Hydrocodone Addiction Signs and Treatment

Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid made by processing codeine or thebaine – natural opiates extracted from opium poppy seeds. This drug is usually prescribed by doctors as a moderate or severe pain reliever. It’s usually prescribed alone but can sometimes be combined with other medications. 

Hydrocodone is usually prescribed as a short-term treatment as it is a highly addictive opioid that can lead to tolerance even when following doctors’ orders. This has placed Hydrocodone on the United States schedule II narcotics list. That means it is a rather hard prescription to be prescribed. 

Taken in higher doses, hydrocodone will produce feelings of euphoria along with heavy sedation. These effects are why people will often abuse this drug without a doctor’s order. Once someone becomes addicted to this drug, they will go to great lengths in order to achieve more. Preferred Med Supply has drug testing kits that can help you spot hydrocodone usage in friends, family, workers, or anyone else you may suspect is using hydrocodone. If you’re uncertain if someone you know is using hydrocodone, these signs can help you know if someone should get tested or not. 

How is Hydrocodone Taken?Hydrocodone Addiction Signs and Treatment

Hydrocodone comes in an extended-release capsule or tablet. Extended-release means that they are long-lasting, lasting as long as 12 hours. People who are addicted to this substance will break open the capsules and snort or inject the contents in order to reach a fast, intense high. This will increase the feeling of euphoria, but it can lead to much more serious side effects, putting the user at risk of a potential overdose. 

Hydrocodone can be found in the following medications:

  • Aspirin
  • Acetaminophen
  • Chlorpheniramine
  • Guaifenesin
  • Homatropine
  • Phenylephrine
  • Ibuprofen

The Risks of Hydrocodone Addiction

There are both short and long-term risks associated with taking Hydrocodone. 

Short-Tem Side Effects

Each time someone uses hydrocodone, it interacts with the natural chemistry to produce a large flow of dopamine, followed by general sedative and pain-killer effects. It also has a number of side effects that can occur even when prescribed by a doctor. The short-term symptoms of hydrocodone include:

  • Drowsiness 
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Slowed Breathing
  • Slow Heartbeat
  • Cold/Clammy Skin
  • Loss of Consciousness

Even in the short term, hydrocodone has side effects that can be potentially life-threatening. 

Long-Term Side Effects

The long-term side effects of hydrocodone include: 

  • Increased tolerance to the drug
  • Development of withdrawal symptoms
  • Damage to the immune system
  • Liver damage
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Coma
  • Death

Hydrocodone can do nasty things to the body’s physical and mental functions. The other damages include tolerance and dependence on the drug. Someone who is addicted to hydrocodone may begin to seek out more powerful opioids such as heroin and fentanyl. The National Institute of Drug Abuse found that 80% of heroin users had previously used prescription opioids and illegal narcotics. 

Signs of Hydrocodone Withdrawl and Addiction

An addiction to this drug will happen quickly. Psychological dependence can occur within the very first doses of the drug. 

Some signs of addiction & withdrawal include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Mood Swings
  • Small Pupils 
  • Slowed Heartbeat
  • Slow Breathing 
  • Confusion
  • Rising Tolerance to the Same Dose
  • Preoccupied or Compulsive thoughts about taking the drug. 

The longer the dependence grows, the more often side effects will occur. As the drug leaves one’s system, one will experience anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness. These swings are likely to reveal a noticeable erratic emotional state. 

Behavioral Signs

If you know or suspect someone is taking hydrocodone, you will begin to recognize large changes in behavior. The most common is when someone will take the drug in a way that contradicts the prescription. This could mean taking more than what is recommended or snorting it. 

Other behaviors you may see in yourself or a family member include:

  • Preoccupation: Addicted users will often be preoccupied with thinking about when they will take the drug next.
  • Seeking: Finding new ways to access the drug or take the drug. This could mean lying to a doctor in order to obtain more. 
  • Risk-taking: Those who are addicted will often take large risks in order to obtain more of the drug. Hydrocone addiction can cause people to drive intoxicated or become more violent.
  • Appearance Changes: When struggling with substance abuse, someone can begin to fall behind on personal hygiene and everyday personal-care practices. Someone addicted to hydrocodone can begin to look tired, unkempt, and put together poorly. 

Treatment for Hydrocodone Addiction

The most effective drug rehab program will mix various treatments together to suit an individual’s needs. Many people will turn to detox centers. Most treatment centers will start with detox which helps remove the various toxins from your body. 

Overcoming Hydrocodone addiction may be difficult, but it can be done. Users that have overcome Hydrocodone addiction have done so with the help of rehab, family therapy, support groups, behavioral therapy, and dual diagnosis. 

The best way to treat Hydrocodone addiction is to recognize the signs early. Doing so will prevent the addiction from becoming something even worse. If you know someone that is possible using Hydrocodone, visit our shop page today and get an at-home drug testing kit. These kits will give you the answers you need to ensure that someone you love doesn’t go down the wrong path. 

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