A Form of the Painkiller Fentanyl
Actiq is a form of the painkiller fentanyl that is delivered by a unique “lollipop” method. The fentanyl is contained in a berry flavored lozenge on the end of a plastic stick that is rubbed between the patient’s cheek and gum to deliver pain relief quickly. As a painkiller, Actiq is much stronger than morphine and is often used for cancer pain and opiate-tolerant individuals. Recently, physicians have begun prescribing it “off-label” for treating migraines, neuropathy, and arthritis. This “off-label” prescribing has made Actiq much more readily available for those engaging in Actiq drug abuse.
Actiq Drug Abusers Call Them “Perc-a-Pops”
Actiq got its nickname of a “perc-a-pop” because it both looks like a lollipop and has the sweet taste of one too. Actiq drug abuse often starts with an individual being prescribed the drug by a doctor for a medical condition. Patients can quickly become psychologically and physically dependent on Actiq, sometimes without even realizing it. This can lead to a variety of drug seeking behaviors that can be very dangerous. Actiq drug abuse also exposes individuals to the unpleasant side effects of Actiq itself. These include: constipation, dry mouth, rash, sweating, hot flashes, dizziness, depression, and weight gain. There is also the danger of overdose that can result in death in extreme cases.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Actiq Abuse
Unfortunately for individuals who have fallen into Actiq drug abuse, quitting “cold turkey” has its own unpleasant and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can begin within hours of one’s last use and can continue for several weeks. Actiq withdrawal symptoms include: sweating, malaise, anxiety, depression, hallucinations, muscle cramps, severe muscle and bone aches, leg kicking, yawning, sneezing, tears, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cold flashes, and fever. Some Actiq drug abusers have described a withdrawal symptom that they call “itchy blood” which causes them to compulsively scratch themselves so much that they give themselves bruises and open sores. Due to the seriousness of these withdrawal symptoms, individuals should not end their Actiq drug abuse without medical supervision. In fact, the best course of action is to check into a medically supervised detox facility to help you through this process. In order to fully recover from Actiq drug abuse, longer term drug treatment and counseling are also recommended.