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8/18/16 at 01:11 AM 0 Comments

Four Signs of Hydrocodone Addiction

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Doctors prescribe hydrocodone as a pain relief medication. It is most commonly sold as Vicodin, Lorcet or Lortab. Hydrocodone is a powerful drug that alters the way the brain perceives pain, often causing a euphoric effect. This intense happy feeling is what causes many patients to overuse and abuse hydrocodone. Abusers can easily become addicted which will eventually have a negative impact on their life. The following are four signs of hydrocodone addiction and how to help yourself or a loved one overcome it.

  1. Out of control use

A sure sign that you or someone you know is addicted to hydrocodone is the inability to control how much and how often the drug is being used. Taking a larger dose than prescribed or not having the ability to stop taking the drug is an indication that the body has become dependent on hydrocodone.

  1. Continue to use despite negative consequences

When the body and brain become dependent on hydrocodone, increased amounts of the drug are needed to sustain the high. This can lead to negative side effects, such as having trouble focusing, feelings of confusion or anger, difficulty breathing or nausea and vomiting. Despite these troubling consequences of hydrocodone dependency, the user is unable to stop using. A drug addiction treatment center may be the only place with the specialized resources to help.

  1. The craving will not go away

Those with a hydrocodone addiction will begin to notice a strong craving for the drug. This may lead to ingesting more than prescribed or needing more in a shorter amount of time. Once their prescription runs out, they may consult with several different doctors to gain more of the drug without causing suspicion, this is known as doctor shopping. A substance user may experience cash flow problems after using all of their money to buy hydrocodone. They may steal from friends or family members to purchase their drugs, or they may begin to isolate themselves from concerned family members who may question their drug use.

  1. Develops obsessive thinking about hydrocodone

When getting and taking hydrocodone has become the central focus, substance use has manifested into addiction. At this point, the person is unable to focus on other aspects of their life that may be out of control due to their addiction. Trouble at home, work or school has now taken a back seat to compulsive thinking and anxiety related to hydrocodone use.

Dangers of long-term use

Hydrocodone can be just as powerful and destructive as heroin or morphine. These drugs interact and change the normal function of the brain’s reward system. After several years of abuse, a hydrocodone user may have trouble finding pleasure in everyday, healthy activities. Some common long-term side effects of extended hydrocodone addiction include:

  • Liver damage and jaundice

  • Mood swings, depression or anxiety

  • Hallucinations or psychosis

  • Coma or death

How to help a substance user

The first step in helping a friend or family member with a substance use problem is to stage an intervention. An addiction counselor can help organize the meeting in hopes of getting through to the person and giving them the motivation they need to enter a substance use rehab program. Be prepared, they may be unwilling to see that they need help. Substance use is powerful, and users often face many stumbling blocks before they are able to fully overcome their condition.

A substance use treatment center can provide a safe environment to detox from the drug and provide therapy for the patient and their family to learn healthy ways to cope with problems. Recovery is a long road, but with support and treatment, a substance user can live a full and happy life drug-free.

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