Hydrocodone Abuse and Addiction
A painkiller that’s mild enough to seem harmless at first but harnesses a tremendous potency for long-term addiction – hydrocodone is a serious narcotic that has the power to destroy lives.
What are Hydrocodone Pills and Their Common Names?
Many pharmaceutical companies produce medications that contain hydrocodone (the generic name for this drug). This opioid painkiller is available in several branded medications, including:
- Vicodin ES
- Lorcet Plus
- Hydrocodone APAP
Developed to be an effective narcotic pain reliever and cough suppressant, the intense downer effects of hydrocodone causes it to have a high affinity for abuse and subsequent addiction. It’s true that hydrocodone is not as potent as some of the other narcotics in the opioid class (i.e. oxycodone, morphine, heroin), nonetheless, it is highly addictive. Fortunately, efforts made to limit the overprescribing of such opioids have contributed to a decline among high school seniors’ use of Vicodin which was 10.5 percent in 2003 and now down to two percent in 2017.
What are Hydrocodone Effects and Signs of Drug Addiction
Nodding out. Poor attention span. Slurred speech. Extreme drowsiness. Many hydrocodone symptoms may be observed when the user engages in the drug abuse of this substance.
As with any opioid, an addiction to hydrocodone can develop quickly, which leads to more effects and symptoms as the individual experiences periods of withdrawal in the absence of the drug. Common hydrocodone physical, psychological, and behavioral effects and symptoms of a person addicted to hydrocodone include:
- Decreased heart rate
- Slight paranoia
- Difficulty breathing
- Doctor shopping
- Using slang terms for the medication (i.e. vikes, hydros, vico)
- Insomnia during withdrawal
- Muscle aches during withdrawal
- Coma during overdose
- Seizures during overdose
Hydrocodone Mechanism of Action
Hydrocodone is the active ingredient in a class of opioid painkillers that are meant to treat moderate to severe pain. It works by binding with the opioid receptors in the central nervous system that are responsible for the sensation of pain. As a result, triggers for pain are weakened and the individual experiences feelings of elation and euphoria.
In terms of action, hydrocodone produces effects similar to morphine, codeine, and oxycodone. Immediate hydrocodone effects experienced by the user include:
- Less anxiety
What are the Different Types of Hydrocodone?
- Vicodin: (All doses of Vicodin are combined with 300 mg of acetaminophen and either 5 mg, 7.5 mg, or 10 mg of hydrocodone)
- Norco: (All strengths of Norco are combined with 325 mg of acetaminophen and either 7 mg or 10 mg of hydrocodone)
- Lortab: (All strengths of Lortab are combined with 325 mg of acetaminophen and either 5 mg, 7.5 mg, or 10 mg of hydrocodone)
- Zohydro: (Zohydro is composed purely of hydrocodone and comes in the following strengths: 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 50 mg)
Hydrocodone Dependency and Drug Addiction
Hydrocodone is intended for short-term use and is typically prescribed to treat injury-related pain. The number one cause of hydrocodone dependency is when a person is prescribed the medication for short-term pain and eventually abuses it and forms a drug addiction.
If an individual abuses hydrocodone pills over a length of time, the body develops a tolerance. At such point, the physical drug addiction requires the user to ingest higher doses to produce the same effects.
Friends and family members may have a difficult time recognizing an addiction to hydrocodone because it’s often legally prescribed by a physician for a legitimate source of pain. When the individual is taking the pills outside of the doctor’s recommendations, it is considered hydrocodone abuse.
Don’t be Fooled. Hydrocodone is Very Dangerous, Even Deadly
High doses of hydrocodone give the user their desired effects more quickly but can be deadly and even lead to overdose. Nausea, confusion, and drowsiness are the typical overdose symptoms. In severe cases, a hydrocodone overdose can cause death by ceasing respirations or by causing severely depressed breathing.
Mixing hydrocodone with other drugs increases the potential for a deadly overdose. Substances commonly taken with hydrocodone include alcohol or central nervous system depressants. Another very real and dangerous possibility for people addicted to hydrocodone is that users often are unable to obtain the drug due to cost or availability. Subsequently, users substitute with heroin which is cheaper and more available.
Statistics About Hydrocodone Abuse and Addiction from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
- Hydrocodone, or Vicodin, was the most frequently prescribed opioid between the years of 2007 and 2016.
- During the 2016 calendar year, nationwide, 6.2 billion hydrocodone pills were dispersed and 93.7 million hydrocodone prescriptions were written.
- From 2007 to 2016, hydrocodone and oxycodone products were the two most widely sold prescription opioids at the retail level and accounted for 80 percent of all prescribed opioids.
Break Away from Hydrocodone Addiction Today
Waking up with body aches and pain from head to toe is no way to live a life. Having your mind fixated on your next dose before you can even function and or attempt to maintain a normal life is damaging to you and everyone around you.
If you or a loved one is suffering from hydrocodone dependency, now’s the time to break the bondage of drug addiction and contact our south Florida drug rehab today.