A Better Today

Hydrocodone
Inpatient Rehab

How A Better Today Recovery Services Treats Hydrocodone Addiction

It’s likely that you’ve either taken Hydrocodone yourself or know someone who has. More commonly known as Vicodin or Norco, doctors prescribe it as a cough suppressant and pain reliever. Hydrocodone is pressed into tablet form with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. The tablet allows the medicines to work together to change the way the brain perceives pain, allowing for an enhanced feeling of relief.

The standout characteristic of Hydrocodone is the feeling of euphoria it induces. Teens and adults alike are drawn to its effects of blissful relaxation time and time again, regardless of its medical benefits. In 2013, it was reported that over 4 million people, aged 12 years and older, were recreationally using Hydrocodone.

Humans are able to create feelings of euphoria and calmness naturally by manufacturing dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Hydrocodone releases more of these chemicals to the brain causing such abundance that the brain’s creation of these chemicals decreases. This begins a daily dependency on Hydrocodone.

Continued Hydrocodone use effects personality and decision-making, which in turn, disrupts relationships with loved ones. Many times, loved ones recognize the addiction before the abuser does, which can create a strain on the relationship; the addiction is usually the dictator of the abuser’s priorities.

Treatment is necessary to overcome addiction and to get your life back on track. Varied therapies are available to teach life and social skills and treat underlying disorders that may have aided in the development of one’s addiction. Cognitive and family therapies facilitate and restore a meaningful and fulfilling life.

What is Hydrocodone?

Commonly prescribed by doctors, Hydrocodone is usually mixed with acetaminophen and used as a cough suppressant or pain relief. It has a high potential for addiction and should be used exactly as prescribed.

Hydrocodone (a Schedule II narcotic) is primarily used in the United States; in fact, it is one of the most prescribed Opioids in the country. It’s come a long way since it’s creation in 1920. It took 23 years to obtain FDA approval and it’s still unlawful to prescribe in many countries today.

Most commonly, it comes in pill form and is swallowed whole. After about 10-30 minutes, the effects begin to take shape and can last about 4-6 hours.

A tolerance slowly begins to build after regular use, which can create a struggle when trying to achieve a euphoric state while remaining within the dosage boundaries given by the doctor.

Drug & Alcohol Interventions for Hydrocodone

A family coming together to discuss a loved one’s abuse of pain medication may feel counter-intuitive at first. After all, if a doctor prescribed it, how bad can it be? The answer is very bad. There are serious dangers in abusing prescription pain medications. Hydrocodone is just as addictive as Heroin and when abused, they are equally difficult to stop. An intervention may be the only way to keep an addiction from developing further. Let ABTRS help you plan the intervention that could save your loved one’s life.

Addiction is a family disease; all family members are affected by the substance abuser’s actions and behaviors. While addiction is painful, healing is possible. Substance abuse treatment allows for the healing of family members as well as the addicted individual. Family therapy and other treatment strategies provide a safe, comfortable place to find healing and understanding. Countless families have been able to overcome addiction through treatment, many of which began with an intervention.

When Your Doctor Becomes Your Dealer: Abusing Pain Meds

It starts out innocently enough: a person experiences pain and visits the doctor for relief. A relationship with Hydrocodone can be healthy if taken only as prescribed; however, if taken more often than prescribed, the drug soon starts to dominate the relationship.

In the doctor’s office, there is no tangible way to measure pain. The doctor must prescribe medication based on the patient’s account of his or her pain level.

Reporting an exaggeration of the pain informs the doctor you are still in need of pain management, and thus another prescription is written.

Your doctor may be the source of your fix every 30 days, but when the medicine is being abused, every 30 days is no longer adequate. This prompts the drug-seeking behavior of “doctor shopping” in which the above scenario plays out in the office of multiple doctors for the same patient.

Common Behaviors Associated With Hydrocodone Addiction

The discomfort of physical pain causes changes in a person’s baseline behavior. Irritation, impatience, and anxiety influence the manner in which an individual conducts himself or herself while enduring pain. Taking Hydrocodone induces the sensation of relaxation and euphoria while simultaneously controlling pain.

This peaceful sensation and the relief of pain causes a discernable softening of mood. Due to the calming effects of Hydrocodone, common behaviors under the influence of the drug include laying down excessively with no motivation, yawning, sleeping, quiet activities, social isolation, and often scratching many itches.

Once Hydrocodone wears off, irritation may set in again. Erratic mood changes are a large part of a person’s behavior when the medicine is running low, especially in a dependent person.

