What Is Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is the most frequently prescribed opioid painkiller in the United States, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. It is an opioid pain medication used to treat mild to moderate pain. It also has antitussive (cough suppressant) properties.
In many preparations (Vicodin, Lortab, Norco, Vicoprofen), hydrocodone is combined with acetaminophen or aspirin. As acetaminophen can be toxic to the liver in high doses, combining it with hydrocodone is a way to improve its analgesic (pain-killing) properties. A pure form of the drug is also available under the name Zohydro or in an extended release form called Hysingla.
Hydrocodone is most commonly available in pill form, although capsules and syrups are also prescribed. Individuals abuse the opioids by crushing pills and snorting or injecting their contents.
Effects of Hydrocodone
When taken as prescribed, Vicodin, Lortab, Zohydro, and other related medications can alleviate mild to moderate pain. When abused, they also have the following short-term effects:
- Sense of well-being or euphoria
- Sleepiness or lethargy
- Lower stress
- Reduced sense of worry
Signs of Hydrocodone Addiction
In preparations that include acetaminophen, taking large amounts of hydrocodone can cause severe damage to the liver. For this reason, recreational users often take other opiates. However, prolonged use of the drug can lead to higher tolerance, in which the body can handle more and more of the drug without ill effect. New users may also choose to take Zohydro or Hysingla, as these are pure forms of the drug that do not contain acetaminophen.
Signs of painkiller addiction include:
- Physiological dependence on painkillers. This may include higher tolerance for the drug or the onset of withdrawal symptoms when the drug is no longer available.
- Chronic and constant drug cravings
- Taking painkillers more frequently or longer than prescribed
- Seeking pain pills from friends or family members
- Spending a large amount of time and money obtaining painkillers
- Discord in familial or other personal relationships because of drug use
- Problems at work, school, or home because of opiate use
- Denial that painkillers are causing a problem for you
Hydrocodone Abuse and Side Effects
Hydrocodone is the most widely abused opiate in the United States, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. Abuse of these painkillers can have numerous serious side effects, including:
- Depressed mood
- Difficulty sleeping
- Bowel obstruction
- Breathing problems
- Muscle weakness
Risks and Hydrocodone Overdose
One of the major risks of opioid abuse is overdose. Opiate overdoses occur when the body receives more of the drug than it can handle. Typically, overdose deaths are caused by breathing that slows so much that it eventually stops. Although an opioid overdose can be reserved if the opioid antagonist Narcan is administered in time, overdoses are often deadly.
Another serious risk of opiate abuse is liver failure. Taking too much Vicodin, Norco, or other preparations that contain acetaminophen can be toxic to the liver. Signs of liver failure include dark urine, yellowed eyes, nausea and vomiting, extreme fatigue, and abdominal pain. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop these symptoms of liver damage.
Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms often begin within a few hours of the last dose. They may include:
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Nausea and vomiting
Hydrocodone Addiction Rapid Detox and Treatment
Because of hydrocodone potency and “pleasant effects,” it is not uncommon for people to crave its continuous use. Using them frequently can lead to physical dependence or even addiction.
The substance is activated by attaching to the opioid receptors which activate the reward system. When the attachment occurs, individuals feel a reduction of pain and a feeling of euphoria which reinforces the continued hydrocodone use.
Many people abuse hydrocodone based drugs like Vicodin or Norco seeking a way to numb their physical or psychological pain.
Hydrocodone dependence often starts with a legitimate prescription for pain management; then a compulsive need and continuous use of the drug leads to tolerance and eventually, an addiction. Some of the most common signs of Hydrocodone addiction includes spending lots of time trying to acquire the drug and needing more to get the desired effects.
After developing a physical dependence, many users experience withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit.
The withdrawal happens because the brain can no longer function “normally” without the substance. Symptoms such as insomnia and nausea become too intense for most people. Also, the fear and shame of the realization of having an addiction can be quite overwhelming.
A private medical detox can ease the symptoms of withdrawal and minimize the anxiety that keeps so many people from getting the help they need.
If you or someone you care about is struggling, get in touch with us now to start treatment.
Rapid Hydrocodone Detox
Painkiller addiction can be dangerous, making it important to undergo detox in a supervised medical environment. The Waismann Method offers medical detox protocols, including rapid opiate detox, that provided the highest success rates in opioid detoxification and the first step toward a successful addiction treatment process.
During rapid hydrocodone detox, patients are lightly sedated in the ICU of a full-service hospital. Licensed medical professionals administer special drugs that clear opioid molecules from opioid receptors throughout the brain and body. This accelerates the withdrawal process, allowing the patient to detox under continuous medical supervision. Rapid opioid detox is a safe, effective, and humane option for a Hydrocodone addiction treatment.
One of the advantages of rapid detox is that it is performed in a full-service hospital under constant medical supervision. Unsupervised detox can be extremely uncomfortable and rarely successful. Particularly for patients with additional medical issues or high levels of anxiety. Undergoing detox in a supervised medical environment is not much more pleasant, but far more safe and effective.
Supportive Recover Care following Rapid Detox
After the immediate effects of detox have passed and patients are medically stable, they take advantage of our exclusive recovery center for a few days. At the Domus Retreat clients receive around the clock professional care and assistance. Common conditions such as depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders can cause people to feel frustrated in distress, which can lead to an immediate relapse. When these conditions are immediately assessed and appropriately handle, the chances to navigate through this regulation phase successfully are largely improved.
For many, being opiate free seems impossible at first, but reaching sobriety is absolutely possible with the right treatment and support. There Waismann Method of Rapid Detox has helped thousands of people achieve a hydrocodone free life with compassion, professionalism and unparalleled success.
You don’t need to go through this process alone. We can help you with the struggles you’re facing. Get in touch with the Waismann team today.