How Does Hydrocodone Dependence Work?

Not all addictions begin because of intentional behavior. There is a time when people are using legitimate medications, make a few judgment errors, and end up with a full-blown addiction to the drug in question. Yes, there's an opioid addiction epidemic in the United States. It was created from a mixed bag of causes with one of the primary culprits being prescription painkillers. Among that group of substances is a painkiller that goes by the generic name hydrocodone. For anyone out there reading this information, the drug's brand name is Vicodin. Clearly, that's a well-known name among people in the medical community and on the streets. When used as directed by a physician, hydrocodone is very good at doing what it is intended to do. It provides relief from severe pain issues. Unfortunately and not surprisingly, it's highly addictive. If someone sticks to their prescription, they shouldn't have any problems. However, making the decision to increase doses or frequency without a doctor's guidance is like playing with fire. Opioids are notorious for creating dependence, which is only a small step away from a full-blown addiction. In the section below, we want to discuss how dependence works. That includes how it begins and how quickly it can turn into an addiction.

About Hydrocodone Dependence

Before the discussion begins, there's a very important distinction between dependence and addiction that needs to be clarified. Dependence occurs when the body and mind have a strong craving for a substance. It becomes an addiction when the body goes through withdrawal symptoms when it's denied the substance it craves. Simply put, the possibility of withdrawal symptoms is the fine line between dependence and addiction. The truth about hydrocodone dependence is it usually starts innocently enough. A person has pain issues, their doctor prescribes Vicodin, and the patient starts taking the drug as the doctor prescribed. The problem is people usually enter this "contract" with unreasonable expectations. The reality is the pain relief is never quite as fulfilling as the individual expected it to be. Their solution? They start taking the drug in higher doses or more frequently. As the amount of drugs builds up in their system, the body begins to develop an expectation that the drugs will always be there. What the body wants and needs is relayed to the brain, and the brain tells its owner, hey, we need more Vicodin. That's the essence of dependence.

The Signs of Hydrocodone Addiction

As dependence progresses and the individual acts to fulfill their cravings, addiction stands in the wings waiting. FYI: Here's a few signs of hydrocodone addiction:
  • Withdrawal from personal relationships
  • Unkempt personal hygiene
  • Obsession with pursuing drugs or money for drugs
  • Escalating need to take larger doses more often
  • Destructive and criminal behavior
  • Inability to handle personal responsibilities

Treating Hydrocodone Addiction

If an addiction to hydrocodone does form, the addiction sufferer only has one viable option for recovery: They have to submit themselves to an addiction treatment program with a reputable addiction treatment center like ours. With an addiction to an opioid substance, the incoming client should expect to have to spend time in a detox program. The withdrawal symptoms associated with an addiction to said substances are quite dangerous. It just makes more sense to participate in a medically-monitored detox program where medical staffers are monitoring client progress and making sure they are safe during the detox process. After successfully clearing withdrawal and any residual cravings for their drug of choice, the client should be ready for counseling. During counseling, they will get the opportunity to work with a counselor on their issues. During the process, they will hopefully learn a lot about their addiction. That should include the driving forces behind it. At the end of the day, the goal of counseling is to identify the root causes of addiction and subsequently provide the client with the life and coping skills they will need to get around temptation and their personal triggers. That stands as the key to making sure there are no relapses in the future. We can sympathize with the bad things you are experiencing from your addiction to hydrocodone (Vicodin). With that said, we can help you get past your addiction on the way to leading a better life. If you would like more information about our services and facility, you can contact one of our administrators at 800-737-0933.