Meloxicam Addiction, Abuse and Recovery Information

Surprisingly enough, Meloxicam abuse and addiction is becoming a big problem in the United States. Fortunately, recovery is possible, but the very fact that people are abusing this drug is concerning. It is not what anyone would consider a typical “drug of abuse,” which could be contributing to people’s misuse of it.

For those who are abusing it, it is important to understand the dangers of getting addicted. For those who are already addicted, it is necessary to understand the risks involved with continuing to use, and how to recover. We would like to help with both of these.

So many people believe that it is impossible to stop using a drug once they become addicted. That is not the case at all; especially when the individual has the right support. But we should begin by talking about Meloxicam, what it is, what the risks are, and how to know if a person is addicted.

What is Meloxicam?

Meloxicam is a medication that many doctors have started to prescribe instead of sending their patients home with addictive painkillers. It can be very effective as long as it is used appropriately.

Meloxicam is classified as an NSAID, which is short for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Ibuprofen and aspirin are two other examples of NSAIDS that most people are very familiar with. These are both available over the counter, but Meloxicam is not. It is only available by prescription.

More and more people are being prescribed Meloxicam, as well as other NSAIDS. This could be problematic in the long run because it is possible to become dependent upon it if a person takes it for too long.

Meloxicam is the generic name for a number of brand name drugs on the market. They include Mobic, Vivlodex and Qmiiz ODT. Because this medication is not typically sold on the street, it does not have any known street names. When people abuse it, they will usually get it from their doctors, or they may purchase it online to obtain excessive amounts of it.

This medication, along with other NSAIDS, is prescribed to treat a number of different conditions. It is often used to treat the pain, swelling, stiffness and tenderness that people experience when they suffer from osteoarthritis. It can also be used to treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

But now more than ever, doctors are turning to Meloxicam when they see a patient who is complaining of pain. They are more likely to prescribe this drug than they are to prescribe an opioid, which can be good. It certainly helps to keep much more dangerous medications out of the hands of people who might misuse them. But the problem is that this one can be misused as well.

It is recommended for Meloxicam to be taken at the lowest possible dose for as short a period of time as possible.

Meloxicam was first patented in 1977, but it was not approved for use in the United States until the year 2000. A company named Boehringer Ingelheim developed the drug.

During clinical trials, a study was conducted to evaluate the drug’s safety and efficacy. It was a 12-week study that involved 464 people with osteoarthritis in their knees and hips. The participants took three different doses of Meloxicam (3.5 mg, 7.5 mg and 15 mg each day). They were compared to a placebo group.

The findings were that the two higher doses of the drug dramatically decreased symptoms pain and stiffness. People were able to regain normal functions, and the study was deemed a success.

Meloxicam Addiction

Meloxicam’s Side Effects

Like any other drug, Meloxicam does have a list of side effects. Most people are able to take it without any serious problems, but there are some adverse effects that can occur. If and when they do, they should immediately be reported to a doctor. For the most part, side effects are not problematic and should go away with time.

Of course this may not be the case for someone who is abusing Meloxicam. In that instance, side effects may worsen over time.

The side effects of Meloxicam include:

  • An upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas and bloating
  • Feeling anxious or nervous
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • A skin rash

There are some less common side effects – or adverse effects – that people need to be made aware of. These should be reported to a doctor, who may want to change the patient’s medication.

The potential adverse effects of Meloxicam include:

  • Chest pain
  • Physical weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Problems with vision
  • Problems with balance
  • Slurred speech
  • Stools that are black, bloody or tarry
  • Coughing up vomit or blood that has the appearance of coffee grounds
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Excessive swelling

The Short and Long-Term Effects of Meloxicam

For most people, taking Meloxicam on a short-term basis is no cause for concern. But there can be some complications that arise, even when the individual is not taking the drug for long. Not only could they suffer from adverse effects, but they may have additional issues with the medication.

The long-term effects of Meloxicam are much more problematic. They only support the fact that this medication should never be taken for a long period of time.

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For someone taking Meloxicam for a short period of time, they are likely to experience many of the above-mentioned side effects. But they could also experience:

  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Strange dreams
  • Problems staying or falling asleep
  • Feeling tired or fatigued
  • Mild depression
  • Anxiety
  • Problems with constipation
  • Sensations that are similar to pinpricks

As we mentioned earlier, the long-term effects of Meloxicam are much more concerning. This is due to the fact that this medication is an NSAID. While it can be an excellent pain reliever, long-term use can result in any of the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness in one part of or on one side of the body
  • Slurred speech
  • An increased risk of intestinal or stomach bleeding, holes or ulcers
  • An increased risk of heart attack
  • An increased risk of stroke
  • Insomnia
  • Major depression or anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Learning and memory problems
  • An increased risk of kidney damage
  • An increased risk of liver damage
  • Water retention, which could lead to heart failure

Is Meloxicam Addictive?

