Pain is a debilitating factor of illness and can make just about any activity difficult without adequate pain relief. According to the CDC’s review of the 2016 National Health Interview Survey, about 1 in 5 Americans suffer from chronic pain. To alleviate this pain, many doctors prescribe medications like acetaminophen hydrocodone bitartrate, which does provide temporary pain relief but can lead to other issues down the line. Aside from side effects, patients who take the drug also face the risk of addiction, which can lead to drug abuse. Let’s have a look at what the M365 pill is, why people take it, and what side effects they face.
What Is The M365 Pill?
The M365 pill is an opioid analgesic that comes from a modified codeine molecule. Since it’s a synthetic opioid, its structure looks similar to that of codeine and morphine. As it’s an easily available opioid medication for pain, patients who take it can end up developing an opioid addiction. In fact, because of how easy it is to find, many of the people who develop a dependence aren’t even prescribed it. Rather, they simply take it from someone who does get a prescription.
What it Looks Like
The M365 pill is white with ‘M365’ imprinted on it and is capsule shaped. The pill is a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone, and doctors usually prescribe it to people suffering from moderately severe pain. This could be due to an injury or a chronic disease. It’s available in a generic form, as well as the brand name, Vicodin.
The white capsule contains 325 mg/5 mg of acetaminophen/hydrocodone bitartrate and is distributed by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. And if you look at Vicodin, each tablet contains 300 mg to 325 mg of acetaminophen, while the hydrocodone dosage comes in different levels of 5 mg up to 10 mg. It’s a prescription medication that’s given to patients with back pain to alleviate their symptoms. It’s a narcotic drug and on the list of Schedule II controlled substances.
Because of how effectively it eliminates pain, many people develop a physical dependence on it. If you look at the formulation alone, acetaminophen isn’t enough to deeply reduce the pain that people experience. But together with hydrocodone, it works as a fast-acting pain reliever.
Where Addiction Starts
Taking more medication than you need, especially in the case of an opioid analgesic, can be dangerous. Most patients who develop an addiction to opioid medications start by taking an extra dose to relieve high-intensity pain. However, even a single extra dose can cause you to double your dosage each time, leading to dependency. Doctors generally prescribe patients to take one tablet every 4 to 6 hours, but people who develop tolerance may take increased doses.
Side Effects of Taking M365 Pill for Pain Relief
Like any other prescription medication, taking the M365 drug can have side effects. When patients take it according to their prescription, they will feel less pain as the medication connects with the brain’s pain receptors. By preventing pain signals from reaching the brain, it acts as a highly effective painkiller.
Patients who take the medication as directed tend to experience the following symptoms:
- upset stomach
- blurred vision
- difficulty in urinating
- dry mouth
Misusing a drug is when you fail to take the medication as prescribed. Doctors usually give specific instructions on taking medication when prescribing it, so misuse can be as simple as taking it earlier or later than specified. However, some patients may misuse a drug by taking an extra dosage when they experience intense pain, which can lead to taking large amounts to get ‘high.’ Misuse of opioid medication like M365 can induce feelings of euphoria, which is the main reason why it’s so addictive.
People who take excessive amounts of the M365 pill report side effects such as:
- feeling relaxed
- feeling euphoric
- being more social
- feeling more comfortable
Unfortunately, these pleasant and positive feelings can only last a certain amount of time. Just like other controlled substances, it’s only a matter of time before users start to develop a tolerance to M365. Consequently, they’ll have to start taking a bigger dose to experience the same high.
However, their body has developed a dependence, which means that it’s learned to maintain homeostasis with large amounts of the drug in the body. So as the dosage increases, the brain adjusts, so a lower dose no longer provides the same high. Now, they need to take large amounts to ensure that the body feels normal.
Because of long-term abuse, they may develop side effects such as:
- low motivation
- mood instability
- desire to be alone
Because people find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle of addiction, it’s difficult to walk away from the drug. Their body requires a higher dosage to sustain ‘normal’ functioning; without it, they risk developing withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal Symptoms from M365 Pills?
A common misconception among people is that it’s too late for them to get clean after they’re dependent on a drug and have built a tolerance. Most medical experts recommend that you slowly wean off the drug instead of quitting cold turkey. Otherwise, you risk experiencing some uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, such as the following:
- insomnia and poor sleep
- muscle aches
Withdrawal symptoms can be both physical and psychological and refer to the adverse reactions of discontinuing a substance after developing a physiological dependence.
Signs of M365 Abuse
The signs of prescription drug abuse tend to vary based on the substance the person is taking and how long they’ve been taking it. However, when someone is addicted to prescription medication, they usually show the following signs:
- engaging in drug-seeking behavior
- hostility towards family and friends
- taking extra doses
- higher alcohol intake
- spending most of one’s time getting, using, or recovering from the use of a prescription drug
- a shift in eating and sleeping patterns
- mood shifts based on the availability of medication
- visiting multiple doctors to get prescriptions
- making excuses like losing their prescription
- lying about how much medication they’ve taken
- hiding their medication in different parts of the house
- failing to fulfill responsibilities due to prescription drug abuse
- no longer participating in recreational, social, or occupational activities because of prescription drug abuse
- ordering medication from online pharmacies
- forging prescriptions
- using the drug despite its negative effects on one’s relationships
These signs will indicate that a person has developed a dependence on M365 and is struggling with addiction.
