Recognize the Signs and Symptoms of Hydrocodone Abuse in a Loved One

Know the Warning Signs of Hydrocodone Abuse

The development of the newest class of prescription painkillers has been very much a double-edged sword. On the one hand, these powerful opioid pain medications have allowed cancer patients and people suffering from injuries to regain their lives, giving them the comfort they need to participate in sports, work, and enjoy their families again.

On the other hand, the addictive nature of these new painkillers, including hydrocodone, has now been made apparent, but only after millions of people have become addicted. Finding themselves dependent, these individuals may not know where to turn, which can leave their families adrift.

If someone you know has been suffering from chronic pain or taking hydrocodone to control a medical condition, it is vital to be on the lookout for the early warning signs of abuse. Hydrocodone addiction does not arise in a vacuum, and knowing what to look for could save the life of your loved one.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today at 877.969.1993 to learn how we can help. 

What Is Hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone is one of the most potent prescription opioid painkillers available to medical science. Hydrocodone is the generic form of the brand name drugs: 

  • Vicodin
  • Anexsia
  • Hycodan
  • Lorcet
  • Lortab
  • Norco
  • Tussionex

When properly prescribed and used, hydrocodone can indeed be a game-changer for cancer patients, those recovering from surgery, serious illnesses, lengthy hospitalizations, and others who suffer from severe and chronic pain. Hydrocodone is designed to treat pain that is both severe and long-lasting, and it has been used effectively for many patients.

Unfortunately, hydrocodone can also be a powerfully addictive substance, leading to serious dependencies and other negative consequences. That is why it is essential to monitor the use of this powerful drug very carefully, watching out for the early warning signs of abuse and addiction in a friend or family member.

What’s the Difference Between Hydrocodone Abuse and Hydrocodone Addiction?

Drugs like hydrocodone create several different kinds of dependency, and it is important to understand the differences and similarities if you want to help a potentially addicted family member. If the use of the drug has been only slightly excessive, your loved one may be abusing the drug but without developing a full-fledged addiction. But as time goes on and the abuse continues, addiction can easily result, making it that much harder to break free.

Signs of Hydrocodone Abuse 

Abusing hydrocodone may not be as dangerous as addiction, but it still can produce dangers to the user. Abuse starts as just occasional misuse of the medication, which can result in abusers showing the following signs:

  • Anxiety
  • Emotional instability
  • Social withdrawal
  • Drowsiness

Even if you only suspect that your loved one has been abusing hydrocodone, it is vital to reach out for help as soon as possible. You can start by talking to the person’s doctor, but it is also a good idea to speak to the staff at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab. 

Symptoms of Hydrocodone Addiction

If your loved one’s use of hydrocodone has crossed the line from abuse to addiction, you may notice some changes in their behavior. Any of these warning signs should be cause for concern – and reason enough to give WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab a call.

  • Visiting multiple doctors and pharmacies
  • Using more medication than prescribed
  • Complaining of multiple pain conditions that are difficult to verify
  • Excessive lethargy or sleepiness
  • Overdosing
  • Family members missing medication
  • Finding empty pill bottles

Behaviors That Can Signal Hydrocodone Addiction

Hydrocodone addiction does not arise out of nowhere, and in many cases, family members will notice behavioral changes as the dependency continues to deepen. You may see, for instance, that your loved one is:

  • Becoming defensive about their use of hydrocodone
  • Hiding medications around the house
  • Lying about their level of pain
  • Experiencing more pain even as their use of hydrocodone ramps up
  • Using illegal street drugs like heroin when hydrocodone prescriptions become hard to come by

Treatment for Hydrocodone Addiction at WhiteSands

When used as prescribed, hydrocodone can be a powerful ally in the fight against chronic pain, allowing pain sufferers to get their lives back and stay active. But hydrocodone is also powerfully addictive, and when misused or to excess, it can create a dangerous spiral of dependency. If someone you care about has been using hydrocodone, it is crucial to monitor them carefully and even more important to watch out for possible abuse signs.

Even if you only suspect that someone you care about has been using hydrocodone to excess or developed a dependency on the drug, we invite you to reach out to us today. At WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab, we have experts who understand hydrocodone addiction and dependency’s unique nature. We can provide our patients at all of our facilities the tools they need to break the cycle of abuse and go on to live a happy and drug-free life.

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

Jackie has been involved in the substance abuse and addiction treatment sector for over five years and this is something that she is truly eager about. She has a passion for writing and continuously works to create informative pieces that not only educate and inform the public about the disease of addiction but also provide solutions for those who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.