The good news is that Meloxicam is not known to be physically addictive. But that does not mean that it is not psychologically addictive. There are many people who take it who believe it to be an opioid drug. That fact alone could mean that they become dependent upon it quickly. Even if they know it is not an opioid drug, believing that they need it to deal with their pain can lead to addictive feelings toward it.

People who do get addicted to Meloxicam always begin by abusing it first, but of course, they never start with abusing it. Most of them typically get a prescription from their doctor, and then they take it according to their instructions. It is when they have taken it for a longer period of time that problems generally start.

Over time, they may notice that the drug does not work as well as it did in the beginning. They may start experiencing pain again, and believe that they need more of their medication to relieve that pain. Meloxicam abuse often starts when these individuals choose to increase their dosages on their own without consulting with their doctor first. They may double up their doses, or take more doses during the day than they should. Both qualify as abuse.

In cases like these, people have formed a drug tolerance. That means it takes more of the drug before they can feel its effects, and this is often one of the first signs of an addiction.

It is not possible to get high on Meloxicam because it does not produce a sense of euphoria at any dose. But people have been known to combine it with other substances as a way to get that high feeling. Typically, alcohol and opioids are the go-to drugs that people take along with it.

When people drink alcohol while taking Meloxicam, they will experience euphoria but only from the alcohol. This combination carries a lot of risks because both of these substances can have a negative impact on the stomach and digestive system. That impact is multiplied when they are used together.

There are some instances when a doctor might prescribe Meloxicam along with an opioid drug for pain. But the decision to use these drugs together should be left up to a medical professional. A person should never take a drug like Vicodin or Oxycodone with Meloxicam without talking to a doctor first. But people do because they like the euphoria that they get from the opioid, but they may not get enough pain relief.

When an individual is abusing a drug like Meloxicam, there are certain signs that should be evident. They are usually quite obsessed with the drug, and they may be using it in ways that are not in line with their doctor’s orders.

Some of the most common signs of Meloxicam abuse include:

  • Needing to get a refill for the drug sooner than expected.
  • Visiting more than one doctor to get prescriptions (doctor shopping).
  • Being very secretive about their use of the drug.
  • Stealing others’ medications, or stealing money to purchase more.
  • Spending large amounts of time thinking about how to get more of it.

It is possible that the individual may also exhibit some of the more dangerous side effects listed above if they are abusing Meloxicam. Anyone who suspects that a loved one is abusing this drug should take note of the person’s physical complaints. It could be that drug abuse is the reason behind them.

Understanding Meloxicam Addiction

Once a person has transitioned from abusing Meloxicam to being addicted to it, treatment is necessary to get off the drug. When a person is an addict, they are not able to stop taking a drug on their own. They may have a desire to, but they feel compelled to use it because they believe it makes them feel better.

It is important to understand that according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a disease. It can happen even when the substance in question is labeled as “non-addictive.” Psychological addiction is very real, and it can cause someone to take dangerous chances with their life; simply because they are taking a drug that they believe they need.

As we mentioned earlier, even though Meloxicam is considered non-addictive, people still form addictions to it. There are several signs that indicate that a person might be addicted to this drug, and they are difficult to overlook.

Some of the more common signs of addiction include:

  • Being unable to stop using.
  • Continuing to use even though the individual is having health problems as a result of the drug.
  • Relying on the drug to deal with their problems.
  • Becoming obsessed with the drug.
  • Taking risks in order to obtain the drug that they would not otherwise take.
  • Taking increasingly large doses as a way to keep up with tolerance levels.
  • Turning down invitations to events because they cannot use.
  • Becoming isolated from others.
  • Making sure to always have a good supply of the drug on hand at all times.
  • Denying that they have a problem that needs to be treated.
  • Weight changes
  • Suffering from diseases as a result of the addiction.

Oftentimes because of denial, it can be difficult for a person to tell if they are addicted by looking at a list of symptoms. These individuals may prefer to take a quiz to help them determine if they are addicted. The quiz on our site offers some valuable insight by asking a series of in depth questions. Once it is completed, it is possible to get results right away and find out if an addiction is present.

