Tag Archives: hydrocodone addiction

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.

What are the Signs of Hydrocodone Addiction?

What are the Signs of Hydrocodone Addiction?

Hydrocodone is a commonly prescribed opioid medication used to treat pain which has a high potential of abuse. The use of opioids, which include prescription medications such as hydrocodone and illicit drugs such as heroin, has skyrocketed in recent decades, resulting in a widespread epidemic of abuse in the United States. It is estimated that there are currently 2 million people struggling with opioid addiction and that roughly 47,450 die every year from an opioid overdose. The crisis has been covered widely in the news, putting citizens on high alert regarding potential addiction in themselves and their loved ones. Understanding the signs of a hydrocodone addiction can be a vital step to starting down a path towards recovery. Here a few things to know regarding hydrocodone addiction.

What is Hydrocodone?

As previously mentioned, hydrocodone is a prescription opioid medication used to treat pain. It is semi-synthetic, meaning it is created in a lab rather than occurring naturally like other opioids such as morphine and codeine. Hydrocodone is generally combined with other medications, such as cough syrup to aid in reducing certain symptoms in addition to minimizing pain. It works by binding to certain receptors in the brain and altering the way the body reacts to pain. Hydrocodone can be prescribed in various forms including syrups, tablet, and capsules which are either extended release or short-acting. Outside of providing pain relief, hydrocodone can induce feelings of euphoria, making it a prime medication for abuse and addiction.

What are the Signs of Hydrocodone Addiction?

In the beginning, hydrocodone use may create symptoms of slowed heart rate, anxiety, headache and difficulty breathing. Under normal use, these symptoms are quite regular and will tend to dissipate with time. However, hydrocodone addiction occurs when an individual begins to take the medication outside of the way it was intended to be used. Your loved one may tell you that they have begun taking “just a little bit more” than the doctor has prescribed because their pain is not being absolved with the prescribed dose. This is an indication that the body has built up a tolerance to the medication and is no longer producing endorphins or aiding in pain relief without the presence of the drug and is one of the first signs that an individual is dependent on hydrocodone. Other signs of hydrocodone abuse include:

  • Seizures: Seizures can occur if an individual has used hydrocodone heavily or for an extended period of time and attempts to quit without medical assistance.
  • Depression: Your loved one may withdraw from social activities or things they once loved, especially when they are prevented from using hydrocodone. They may also begin to ignore their appearance and hygiene.
  • Confusion: A person with a hydrocodone addiction may have difficulty holding conversations or thinking logically.
  • Blurred vision: Individuals may find themselves knocking things over or running into objects due to poor vision.
  • Paranoia: Your loved one may begin to feel persecuted or illogically afraid of people and things they were once comfortable with.

It is also important to understand that individuals who have regularly used hydrocodone over a long period of time or who have become accustomed to using large doses generally experience withdrawal symptoms. This occurs when there is a significant reduction in the amount of hydrocodone used, resulting in uncomfortable and sometimes severe physical and mental symptoms including, difficulty breathing, muscle weakness, difficulty breathing, clammy skin, and severe anxiety and depression.

What Should I do if My Loved One Is Addicted to Hydrocodone?

The best thing you can do for a loved one addicted to hydrocodone is to encourage them to get help. While many may believe that they can quit on their own or “cold turkey”, this method is not encouraged. Withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe for those with an even moderate addiction and enduring withdrawal without the help of a knowledgable professional can increase their risk for relapse. Thankfully there are people out there that can provide skilled and compassionate care throughout all stages of recovery. Your loved one does not have to quit on their own and there are options available to increase their chances of success. Ready to get started? Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Give us a call at 123-456-7890.