Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid narcotic that is synthesized from the codeine alkaloid in the poppy plant. It is classified as a Schedule II narcotic in the U.S. and about 100 million prescriptions for the drug are written annually. Hydrocodone binds to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord and block the perception of pain. It causes the user to experience feelings of euphoria and well-being. The drug acts as an analgesic and is used in the treatment of moderate to severe pain, and also as an antitussive/cough suppressant. Hydrocodone is physically and psychologically addictive and there are many cases of Hydrocodone abuse in the U.S. Learn more now about the dangers of hydrocodone addiction and how to get treatment:
Some of the more common side effects of the drug can include drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, anxiety, abnormal mood swings, rash, itching, dry throat, chest tightness, headache, fatigue, fever, confusion, blurred vision, and slow or irregular heartbeat. Overdose symptoms of Hydrocodone can include small or enlarged pupils; slow, shallow or stopped breathing; slow or stopped heartbeat; cold, clammy blue skin; seizures; excessive sleep; loss of consciousness and death.
Addiction to Hydrocodone can cause many problems for the addict. They may begin to experience a decline in physical and mental health and their family, work and social life can also be negatively affected. Excessive use of Hydrocodone will cause the body to eventually become tolerant to the drug. When this happens, the user has to take more of the drug to achieve the same effects as before. This tolerance to the drug is what leads to addiction. Once an individual is addicted to Hydrocodone, they will experience strong cravings if they stop taking the drug. The addict will lose the ability to control their use of the drug and they will sink deeper into addiction. Strong physical and psychological craving for the drug will cause the addict to obsess about acquiring and using Hydrocodone most of the time. Every other part of an addict’s life will be cast aside as they focus on acquiring, using and coming down from Hydrocodone use.
An addict can receive help to treat Hydrocodone addiction by entering a rehab facility as an in-patient or out-patient. The first phase of treatment is the detox process, where the addict will be slowly weaned off of the Hydrocodone. Everyone experiences detox differently and the severity of withdrawal largely depends on how much, how often and how long the addict used Hydrocodone. Withdrawal symptoms usually begin a few hours after the last dose of Hydrocodone was taken. Extended-release Hydrocodone tablets remain in the body longer, so the onset of withdrawal may take longer to start. Some of the more common withdrawal symptoms of Hydrocodone addiction include anxiety, insomnia, irritability, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, muscle and joint aches and pains, shaking, fever, panic attacks and cold flashes. There are medications available that are usually used to alleviate or stop specific withdrawal symptoms.
Once the detox process has been completed, the recovering addict will begin other therapies. Psychological counseling will help a recovering Hydrocodone addict identify and deal with the underlying reasons that may have led to their addiction. Behavior modification therapy aids in self-assessment, which will assist the addict in identifying negative thought and behavior patterns that need to be replaced with more constructive, healthy ones. Relapse prevention techniques are also taught to the recovering addict. The addict will learn how to handle stress, triggers, emotional problems and co-occurring mental disorders if they exist.
Family counseling is another important rehabilitation therapy. It works toward healing and establishing healthy relationships among family members. Each family member is treated individually to establish a healthy family dynamic within the family unit. The family is a tremendous support system for the recovering addict as he tries to bring his life back into balance. With the continued support of the family, the therapist and support group meetings, the recovering addict begins to heal and starts a new, sober and constructive life.
If you need help learning how to better cope with stress and overwhelming emotions, the addiction specialists at White Sands Treatment Center can help. We provide the treatment programs you’ll need to prevent a relapse and continue living a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.