Some people may want to talk with a professional about their drug use instead. Many drug rehabs offer free addiction assessments that can help. They can call in and talk with an expert who will listen to their situation and determine whether or not they are addicted. They will also tell them what type of treatment would be best suited for them.

Is it Safer to Take Meloxicam Than Opioids?

Most people are very aware of the opioid epidemic that is currently plaguing the United States. It is something that rocked our country to the core, and it has resulted in thousands of overdoses every single year. It should come as no surprise that doctors have been examining many different alternatives as a way to get people off these potentially dangerous medications. NSAIDS are one classification of drugs that they believe could be the answer.

When it is being taken appropriately, Meloxicam is much safer than drugs like Dilaudid or Morphine. But that does not mean it is safe. It can be abused just like painkillers, and doing so has dangerous consequences.

Most people know about how easy it can be to overdose on opioids; particularly if they relapse. But the same is not true for a drug like Meloxicam. Many may think that because it is labeled as non-addictive, that must mean it is safe. Unfortunately, it is possible to take too much of it, which could end up being fatal.

When a person has been taking Meloxicam for a very long time, their tolerance level is likely to be quite high. At any point, they could take more of the drug than their system can handle. That can result in an overdose.

The symptoms of a Meloxicam overdose include:

  • Little to no energy
  • Feeling drowsy
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Black, bloody or tarry stools
  • Coffee ground-like vomit
  • The onset of seizures

It is even possible to fall into a coma after taking too much Meloxicam. This is an emergency situation, and if an overdose is suspected, it is critical to call 911 right away.

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Meloxicam Addiction Recovery and Treatment

Once a person has formed an addiction to Meloxicam, it can be extremely hard to get off the drug on their own. Most people are not successful; whether they try quitting cold turkey, or a different method altogether.

A comprehensive treatment program is necessary in order to stop taking this medication safely. Individual circumstances vary, of course, but that may mean going through both detox and rehab.

Is Drug Detox Necessary?

Drug detox may or may not be necessary for someone who is addicted to Meloxicam. Every patient should be assessed by a doctor to determine if this step is needed. Many people may be able to simply stop taking the drug and enter right into rehab. For others, that may not be the case.

What Does it Mean to Detox From Meloxicam?

There are those who might benefit from a medical taper, and then they may need medical detox if they experience severe withdrawal. This will allow them to stop taking the drug slowly so they get used to being without it. It will also permit them to take different medications that are aimed at helping their withdrawal symptoms, if there are any.

Drug Rehabilitation Programs for Meloxicam Addiction

Whether or not a person goes through detox, they will definitely need drug rehab. It is essential for anyone with an addiction to Meloxicam to work on determining the cause of their addiction. This can be done through extensive therapy and multiple types of treatment.

It is not enough to just treat the addiction itself. The best rehabilitation centers understand that unless the cause is treated, a relapse is usually inevitable. For many people with this type of substance abuse problem, they are also suffering from co-occurring disorders.

Treating a Patient’s Co-Occurring Disorder During Drug Rehab

Co-occurring disorders are conditions like depression or anxiety that can quickly and easily lead to addictions. There are many people who experience strange symptoms, but instead of going to their doctor to get help, they turn to substances. They may have no idea they suffer from a mental health condition; they just want to feel better as quickly as possible. Taking Meloxicam may help to manage those symptoms; at least temporarily.

Dual diagnosis treatment is needed in order to help someone who has a co-occurring disorder. This means getting treatment for both conditions at the same time, and it gives them a better chance of success long-term.

The Importance of Aftercare

After rehab is over, many people think they can just go back to living their lives as normal. Unfortunately, that is not the way it is because an addiction cannot be cured.

People who are in recovery from Meloxicam addiction need to continue to get support. This might mean attending Narcotics Anonymous, or another support group. It could also mean continuing to work with a therapist.

For Those Battling Meloxicam Addiction or Abuse, Recovery is Possible!

At Northpoint the Evergreen, we offer one of the best addiction recovery programs in the State of Washington. Our IOP program is excellent, and it allows people to recover on a flexible schedule that allows them to remain living at home. We can always refer for detox services if they are needed, and we only use facilities and programs we know and trust.

Meloxicam is not a drug that is as safe as people think it is. It is possible to form a psychological addiction to it, and that is something that more people need to be made aware of.

Do you have questions about Meloxicam abuse or addiction? Please contact us today and let us know how we can help.

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