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Darvocet and Darvon Addiction, Abuse and Treatment

These synthetic opioids are highly addictive and potentially lethal drugs, responsible for thousands of hospitalizations and deaths before being banned in 2010.

Understanding Darvocet and Darvon

323377593_529c6db19b_zOnce sold as mild to moderate pain relievers, Darvon and Darvocet are narcotic drugs made with propoxyphene and (in Darvocet’s case) acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. They were also prescribed to migraine sufferers. Call to get help for a Darvon or Darvocet addiction today.

Due to multiple accidental and intentional deaths caused by the drug, the Food and Drug Administration banned propoxyphene-based products from further prescription in 2010. 

The FDA recognizes numerous alarming side effects in users of propoxyphene products including abnormal heart rhythms and seizures.

Darvon, Darvocet and synthetic opioids like them may still remain in circulation. Darvon and Darvocet are controlled-release pills which begin dissolving into the bloodstream once taken by mouth. Slang terms for Darvon/Darvocet include pinks, footballs, 65’s and N’s.

Darvon/Darvocet Abuse and Effects

Darvon and Darvocet run a high risk of abuse and potential addiction. When abused, these pills are crushed into a powder and snorted, nullifying the drugs’ time-release features and flooding the brain with the narcotic substances. The user experiences a brisk, euphoric “rush” and then a sedated sensation lasting upwards of 4 to 6 hours. Physical symptoms of Darvon/Darvocet abuse might include:



Nausea and vomiting




Muscle pain




Reported hallucinations


Skin rash and jaundice


Blurred vision




Even when consumed as intended, Darvon and Darvocet can be dangerous and addictive with severe repercussions.

Darvon and Darvocet can enhance pre-existing feelings of depression and suicidal ideation. When combined with other drugs, especially alcohol and other central nervous system depressants, Darvon and Darvocet use can prove fatal.

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Signs of a Darvon or Darvocet Addiction

Since Darvon and Darvocet are no longer prescribed by doctors, continued use of these substances is a primary indicator something may be amiss. Another initial sign of Darvon/Darvocet addiction is developing a tolerance, or numbness to the drugs’ intoxicating effects. Those suffering from Darvon/Darvocet addiction will require more of the substance to achieve the previous sensations. Eventually the brain craves the drug to even feel “normal.”

Addiction to opiates can develop quickly, marked by physical and psychological dependence on the drug. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders outlines the criteria for an addiction to any substance. Learn more about recognizing an addiction today.

Darvon and Darvocet Addiction Treatment

Breaking an addiction to Darvon, Darvocet or other propoxyphene-based drugs can be a difficult process, but recovery is possible with the proper resources and support. Treatment centers for these substances can provide both inpatient and outpatient options for coping with withdrawals and the psychological impact of quitting.

Darvon and Darvocet treatment options typically start with medically assisted detoxification. This allows doctor supervision of the withdrawal symptoms. This is especially important because quitting Darvon and Darvocet can cause suicidal thoughts and actions in users. Withdrawal symptoms from quitting Darvon or Darvocet might also include muscle aches, insomnia, sweats, tremors, nightmares and anxiety.

Darvon and Darvocet Abuse Statistics

20million users

There were approximately 20 million Darvon users before the drug was banned.

16khospital visits

There were approximately 16,000 hospitalizations involving Darvocet in 2008.

10koverdose deaths

Since 1981, an estimated 10,000 people have died due to overdose-related deaths while taking Darvocet.

Top 10drug of abuse

Prior to the FDA ban, the DEA listed Darvon as a top-ten abused drug in the U.S.

Quitting propoxyphene-based substances can be extremely uncomfortable and trigger a relapse, or falling back into a pattern of abuse. Depending on your situation and needs, you may want to do a residential program or seek out support groups and individual counseling.

Put Yourself on the Road to Recovery

Recovering from a Darvon or Darvocet addiction might seem daunting, but with the proper encouragement and resources, you can take back control from this powerful substance. Finding a support group can help maintain focus and avoid relapse. Begin moving forward today.

Sources & Author Last Edited: January 22, 2016

  1. American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association.
  2. National Institute of Health. (2014). Propoxyphene: MedlinePlus Drug Informatin. Retrieved on April 2, 2014, from:
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