What is Hydrocodone Addiction?
For people who are prescribed hydrocodone by their doctor, it could come as a surprise at just how easy it is to develop a hydrocodone addiction.
In fact, it can take just a few weeks to become addicted, especially if you are not taking this medication correctly.
Taking hydrocodone for long periods of time can also lead to hydrocodone addiction. You may start finding it is not working as well to control your pain or you have side effects when you are not taking the medication.
Hydrocodone addiction is a serious health problem across the nation leading to a rise in addictions, overdoses, and even deaths.
Understanding the Hydrocodone Abuse
Hydrocodone is an opioid prescribed to treat severe pain.
Most opioids are made from the opium poppy plant, though some are now made synthetically in labs. These drugs interact with areas in your brain and body called opioid receptors. This helps to relieve pain, and are great options for short-term pain management.
Opioids can have other side effects. They can also create a feeling of relaxation and euphoria. It is these side effects that often lead to hydrocodone abuse.
Hydrocodone abuse is when you take this medication more often than you are supposed to, in higher doses, or if you are taking it without a prescription. Hydrocodone abuse can quickly lead to an addiction, putting you at risk of an overdose and death.
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How Hydrocodone Abuse Affects Your Body
Like many types of medications, hydrocodone can cause side effects even when taken appropriately. If you have a problem with hydrocodone abuse, these side effects can be even more noticeable.
These effects can include:
- Dry mouth
- Tiredness, difficulty staying awake, or insomnia
- Back pain and stiff or sore muscles
- Problems urinating
- Swelling in the foot, leg, or ankle
- Uncontrollable shaking
Long-term hydrocodone abuse can cause even more serious side effects. One of these effects is damage to your bowels. This is because hydrocodone causes constipation. Over time, this effect can cause issues like hemorrhoids.
Another serious side effect of hydrocodone abuse is called hypoxia. This is a condition that happens when opioids slow your breathing too much, and can even make you stop breathing. When this happens, your brain does not get enough oxygen. This can cause brain damage, coma, and even death.
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Mental Illness and Hydrocodone Addiction
People who have a history of mental health issues are more likely to have a problem with hydrocodone abuse. This is especially true if you have ever experienced depression or anxiety or have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, panic disorder, or major depressive disorder — to name a few.
Some people try to treat their mental health symptoms by taking hydrocodone to feel more relaxed and happier. In the long run, this drug will actually make your symptoms worse.
If you are struggling with a hydrocodone addiction and mental health issues, it is very important that you receive treatment for both of these issues at a drug rehab facility that specializes in treating a dual diagnosis.
What is Hydrocodone Withdrawal?
If you have a hydrocodone addiction, this means that your body is used to having it in your system. If you stop taking it, you can experience many different unpleasant symptoms.
These symptoms are called withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can begin as soon as a few hours after the last time you took it. When you have a hydrocodone addiction, these symptoms usually come in two parts.
The first part begins within the first day after you stop using. These symptoms can include:
- Muscle or body aches
- Runny nose
After another day or two, additional withdrawal symptoms can appear as well.
These are typically more uncomfortable and can include:
- Dilated pupils
- Stomach cramps
The worst day of hydrocodone withdrawal is usually the third day. This is when symptoms usually peak before slowly fading. Most people that are going through hydrocodone detox will deal with withdrawals for a few days up to one week.
At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we have the option of a medical detox program. This allows us to help minimize your withdrawal symptoms so that the detox process is more comfortable and easier to get through.
The Risk of Experiencing an Overdose
One of the fastest-growing drug concerns in the United States today is that of opioid overdose.
Hydrocodone carries the same risk of overdose as any other opioid. This happens when someone uses this drug frequently or for an extended period of time. Your body gets used to the dosage of drugs you have been taking, and you have to take more in order to feel pain relief or to get high. As you increase your dosage, you are at a higher risk of accidentally overdosing. Your breathing and heart rate can slow down to dangerous levels, which can cause death.
An average of 100 people dies each day in the United States from an opioid overdose.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Slowed or stopped breathing
- Extreme sleepiness
- Weakness in your muscles
- Very narrow pupils
- Cold, clammy skin
- Passing out or coma
If you or anyone you know is showing signs of an opioid overdose, it is important to call for help immediately.
Without medical attention, a person can quickly die from an opioid overdose. Most paramedics today carry a drug called naloxone, which can be used to reverse an opioid overdose.
It must be administered as soon as possible after overdose symptoms appear in order to be effective.
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Treatment Options for Hydrocodone Addiction
When it comes to dealing with a hydrocodone addiction, it is important to get help as soon as you realize that you have a problem.
The longer you have a hydrocodone addiction, the higher the risk that you might experience an overdose.
We begin by sitting down with all of our clients in order to figure out which treatment options are going to be right for them.
We currently offer intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization, residential, and long-term drug rehab programs.
Once we have you placed into the right program, we can begin treatment.
The first step is getting you through detox so that all of the drugs are out of your body.
Afterward, we can begin your behavioral treatment with one of our highly-trained therapists.
We find a lot of success with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT allows us to work with you to figure out the reasons behind your hydrocodone addiction, and how your thoughts influence your behaviors.
Then we give you tactics to avoid drug use triggers and to better manage stress. By getting the reasons behind why you have an addiction, we can help you create a plan for a positive recovery.
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Seek Help from a Trustworthy Drug Rehab
It does not matter if your hydrocodone addiction began with a doctor’s prescription or with recreational use.
This addiction has serious health consequences, which is why it is so important that you seek help at a drug rehab facility.
At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we know what it takes to get your life back from the adverse effects of addiction.
Our luxury locations provide you with a comfortable and home-like atmosphere so that our clients feel safe and secure throughout their treatment program.
We help ensure your success by using only scientifically researched, cutting edge, and effective drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.
We have over 25 years of experience in helping people with addictions and co-occurring disorders to overcome their addictions.
Many of our clients wonder whether or not they will be able to take advantage of their health insurance benefits to help cover their treatment. That is why we accept most major insurances through our free insurance verification.
Simply give us a call and one of our addiction specialists can check to see how much of your treatment program will be covered by your insurance before you begin treatment.
You can trust us to communicate with your insurance provider to ensure that you receive every benefit that you are entitled to.
Addiction is a difficult thing to deal with both mentally and physically, but there is no reason you have to try and get clean by yourself. Let us use our years of experience to help you get on the path to a meaningful and lasting recovery.
Contact us today and see the difference we can make by helping you to become healthy once again.