Hydrocodone is a prescription opioid painkiller in the narcotic analgesic category of drugs. While this is a very popular and widely prescribed medication, hydrocodone is known to cause dependence and addiction along with other serious health complications.
Why Do People Use Hydrocodone?
This medication works by connecting to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord to help treat moderate to severe pain caused by dental surgery and bodily injuries. Hydrocodone changes the mind’s perception of pain and may produce a pleasant euphoric sensation. Therefore, many people begin taking hydrocodone to treat pain but continue using it because of the sensation it brings.
Even though this medication is successful in treating pain, many people take and abuse Hydrocodone without really knowing what is in it and what makes it so addictive.
What Hydrocodone Is Made Of
Hydrocodone is both a substance and the name of a medication using that substance. On its own, hydrocodone is sold under the brand name of Zohydro®. It is also sometimes mixed with acetaminophen to create the hydrocodone prescription medication, which is better known by its brand name of Vicodin. Other brand names for this combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen include Norco® and Lortab®. Is available in pill form and is sometimes crushed into a powder and snorted.
Side Effects of Hydrocodone
Hydrocodone, like other prescription medications, is known to cause some side effects. These side effects should be treated by a medical professional but are usually not dangerous or fatal. Common side effects of hydrocodone or Vicodin may include:
- Slower heartbeat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fear and depression
- Ringing in the ears
- Blurred vision
- Slowed breathing
- Cold, clammy skin
- Muscle weakness
If someone takes hydrocodone according to dosage, it is unlikely that they will experience unpleasant side effects. If you experience side effects after taking hydrocodone, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Using Hydrocodone Responsibly
Individuals with a hydrocodone prescription should always use the medication according to dosage to prevent dependence and other complications. Users should record their pain in a diary while using hydrocodone and should let their doctor know if the pain decreases. If someone is starting to crave this drug or develop a tolerance to it, they should talk to their doctor about weaning off the medication and enrolling in treatment. Since stopping hydrocodone can lead to withdrawal symptoms, users should not quit suddenly and should communicate with a medical professional first.
Hydrocodone Dependence & Addiction
Those who experience withdrawal symptoms after using hydrocodone are likely dependent on the medication. Someone may also be addicted to hydrocodone if they take it in higher doses than prescribed or use it for longer than needed. Those who are addicted to hydrocodone are encouraged to explore their options for resources, programs, and treatment options to begin their recovery process. Treatment options for hydrocodone addiction may include behavioral therapy, group support, substance abuse education, certain medications, and more.
To learn more about hydrocodone and if you may need treatment, contact our team of substance abuse treatment representatives by calling 866-345-2147.