The M365 Abuse Problem
Currently, the Drug Enforcement Agency has labeled the brand name of M365, Vicodin, as a Schedule II controlled substance. Before October 2014, it was categorized under Schedule III controlled substances. The agency voted to increase restrictions around the use and sale of M365 due to the drug’s high potential for abuse. The aim was to prevent patients from misusing or abusing the drug.
Aside from the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and adverse side effects of long-term abuse, health-related complications can also occur. M365 abuse can lead to liver damage or even failure, which occurs due to high doses of acetaminophen. In most cases of people who experienced liver damage from long-term M365 use, people have been taking over 4,000 mg of acetaminophen each day.
Due to these reasons, the FDA announced in March 2014 that manufacturers should cease marketing drugs with more than 325 mg of acetaminophen. Before this, formulations included acetaminophen doses as high as 750 mg.
Getting Help When You’re Addicted to M365
Addiction to controlled substances is a treatable condition. The most effective way to do so is to seek the services of an inpatient rehab facility. Here, medical professionals will guide you through the recovery process to ensure that you recover safely.
Such facilities also offer treatments to help you understand why you’re taking the medication, so you can avoid falling victim to addiction once more. Of course, you don’t have to go through it alone. There are various resources like support groups that can help you get clean and remain committed to recovery.
M365 Addiction Treatment Options
Once you develop a dependence, withdrawal symptoms can be pretty painful. Consequently, people may continue taking the drug just to avoid them. It’s imperative to get treatment through therapy and professional guidance in a setting that encourages recovery.
When you go to an inpatient rehab center, one of the first things you have to go through is a detox program. The purpose of this is to wean the patient off the drug. They do so by gradually reducing doses in a method called tapering. Over time, it eliminates traces of the drug from your body while managing withdrawal symptoms.
Naturally, most people who start treatment have a risk of returning to drug abuse because withdrawal symptoms are so painful. To help with this, programs offer medication to ease symptoms, which increases a person’s chance of recovering. Some of the most common medications used include:
Also used to address alcohol addiction, naltrexone reduces the intensity of drug cravings. It’s an opioid receptor antagonist, which means it blocks the opioid receptors in the nervous system. It also blocks the effects of the drug in the event of a relapse. So when people return to the drug, they no longer experience the euphoric feeling. And when they no longer get the high they’re looking for, they’re less likely to take the drug.
Another commonly used opioid antagonist is naloxone, which is commonly used in opioid addiction treatment. In many states, emergency room doctors are allowed to administer naloxone to people experiencing an opioid overdose. It works by stopping the brain from absorbing opioid medication by binding to the opioid receptors. It’s highly effective because it can bind to receptors faster than the opioid medication itself. So if someone overdoses on M365 pills, they will be given naloxone to stop the process and get them to a hospital emergency room.
This drug mimics the effect of M365 by activating the same receptors. It stimulates the release of dopamine and relieves withdrawal symptoms to reduce the likelihood of a relapse.
After the medical detox, the patient should participate in a recovery program to ensure the continuum of care. In most residential treatment programs, patients stay at the facility to undergo additional addiction treatment in a monitored environment. This lasts for a month or more, during which they’re provided therapy, counseling, and other medications to prevent the risk of a relapse.
If people have to get back to work and can’t stay at an on-site facility, they can choose a partial hospitalization program. This is preferred for people who require intensive treatment for certain hours during the week. In the end, there are outpatient programs, in which you can visit a treatment facility and go back home. Intensive outpatient programs require clients to get at least nine hours of therapy each week, while regular outpatient programs require less.
The Importance of Additional Treatment
Once you get detox, there is still a risk of relapse due to protracted withdrawal. This is a series of emotional withdrawal symptoms like anxiety and low mood. Such symptoms can prompt people to take one last dose to help ease their suffering. This makes it important for people to get unconditional support from family. Additionally, they should see a therapist to help them change their flawed thinking patterns and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
M365 Pill FAQs
Here are some of the commonly asked questions about M365 use:
Why is it addictive?
M365 is a synthetic opioid, and it has a risk of building a person’s tolerance. And because it can induce feelings of euphoria, it urges people to take more of it to get high.
How do I take M365 without getting addicted?
It’s best to follow your doctor’s instructions to avoid developing a tolerance. Even when you experience higher pain levels, don’t exceed the dosage prescribed to you.
Why is M365 dangerous?
When you misuse or abuse M365, you’re abusing 2 drugs – hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Consequently, there’s a risk of overdosing on both, and high doses of acetaminophen can cause liver damage.
The M365 pill is a pain medication with a high potential for abuse. When misused, they can lead to the development of tolerance and addiction. When taken in excess, it can cause adverse symptoms, and in the long-term, health complications as well. Once you build a tolerance for it, the body can experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. It’s imperative to seek treatment from a rehabilitation center that specializes in prescription drug addiction. With proper guidance and treatments, you can successfully overcome addiction to prescription opioid medication.