Hydrocodone is a very potent pain killer. It is used for patients that are in need of around-the-clock pain relief and have not responded well to other treatments. This long-acting medication is part of the opiate family of drugs. It targets certain brain and nervous system receptors in the body that respond to pain. Many people are prescribed this medication after they have had a major surgery. Because of its potency, hydrocodone is extremely addictive. It is very common for people to develop an addiction to it after they have recovered from their medical procedure. They are no longer in need of the medication, but they can’t seem to stop taking their prescription. This chemical dependency becomes a compulsion of sorts. Even though they have been prescribed this medication for a certain purpose, it can become a habit to feel good from this medication. Without it, pain returns and the desire for more becomes apparent.
A hydrocodone addiction can be labeled from mild to severe in nature. A patient may notice that they have a problem as they spend more and more time trying to find another hydrocodone prescription. They also find that they need a higher dose in order to achieve desired results. It doesn’t take long for hyrdocodone to become a priority. By that time, the addict has started to neglect other parts of their life. They may lose touch with friends that they have known for a long time. They may quit their job or lose their job. Their focus has changed, and they are no longer able to take care of their daily duties. Family life will suffer as well. An addiction doesn’t have to be going on for many months in order for these things to occur. After having surgery, taking hydrocodone for just a few weeks can send a person into a downward spiral of addiction. It is important that if you are in need of prescription pain medication, you speak with your doctor about the potential for addiction. Your doctor will advise you on how to take your medication. He will also check in with you regularly. If you know that you are susceptible to addiction because you have an addictive personality, then you may want to investigate other pain relief options.
Signs of a Hydrocodone Addiction
There are a number of pain medications that fall into the opiate category. Hydrocodone has a few different brand names. It can be referred to as Norco, Vicodin and Lortab. You don’t have to be on these drugs for many days in a row to develop an addiction. Physical dependency can occur after using them just a few times. If you suspect that you have an issue with hydrocodone addiction, or someone that you know is showing odd behavior regarding their hydrocodone use, there are some signs that you can look for. This includes:
-Avoiding social interactions
You should keep an eye out for a drastic change in behavior. People who have an addiction of any sort will change how they act. They may be more aggressive towards you or have a shorter temper. It isn’t uncommon for them to sleep more. They may also fall asleep at very inconvenient times. Falling asleep at a family gathering or at the dinner table might happen more frequently than you would expect. Panic ensues when an addict can not get their next dose of their drug. This is something that can cause arguments and altercations.
Why is Hydrocodone Dangerous?
Hydrocodone is just as dangerous as heroin or morphine. The same parts of the brain are affected when taking any of these drugs. When these drugs attach themselves to the opioid receptors in the brain, a sense of euphoria is achieved. These substances also interact with the part of our brain that reacts to rewards. This is what encourages the ongoing use of hyrdocodone. After just a short time of using hydrocodone, there is permanent damage that can happen. Just like with any drug, hydrocodone can completely ruin a person’s life if addiction becomes an issue. If you are in need of hydrocodone for pain relief, make sure that you get an appropriate dosage. Don’t take more than you have been prescribed. Contact your doctor if you have any unusual side effects, or if you have any questions about your hydrocodone use.
There are some immediate side effects that can occur from just a short time of abusing hydrocodone. You may experience:
-Slowed heart rate
There are long-term effects of hydrocodone use. Some of these issues will last a lifetime. Finding treatment can help kick the habit, but it cannot always reverse the damage that has been done to the body. Because the body’s reward system is triggered during the use of hydrocodone, many people find that healthy activities that normally produce joy will not be as pleasurable. It can take years to feel normal again from this perspective. Liver damage is also a very common side effect.
If you or someone that you know is suffering from a hydrocodone addiction, now is the time to seek help. It can be very easy to overdose on hydrocodone. You can also do a lot of permanent damage to your body with prolonged use. If you are ready to get started on the road to recovery with detox, give us a call at 877-927-9048. Proper treatment for hydrocodone addiction will provide physical assistance, mental assistance and an ongoing care plan. It is important to focus on long-term recovery but also prevention. Having been addicted to hydrocodone at one point in your life can increase your risk of addictive behavior in the future. It is important to have a plan put in place so you can continue on with your new life. You will be able to remain healthy and happy moving forward.