Darvon Addiction, Statistics, Abuse, Symptoms & Side Effects

What is Darvon?

Darvon is a brand name for the drug proposyphene, a narcotic pain reliever used to treat mild to moderate pain. Darvon functions in the body by blocking pain receptors in the brain, thus numbing common physical ailments. In addition to reducing pain, Darvon can cause respiratory depression and sedation. Street names for Darvon include “Pink Footballs”, “Yellow Footballs”, “65’s”, and “N’s”. While the FDA originally approved in the 1950’s, it was recalled and pulled off the general markets in 2010. This was due to reports finding that users experienced an intense change in the electrical activity of their heart, causing abnormal rhythms and cardiac arrest. Although it is not available by prescription in the United States, it can still be accessed for non-medical uses. With recreational use of Darvon becoming increasingly popular, the use  can be highly addictive and can lead to a Darvon addiction. The abuse of Darvon, both short and long term, can result in devastating physical, mental, and emotional consequences.

Darvon Addiction Statistics

Since there are limited studies that presently exist in the literature about Darvon, statistical information is not readily available about this specific drug. However, it is known that opiate type drugs, such as Darvon, are increasingly accessed and abused by Americans nationwide. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that over 12 million people in 2010 used painkillers such as Darvon for non-medical reasons [1].

Causes of Darvon Addiction

The initial appeal for taking Darvon may be for the pain relief that it offers, but any misuse of the drug can quickly progress into an addiction as it has a very slim margin of therapeutic to toxic levels. Men and women who abuse it are addicted to the sense of euphoria, or “high” they achieve with misuse of the drug. Individuals can become addicted to the experience of being “high” as it may temporary relieve physical, emotional, or psychological pain such a traumatic life event. Being able to “numb” this pain with the oblivion created by a Darvon addiction can trap a user in a vicious cycle of abuse. Because of the similarities a Darvon addiction has with other addictive diseases, it can be co-occurring with substance abuse or eating disorders. The nature of addictive diseases is influenced by several factors, and it is likely that that men or women who struggle with a Darvon addiction may also struggle with other forms of addictions.

Signs and Symptoms of Darvon Addiction

In the situation that an individual is abusing Darvon, there are several signs and symptoms to be notice. While not all individuals reveal the same signs, you might notice one or more of the below symptoms in the case of an addiction. The following are some of the signs and symptoms that may occur as a result of abusing:

  • Vision problems
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea, Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Itching, Hives
  • Hallucinations
  • Mood changes
  • Stomach pain
  • Yellowing of the eyes and skin
  • Restlessness
  • Alerted sleep habits
  • Constipation
  • Dry Mouth

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these side effects as a result from abusing, it is important that you seek help as soon as possible.

Darvon Effects

Addiction to Darvon can affect the abuser in both the short and long term. These consequences can influence a man or woman in various facets, such as physically, psychologically/mentally, and socially. The following are ways that Darvon can impact an abuser’s life:

Physical Effects – The use of the drug Darvon can physically alter the normal behaviors and mechanisms of the body. Here are some negative physical consequences resulting from abusing the drug:

  • Cardiovascular complications
  • Altered mental function
  • Respiratory failure
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Death due to accidental overdose

Psychological / Mental Effects – Using Darvon can also have negative impacts on mental health. Here are some negative psychological and mental effects from using:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Confusion, disorientation
  • Paranoia
  • Altered perception of reality
  • Personality shifts
  • Low self-esteem, negative body image
  • Feelings of anger, rage

Social Effects – The use can be the cause of several negative social effects. These can include the following:

  • Withdrawal, isolation from friends and family
  • Disinterest in normally enjoyed activities
  • Broken relationships with loved ones
  • Division or damage within a family

Darvon Withdrawals

An individual addicted to Darvon will experience withdrawal symptoms similar to those caused by other opiate drugs. It may be necessary for Doctors to prescribe drugs such as naxolene or buprenorphine to help alleviate symptoms experienced in the detoxification process from Darvon, such as anxiety, insomnia, sweats, tremors, nightmares or headaches.

Any individual who has become dependent on the drug is at risk for relapse once withdrawn from the drug. This means that there could be reoccurring use of the drug after a period of abstinence from using it. Relapsing can be common for men and women attempting to “stay clean” from Darvon for the first time. Having the support of a treatment facility can prevent relapse prevention and create long term success for recovery.

Darvon Treatment and Help

Darvon addiction is a debilitating habit that can result in a number of negative consequences. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, the first step towards overcoming this is by identifying the problem. Obtaining professional help is crucial to dealing with the complications that may have resulted from abuse. A Darvon addiction can be overwhelming and devastating to deal with, but fortunately, you do not have to be alone. There are many great programs for Darvon treatment in rehab centers around the US. Having the help of a professional treatment team can allow for the best care and treatment, and ultimately give you the tools you need to overcome this addiction.


[1]: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Prescription Painkiller Overdoses in the United States”. http://www.cdc.gov/Features/VitalSigns/PainkillerOverdoses/index.html Accessed 19 January 2013.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on March 27, 2014
Published on AddictionHope.com, Online Information About Addictions