The Dangers Associated with Hydrocodone Abuse

Signs & Symptoms

Someone under the influence of Hydrocodone may display subtle signs and symptoms. The severity of these symptoms may vary.

  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

Signs of abuse tend to be a bit more severe and can be easier to detect than symptoms of appropriate use. If you recognize these signs in your loved one, it may be time to consider an intervention.

  • Poignant mood changes
  • Restlessness
  • Irritation
  • Anxiety
  • Social isolation
  • Money management issues
  • Exaggerations about pain level

Withdrawal

When addicted to Hydrocodone, the body does not tolerate long periods of time between doses well. In fact, Hydrocodone withdrawals can be excruciating. Anxiety tends to take over the mind while the body experiences physical pain and discomfort that is insatiable.

  • Body ache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Sweating
  • Profound anxiety
  • Cold skin
  • Extreme fatigue

Acute withdrawal symptoms begin a few hours after the last dose and peak after about 72 hours—they are at their peak for about 5-7 days, and then gradually dissipate. Most people find that they can get back to their daily lives after about 4-5 days.

FAQ

What is Hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone is the most frequently prescribed opioid drug in the United States. It is an opiate based drug that is utilized in the treatment of pain.

What is Hydrocodone’s origin?

Hydrocodone is produced by pharmaceutical companies, and prescribed by a doctor. People have been known to alter prescriptions, obtain them illegally over the internet, or go to multiple doctors to get prescriptions to sell them on the street.

What are Hydrocodone’s common street names?

Hydro’s, Vikes, Norco, Watsons

How is Hydrocodone abused?

Hydrocodone is most commonly swallowed, although some people will crush the tablets to snort. The syrups can be mixed with other drugs such as Promethazine to make a drink called “Lean.”

What is Hydrocodone’s effects on the mind?

Hydrocodone, just like other opioids, induces euphoria, sedation and alters pain stimuli.

What is Hydrocodone’s effects on the body?

Hydrocodone works as a depressant. It causes drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, constipation, urinary retention, and slowed respiration.

What are Hydrocodone’s overdose effects?

Since Hydrocodone is an opiate, overdose symptoms are very similar to other opiates cold and clammy skin, constricted pupils, slow breathing that can lead to respiratory failure can lead to loss of consciousness and even death. Large doses of Hydrocodone with Acetaminophen can severely damage the liver.

Which drugs cause similar effects as Hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone shares similar characteristics as Oxycodone, Heroin, and Morphine.

What are the withdrawal effects of Hydrocodone?

If you are addicted to Hydrocodone, when you stop you will experience withdrawals, some of these symptoms are anxiety, insomnia, runny nose, yawning, muscle aches, agitation, tearing, diarrhea, nausea, dilated pupils, abdominal cramping, goose bumps, and vomiting.

Since 2011, Hydrocodone is directly related to over 100,000 emergency room admissions each year.

Signs of a Hydrocodone Overdose

If someone you care about may be experiencing a Hydrocodone overdose, call 911. If not treated immediately, an overdose can result in brain damage or even death. Look for these signs of possible overdose:

  • Very small pupils
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle spasms
  • Slow and shallow breathing
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Bluish tint to skin or nails
  • Drowsiness
  • Seizure
  • Unresponsive

Have as much information as you can when getting help. Helpful notes include the person’s name, age, how much was taken and at what time. If the bottle is available, have that on hand also. Overdosing on Hydrocodone is a constant danger as an addicted person becomes more desperate.

Offering Quality Treatment for Hydrocodone Addictions

There comes a point in time in which the high is no longer attainable and the drug is only taken to avoid agonizing withdrawal symptoms.

When the addiction becomes out of control substantial measures must be taken to balance out the brain chemicals. This allows the brain to learn to function without Hydrocodone again. Treatment at A Better Today Recovery Services is designed to do just that.

The first step within the treatment facility is to stabilize your mind and body while the drug is leaving your system. This happens through a medically supervised detox in which your vital signs will be consistently monitored and medicines can be used to maximize your comfort.

In treatment, a therapist will help to uncover the root of the addiction. Many times, people attempt to self-medicate for underlying conditions they may not have previously realized they have.

If struggles with anxiety and depression compelled you to seek Hydrocodone in the beginning, they will be treated properly to help avoid relapses after treatment.

Finally, you will be able to create a safety net with your therapist that you can turn to in confusing moments outside of treatment, to help you stay strong in your sobriety.

In early recovery, you have the opportunity to mend important relationships with friends and family, acquire new hobbies, focus on your physical and mental health, and grow into the meaningful, content life you were meant for.

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