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Alcohol & Drug Rehab Main » Addiction Research » Prescription Drug » Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone Addiction

Hydrocodone Pills Medications containing the ingredient hydrocodone can be highly addictive. In the United States over the past decade there has been a spike in cases of dependency to prescription medications, and a spike in overdose deaths. One of the chief concerns is prescription pain medications containing opioids. Addiction in all of its forms is treatable, and there are preventative measures, help and recovery for hydrocodone addiction and dependency.

What is Hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid. It is derived from codeine and is used to relieve moderate to more severe pain as an analgesic. This drug works fast to numb pain and sensory reactions. Hydrocodone is a schedule II prescription medication, which can only be prescribed by doctors for individuals dealing with pain symptoms. Typically the use of hydrocodone medications is only intended to be a short-term solution. The human body has the ability to develop tolerances for medications containing hydrocodone. It has a high tendency to be abused for non-medical reasons.
Hydrocodone is also used as an effective cough suppressant. It is made up of classifications of opiate, codeine and thebaine. Current US regulations do not allow for pure concentrates of opioids for basic consumption. Hydrocodone is processed in lesser amounts with other medications to make a lesser pain relief medications and cough meds. There are thousands of brand name prescription medications made up of such compounds. Commonly hydrocodone is processed with acetaminophen. Two common drugs of this makeup are Vicodin and Lortab. It is also processed with aspirin as is commonly found in painkillers and antihistamines.
Brand Names Containing Hydrocodone
  • Lortab®
  • Vicodin®
  • Anexsia®
  • Co-Gesic®

Because of its opioid makeup, hydrocodone can lead to abuse and also addiction. Opiates attach to the opioid receptors in the central nervous system increasing the sensation of euphoria. This is a chief reason for hydrocodone abuse. There is much less of a chance of developing dependence when using according to prescribed methods. Increase of the drug also greatly increases the chance of abuse and the brain developing an addiction to the drug's effects. Oftentimes it can require a professional addiction treatment, counseling and therapy to help someone who is struggling with prescription medications.

Tolerance & Dependence to Prescription Medications

Like any substance the body can develop a tolerance to prescription medications. In this case an increase of the drug is needed to feel the same desired effects. Some individuals suffering from an addiction can take an abnormally large amount of pills per day. This is a dangerous practice as it can lead to overdose. A common practice with prescription addiction is coupling drugs with the use of alcoholic beverage. Alcohol amplifies the effects of the narcotic. This can become a dangerous practice as it can amplify the chance of overdose.

Individuals can develop a hydrocodone addiction or dependence. Dependence is when the body has become accustomed to the drug in the system; it is needed for a sense of normal function. This can lead to an uncontrolled compulsion of constantly needing opiates. This is accompanied with changes to the behavior and seeking out and using opiates. To feel normal (or what an addict perceives as normal), opiates are needed in the system constantly, or the individual will experience episodes of withdrawal. It is also not uncommon for those addicted to opiates to move onto heroin from prescription meds, which creates a new set of dangers.

Long Term Effects from Hydrocodone Addiction

Long-Term Effects of Hydrocodone Abuse
  • Tolerance
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Chronic Constipation
  • Liver Damage (Acetaminophen)
  • Dependence
  • Addiction
The chief effect of long term hydrocodone use of course is prescription drug addiction. Something happens in the central nervous system. An addict is unable to discontinue use without help. The majority of the time it can take an intervention from loved ones to get them the help that they are in need of. Hydrocodone addiction can lead to an increase in the levels of use and an increase in the dependency to prescription meds.

As an opiate, it functions as a depressant in the central nervous system. Depressants slow down the functions and the activities of the body and brain. Long-term effects from addiction include low blood pressure, headaches, nausea, constipation and developing tolerance to the drug. The ingredient acetaminophen found in many pain medications can greatly increase the risk and danger of health problems. An overdose of acetaminophen based drugs can cause severe and threatening liver damage.

We are here to help you or your loved one through a caring and effective prescription drug treatment program. Call us anytime for assistance and further treatment information at 1-877-997-3422.