One of the most common prescription opioids,Hydrocodonee, is part of the class of narcotic analgesics known for its sedative, euphoric side effects for pain relief. The side effects associated with Hydrocodone can be highly addictive and lead to dependence and abuse if used for an extended period.
What is Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is a schedule II synthetic opioid and narcotic analgesic commonly prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. The most common Hydrocodone prescription brands, Vicodin and Lortab, are combination medications mixed with hydrocodone and acetaminophen, a non-opioid pain reliever. Hydrocodone is a derivative of codeine, an opiate in the opium poppy plant, used to treat mild to moderate pain. WhileHydrocodonee is derived from codeine, Hydrocodonee is more potent than codeine.
Is Hydrocodone Addictive?
While Hydrocodone is a prescription medication, it can be habit-forming and addictive for some users. The purpose of Hydrocodone is to relieve the moderate to severe pain the user is experiencing by altering the brain and nervous system’s response to the pain. The synthetic opioid interacts with specific brain and spinal cord receptors, known as opioid receptors. It exerts analgesic effects by binding to the opioid receptors, inhibiting the signal from a pain stimulus, and reducing the brain’s perception of pain. Synthetic opioids like Hydrocodone can also stimulate dopamine release, offering euphoric side effects alongside pain relief. The impact of Hydrocodonee are a contributing factor in opioid use disorders (OUDs) and opioid addiction.`
Types of Hydrocodone
Hydrocodone is one of the most common pain medications clinicians prescribe and the most abused by patients. There are several types and formulations of Hydrocodone including Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen combination, Extended-release Hydrocodone, Hydrocodone combination with other NSAIDs, and Hydrocodone as a cough suppressant. The hydrocodone and acetaminophen combination is the most prescribed painkiller as it is the most effective for treating moderate to severe pain. The brand-name medications for this combination pain reliever are Vicodin, Lortab, and Norco.
While these combination medications are all used to treat moderate to severe pain, there are some differences in dosage formulations and acetaminophen content. Vicodin is the most common Hydrocodone medication prescribed for pain relief and comes in several strengths, such as 5mg, 7.5mg, or 10mg with 300mg of acetaminophen. Lortab comes in pill form in 5mg, 7.5mg, and 10mg with 325mg acetaminophen. Norco is generally associated with a higher hydrocodone-to-acetaminophen content ratio than Vicodin and Lortab, with 325mg of acetaminophen. All hydrocodone combinations carry the potential for abuse and addiction. This potential risk emphasizes identifying the signs and symptoms of hydrocodone abuse and dependency before it exacerbates.
Signs and Symptoms of Hydrocodone Addiction
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of hydrocodone addiction is essential for seeking treatment and support immediately. Hydrocodone abuse and addiction can manifest in physical, behavioral, and psychological symptoms. Here are some of the most common signs and side effects of Hydrocodone abuse and addiction:
- Doctor Shopping: Visiting multiple doctors to get additional prescriptions.
- Taking More Than Prescribed: Using the drug in higher amounts or for more extended periods than intended.
- Failed Attempts to Cut Down or Withdrawal: Inability to reduce or control hydrocodone use despite a desire to do so.
- Misusing the Medication: Crushing and snorting pills or using other administration methods not prescribed.
- Loss of Interest in Activities: Neglecting hobbies, activities, or responsibilities from drug use.
- Secretive Behavior: Hiding the drug or being dishonest about the amount taken.
- Mood Swings: Rapid changes in mood or increased irritability.
- Anxiety or Paranoia: Heightened feelings of worry or unfounded fears.
- Depression: Feeling down, hopeless, or losing interest in activities once enjoyed.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Memory problems.
Physical Side Effects of Hydrocodone Addiction
- High Tolerance: Needing to take more of the drug to achieve the same pain-relieving effects or experiencing diminished effects when using the same amount.
- Constipation: A common side effect of opioid use
- Drowsiness or Sedation.
- Slurred speech.
- Respiratory Depression: Slow, shallow breathing.
- Constricted Pupils.
- Itching or Flushed Skin.
- Nausea and Vomiting.
The physical symptoms associated with hydrocodone withdrawal may include nausea, vomiting, sweating, chills, muscle pain, diarrhea, agitation, and mood disturbances. If someone is taking Hydrocodone and exhibits these signs and symptoms, especially in combination, it might indicate hydrocodone abuse or addiction. Drug and alcohol rehab centers offer several treatment options for those struggling with hydrocodone addiction and abuse.
Hydrocodone Addiction Treatment in Stuart, FL
Seeking help and treatment for hydrocodone dependency and addiction is better sooner than later. Often, people think they can withdraw and get sober on their own, but this is not safe. Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms can include muscle pain, restlessness, nausea/vomiting, cold flashes, or uncontrolled leg movements due to physical dependence. Addiction is a complex disease that requires multifaceted treatment methods from medical professionals at an addiction treatment center. Withdrawal from Hydrocodone when physically dependent at a detox facility ensures a safe and comfortable detoxification process. Following hydrocodone detox, drug and alcohol rehab centers offer inpatient and outpatient care to further the recovery process and support you on your journey. Depending on the severity of your addiction will determine whether or not inpatient treatment—round-the-clock care and supervision—is required.
Addiction treatment centers utilize various psychotherapies and behavioral therapies to assist the recovery and healing process from addiction. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps to identify negative thought patterns and situations that trigger drug cravings and maladaptive behaviors. Substance use disorders (SUDs) and mental illnesses, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or anxiety disorders, commonly co-occur and intensify the symptoms of one another. When a mental health disorder and substance use disorder (SUD) co-exist, this is known as a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. Dual-diagnosis treatment programs in drug rehab employ holistic treatment methods to ensure comprehensive recovery and healing of each patient—mind, body, and spirit.
Facing addiction can be overwhelming and taxing, but we want you to know that you’re never alone. You can make the decision and choose sobriety today.
Contact Coastal Detox in Stuart, FL, and take the first steps towards a healthier life in recovery!
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023. Prescription Opioids: The Basics.
- National Library of Medicine, 2022. Hydrocodone.
- National Library of Medicine, 2022. Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen.
- Mayo Clinic, 2023. Drugs and Supplements: Hydrocodone And Acetaminophen (Oral Route).
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2023. Co-Occurring Disorders and Other Health Conditions.