHD or obesity. Although it isn’t as well-known as Adderall or Ritalin, it’s still prescribed often enough to cause concern—according to the DEA’s Diversion Control Division, 16,000 Desoxyn prescriptions are filled every year.
Psychostimulants—The OTHER Drug Crisis
The 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment reports approximately 10% of law enforcement agencies rank prescription drugs as the top drug threat in their area.
Yearly deaths involving psychostimulants such as Desoxyn, Ecstasy, Ritalin, or Adderall.
- 2008: 1302
- 2009: 1632
- 2010: 1854
- 2011: 2266
- 2012: 2635
- 2013: 3627
- 2014: 4298
- 2015: 5716
2008-2015, psychostimulant-related poisoning deaths ballooned 439%
Why is Desoxyn So Addictive?
“So, in a sense, crystal methamphetamine is the nuclear weapon in the brain, contrasted to conventional weapons of alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana.”
~Dr. Petros Levounis, Rutgers Medical School
At therapeutic levels, Desoxyn promotes:
- Increased alertness
- Heightened concentration
- Accelerated weight loss
Like other abused substances, stimulants “hijack” the brain regions linked to reward, learning, and motivation, but to a far greater degree.
- During sexual activity, dopamine levels jump 200%.
- Cocaine—a stimulant—spikes dopamine levels to 350% of normal.
- Desoxyn, BY FAR the strongest prescription stimulant, triggers a dopamine surge of up to 4000%!
This flood explains why meth-dependent addicts constantly seek and use the drug to the point of ignoring other normal activities, including bathing and eating.
The problem worsens because chronic stimulant abuse of stimulants can damage the brain:
- Impaired concentration
- Cognitive difficulties
- Memory loss
Recovery from Desoxyn/meth addiction is further complicated because there is no approved pharmaceutical treatment as there is for other addictive substances–alcohol, opioids, or tobacco.
Lori Otter, Board President of the Idaho Meth Project, remarks, “It’s a 98 percent first-time addiction drug, so meth is not something you want to mess with.”
Desoxyn Leads to Street Meth
According to the American Society for Addiction Medicine, 80% of heroin addicts began by misusing their prescribed drugs. 94% of heroin users report switching because painkillers were “far more expensive and harder to obtain”.
This same may be true for Desoxyn and illicit meth. When a drug-dependent person can’t legally obtain more refills, they resort to the black market, where per-pill prices are exorbitant and the supply is inconsistent.
Illicit methamphetamine is plentiful, potent, and cheap. Per the Drug Threat Assessment, 79% of law enforcement agencies in the Pacific states—California, Washington, Nevada, Oregon, and Idaho—report that meth is “highly available”.
Since 2011, average meth purity has risen from 85.5% to 93.5%, while the price has dropped from $98 per pure gram to $58.
In the Pacific states:
- US Attorney Wendy Olson opines that meth is Idaho’s biggest drug problem.
- In Oregon, meth deaths have reached an all-time high, surpassing heroin and equaling prescription opioids.
- 2009-2014, methamphetamine seizures at the San Diego seaport and airport and along the California-Mexico border quadrupled.
What’s the Bottom Line about Desoxyn?
Here’s the thing—meth is meth, prescription or not. Desoxyn is a powerful, highly-addictive medication that can be dangerous if misused or taken long-term. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to discuss safer alternatives with your doctor.
If you are struggling with a dependence on any prescription or illicit drug, Lasting Recovery outpatient rehab in San Diego can help.