What is Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is an Opioid that comes in the form of an extended-release capsule or tablet. The drug is meant to suppress moderate to severe pain, which is achieved by blocking the receptors on the nerves, therefore diminishing painful sensations. Hydrocodone is frequently combined with Acetaminophen, which is classified as a non-narcotic analgesic, simply meaning it blocks pain. Vicodin is a common example of a combination of Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen. Besides diminishing pain, it is also used to reduce fever due to its antipyretic properties.
The usual recommended dosage is 1-2 tablets as needed every 4-6 hours, with prescription strength tablets ranging anywhere from 2.5 to 10mg. Taking anything above the dosage prescribed by your doctor is considered abuse.
Are you taking more than prescribed, not because you have an addiction, but because the effects of the drug are not as strong as they once were? You might have developed a tolerance, which could possibly lead to an accidental addiction.
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Many abuse Hydrocodone by crushing the pill and snorting or injecting it. This is very dangerous, especially to those who are not prescribed the medication. Abusers also tend to mix other drugs, such as alcohol, with Hydrocodone for an even greater high. Mixing Hydrocodone with other drugs can increase the risk of life-threatening complications:
- Trouble breathing
Because of the severe side effects and high risk of addiction, Hydrocodone is only prescribed to people who have a great need for it and do not have many other options to control the pain they are experiencing.
If the pain is very severe, one might be persuaded to take more than the prescribed amount, which can lead to a tolerance building up over time. A built-up tolerance makes it harder to feel the same effects you once felt with one dose. Higher doses are now required to achieve that same desired state, leading to a deeper dependence and eventually, addiction.
A major reason why Hydrocodone is addictive is because it relieves the pain the user is feeling. It also produces euphoric feelings, uplifting the user to a new, higher state than before they were prescribed the drug. This elated state is very pleasurable, making it hard to stop taking the drug once the effects wear off.
Similar to many other drugs, taking Hydrocodone should not be stopped abruptly without consulting your doctor, especially if a dependence has developed. If you have been taking Hydrocodone for a long time, there is a chance your brain has gotten used to, or dependent on, the drug. Stopping the drug without decreasing the dosage can result in many uncomfortable side effects, including:
- Muscle pain
- Fast heartbeat
- Widened pupils
It is very common to confuse common side effects of Hydrocodone with withdrawal symptoms. If you experiencing dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, pain, insomnia, or headaches, it is probably not because your body needs more of the drug, it is your body reacting to the new substance within your body. You should continue to take Hydrocodone as directed by your doctor, but never take more than prescribed.
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Can I Overdose on Hydrocodone?
It is entirely possible to overdose on Hydrocodone, even if it prescribed to you. You might feel you need to take more of the medicine if the pain is relatively intense, but this is considered abusing your prescription. High doses of Hydrocodone can affect each user differently based on body type, tolerance, and strength of the pills. One more pill than prescribed can cause a spiraling effect of symptoms from drowsiness to nausea to death.
Seeking Treatment for a Hydrocodone Addiction
Addiction is a serious matter, especially if you were prescribed that medication. As an addiction develops, the brain adjusts and gets used to the presence of the drug. Stopping usage causes the brain to go haywire and crave the drug. Abnormal functioning in the brain develops simply because the brain no longer knows how to function normally without the drug.
Typically, detox is the first step in overcoming a Hydrocodone addiction. Detox helps the brain relearn how to function normally again. Negative withdrawal symptoms do occur; however, doctors in treatment centers make sure to administer other drugs and teach coping mechanisms to help relieve these effects and allow the patient to detox as comfortably and safely as possible.
Both outpatient and inpatient programs can assist with a Hydrocodone addiction. Depending on your responsibilities and level of addiction, either one will be an effective option for treating a Hydrocodone addiction.
Don’t hesitate to call an addiction specialist for advice on a Hydrocodone addiction. Addiction is nothing to be ashamed of and should never be handled alone. Contact a dedicated treatment expert today, and find the help you need for a better future.
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