Hydrocodone Addiction: Know About Health Risk Of Hydrocodone Abuse
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All You Need to Know About Hydrocodone Addiction

Hydrocodone pills spilled out of the bottle.

All You Need to Know About Hydrocodone Addiction

Hydrocodone is essentially one of the most popular pain medications in the United States, with over 90 million prescriptions yearly. The popularity of hydrocodone addiction extends beyond restricted age groups. Often times, the medication is abused due to the hydrocodone high while others due to the ability of the drug to cause dependency.

Hydrocodone pills are particularly harmful when taken without a prescription or taken concomitantly with certain medications or substances such as alcohol. The drug comes in various strengths and forms. Routes of exposure include oral, by injection, and snorting. So, what is hydrocodone, and why is it such a controversial drug? Is hydrocodone an opioid?

 What Is Hydrocodone?

The semi-synthetic pain medication is a prescription opioid that is administered only when other less potent options or non-narcotic analgesics have proven to be ineffective. What is hydrocodone used for? The drug is specifically used to treat moderate to severe pains in adults. Those who may be suffering from severe acute or chronic pains are usually given the option of potent non-narcotic analgesics; however, if these medications are not sufficient enough, opioids are then recommended. Hydrocodone, due to its high potency, is often found in low concentration mixtures with less potent non-narcotic analgesics. Hydrocodone APAP is a typical example of a hydrocodone mixture with other medications for the relief of pain. Hydrocodone APAP is an abbreviation for hydrocodone-acetaminophen.

Hydrocodone Brand Names

Hydrocodone is one of the most effective prescription painkillers and is often used in combination with other supporting chemical compounds. Hydrocodone combinations may differ in various brand names. Some brand names for hydrocodone include:

  • Vicodin
  • Lortab
  • Anexsia
  • Hycomine
  • Norco
  • Lorcet
  • Dolacet
  • and others.

Hydrocodone drug class makes this medication a controlled substance.

Is Hydrocodone Addictive?

One of the major issues or concerns with administering the drug to patients suffering from one severe pain or the other is the incessant cases of dependencies and abuse. Is hydrocodone addictive? More importantly, is hydrocodone a narcotic? As a drug that has been labeled “Schedule II” controlled substance, it is deduced that the potential for addiction to the medication is extremely high. This means that the effect of the drug in the nervous system is intense and can cause the person to crave the drug very often with severe withdrawal symptoms.

Many people become addicted to prescription hydrocodone, and this leads to changes in behavior. These changes may include:

  • Depression
  • Abandoning hobbies 
  • Seeking out the drug through every means
  • Reckless spending to purchase the drugs
  • Reckless behaviors
  • Becoming anti-social

How often can you take hydrocodone? The safe dose of Hydrocodone is usually 1 to 2 tablets every 4 to 6 hours, depending on the severity of the condition. The maximum dosage of hydrocodone prescribed daily is eight tabs.

Side Effects Of Hydrocodone

Opioids are dangerous and can affect physical and psychological health in one way or another. The side effects of hydrocodone are numerous and may vary from one person to the other depending on factors such as weight, and the dosage is taken, history of usage, and others.

Some common hydrocodone side effects include:

  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Severe stomach pains
  • Muscle tension and fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Lightheadedness
  • Vomiting 

Severe side effects of hydrocodone may include:

  • Chest pain and extreme discomfort
  • Facial Swelling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Shivering

 Mixing hydrocodone with other drugs is highly unsafe. The reason is that drug combinations may exacerbate the effect of hydrocodone, causing more damage to the body than good. Some unsafe mixtures are hydrocodone with alcohol or weed- this may lead to respiratory distress, coma, or even death.

Treating Hydrocodone Addiction

Asides the side effects of hydrocodone-acetaminophen, another major issue with using the medication is its ability to cause dependency. Addiction to prescription opioids is a problem in the United States, and many of these cases are attributable to hydrocodone use.

It is advised to stick to precise dosages and talk to a doctor if the medication begins to cause discomfort or dependency is noticed. In case of an addiction to hydrocodone, the person in question should seek medical assistance immediately or consider enrolling in a rehab facility.

Rehab facilities provide specialized health care that is specifically tailored to each addict to ensure that they get the best treatment possible. Medical detoxification may include the use of buprenorphine and methadone, and these medications help to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms of hydrocodone for quick recovery.

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