Opioid Abuse – Dangers of Hydrocodone Addiction

Dangers of Hydrocodone Addiction

Opioids are some of the most used drugs in America. In 2015, as many as 2 million people over the age of 12 had an addiction to prescription pain killers such as hydrocodone. Hydrocodone addiction, as with all opioid addictions, is a serious problem that can lead to overdose and death. In 2015, 20,101 deaths were recorded as a result of opioid abuse. Hydrocodone addiction treatment is one of the best methods that a person can employ to overcome their dependency.

What is Hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone belongs to a group of drugs called opioids. It is used medically in the treatment of chronic and severe pain. It works by blocking pain receptors in the brain and releasing serotonin and dopamine giving a feeling of euphoria. As a prescription drug with addictive properties, a person is not meant to use it for an extended period of time in order to avoid a dependency. Hyrdocodone is sold under many brand names including Vicodin, Lortab and Norco.

How Long Does it Take to Get Addicted to Hydrocodone?

People often ask “how long does it take to get addicted to hydrocodone?” but the answer is varied. It depends entirely on the individual, their dosage and how frequently they take it. A prescription period is not enough time for an addiction to form. Generally speaking, after 30 days of frequent use, there is a great risk of dependence.

Signs of Abuse and Addiction

A hydrocodone addiction will always make itself apparent in several ways. Whether you see the signs in yourself or a loved, hydrocodone addiction treatment is highly advised due to difficulties and withdrawal symptoms people experience when trying to stop once they are addicted.

A hallmark of an addiction is the person believing that they need the substance in order to cope and survive. They may also continue to abuse the drug even though they are aware of the negative consequences of their actions.

Signs of an addiction include the following:

  • Frequent requests for refills of their prescription
  • The person becomes socially isolated
  • Lying to others about pain or injury in order to get a prescription
  • Seeing more than one doctor for more prescriptions
  • Previously enjoyed activities cease and attention is focused on hydrocodone
  • Mood changes and mood swings

Hydrocodone Overdose Signs

One of the biggest concerns with opioid abuse is the risk of overdose. As a person uses opioids, they build a tolerance. Those who abuse the drug in order to achieve a high will continue to take increasing quantities of the drug, putting them at risk of an overdose.

Overdose signs include the following:

  • Depressed breathing
  • Slowed heartbeat
  • Weakness in the muscles
  • Clammy skin
  • Drowsiness
  • Losing consciousness
  • Coma and death

If these symptoms appear, emergency care should be immediately sought after.

Treatment Programs

Rehab facilities are equipped to deal with opioid addictions. Each person will be evaluated to find out what the best methods of treatment would be for them. Once the program starts, the addict will begin their detox. During detox, withdrawal symptoms can be managed through the use of medication administered by the nurses in order to help the patient deal with the symptoms.

Behavioral therapy is the next step in treatment. The focus of the treatment is in establishing new methods of dealing with trigger situations and stress. Relapse prevention skills are also important to help teach the patient what they should do once the emotional relapse stage begins. Various alternative treatment methods are also introduced, such as music or art therapy, to give the patient other channels to deal with the stressors of life.

An addiction to hydrocodone is common. Dealing with it through the help of professional treatment programs will give you or your loved one the best chance at a full recovery.




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.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.