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Stadol, a medication prescribed for treatment of severe pain related to migraines or recovery from surgery, is also potentially addictive. As a synthetic opioid analgesic, it is attractive to drug abusers due to the feelings of well-being it produces. Below is more about this drug, how it is abused, the risks it carries and the long-term problems associated with its abuse.

What Names Does Stadol Go By?

Depending on its formulation, this drug is sold under the names Stadol NS, Torbugesic and Torbutrol. Stadol NS is in the form of nasal spray for fast treatment of pain in human patients. Torbugesic and Torbutrol, however, are prescribed by veterinarians for cases of pain in horses, dogs, cats and other animals. Stadol is also used in injectable form in medical settings. There are no known slang terms for Stadol, probably due to the scarcity of the drug on the street compared to more common opioids, such as hydrocodone or morphine.

Federal Classification

Stadol was first released onto the market in 1978 without any controls on its sale. Although a committee recommended that the drug be scheduled immediately, it remained uncontrolled until 1997, when all forms of it were scheduled. Today, it is classified as a Schedule IV substance due to being potentially addictive during regular use over long periods.

What Does It Look Like?

StadolPure Stadol is an off-white crystalline substance categorized as a synthetic opioid analgesic. On the market, however, the drug takes several forms, including injectable vials, pills and nasal spray. In those without a current tolerance to opiates, the drug is an effective analgesic with effects similar to pure agonists, such as methadone and oxycodone. However, because it is only a partial opioid receptor agonist, opioid-tolerant individuals experience immediate symptoms of withdrawal upon using the drug.

Stadol Use

Stadol is used in a number of ways depending on application and setting. When the drug is prescribed for home use by patients with migraines or post-surgery pain, patients spray the drug directly into a nostril while inhaling for immediate relief. In medical settings, personnel sometimes inject the drug for a high level of pain relief and may combine it with other forms of anesthesia. Tablet forms of the drug are swallowed with liquids or food.

Risks of Usage

Stadol carries a number of serious risks to legitimate medical users as well as addicts. Due to its strong sedating action, excessive dosages are potentially deadly by causing respiratory depression. Although this drug is regarded as being less addictive than some other pain medications, it still has a high risk of causing addiction with long-term medical use and is preferred by some opiate addicts. Individuals with a history of addiction should not be treated with Stadol if possible. In medical settings, the drug must be carefully controlled due to the risk of addiction among personnel who have easy access to it. Finally, the low risk often associated with Stadol can actually contribute to addiction by making it more easily available to drug seekers.

How Does Stadol Affect the Mind?

Stadol affects the mind similarly to other opioid analgesic medications. Sedation, elevated mood, confusion and anxiety occur with normal use. Psychological dependence easily develops during short-term regular use of the drug. As a mixed opioid agonist-antagonist, it can also cause psychotic symptoms in some users. After becoming tolerant to the euphoric effects of Stadol, users are likely to crave increasing dosages.

How Does it Affect the Body?

Stadol shares many physical effects with other opioid medications, including pinpoint pupils, a hallmark of opioid intoxication. Nausea and vomiting, dry mouth, sweating and tingling are other common physical symptoms of normal Stadol use. Depending on the individual, symptoms such as asthma, itching and headache may also occur. Finally, the drug has a strong lowering effect on heart rate and blood pressure and can cause blurred vision in some people.

What Are the Overdose Effects?

When excessive doses of Stadol are used, overdose may result. Symptoms of overdose include severe respiratory depression that can be deadly. Mild overdose may cause severe drowsiness and extended sleeping while larger overdose can result in coma. In contrast to the muscle relaxation seen with normal doses, muscle flaccidity is often seen with overdose. Other overdose symptoms include slow heart rate, clammy skin, tiny pupils, low blood pressure and, eventually, death. Risk of fatal Stadol overdose is greatly amplified when the drug is used in combination with other sedatives, such as alcohol, sleep medications, antihistamines and anxiety drugs.

What Are the Short-Term Effects?

All forms of this drug produce analgesia shortly after use, but the intensity of this action and the speed with which it develops depends on the formulation. Tablets take action most slowly. Nasal spray begins controlling pain more quickly, and injection starts working within seconds of administration. Users experience euphoria, sedation and other addictive effects, but they may also experience nausea, vomiting, dizziness and stupor. The drug is normally used every three to four hours due to its short action.

What Are the Long-Term Effects?

With regular, long-term use, users may experience addiction and a host of problems related to use and withdrawal. Because the body adapts to consistently high levels of Stadol, increasing dosages are needed to produce the same level of pain relief or euphoria. Constipation is a common problem for many long-term users of opioid medications, including Stadol. If users abruptly stop taking the drug, withdrawal sets in and can cause numerous physical, mental and emotional symptoms. What begins as flu-like symptoms may progress to more severe problems including:

  • Muscle pain
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Diarrhea
  • Agitation
  • Vomiting
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Watering eyes

These symptoms drive cravings in addicts, resulting in behaviors such as the following:

  • Lack of insight into excessive usage of Stadol
  • Inability to stop using the drug
  • Moodiness and misbehavior
  • Efforts to get more Stadol from doctors or drug dealers

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