Hydrocodone Overview

Hydrocodone, an opiate drug, is quickly becoming a popular drug for recreational use and abuse.

Over the past several years, the number of opioid prescriptions that have been dispensed rose from around 126 million in 2000 to 207 million in 2013.[i] The sale of hydrocodone specifically rose 60% between 2011 and 2014.[ii] The use of this drug is clearly on the rise, and while much of the use is legitimate, much of it is not.

How Hydrocodone is Abused

Hydrocodone AbuseHydrocodone is usually taken orally, but the tablets can also be crushed and dissolved in water to be injected or crushed and snorted through the nose. Much of the oral use of hydrocodone has been because drug users are starting to recognize the dangers that shared needles pose, such as the spread of diseases like AIDS and hepatitis. Much of the hydrocodone that has made it onto the street has been as a result of fake prescriptions, either through forged papers or false call-ins. It has also been obtained through theft and through dishonest doctors and pharmacy workers.

The Risk of Overdose

If you accidentally or intentionally overdose on hydrocodone, it can be fatal.

If you think that you may have overdosed, don’t delay; seek emergency medical help immediately. Some of the symptoms that can serve as warning signs you that you are experiencing an overdose include things like intense sweating, blue-tinted and cold, clammy skin, sleepiness and vomiting.

Who Is Using It

There has been a rise in hydrocodone use in every age group that has a record of drug abuse and misuse. Because of its wide availability, many upper-class workers and individuals have begun to use it, and it has sometimes been seen as a status symbol. The majority of abusers of hydrocodone are white females between the ages of 20 and 40 who are either addicted to the drug or who are depressed and trying to commit suicide.

Other Medications

There are many drugs that include hydrocodone as an ingredient in their makeup. Some of these drugs include Vicodin, Duocet, Hyco-Pap, Vanacet, Hydrogesic and Bancap-HC.

More on Hydrocodone

If you or someone you love is living with hydrocodone addiction, the following information will help you with what you need to know about the drug:

What drug interactions should I avoid when taking hydrocodone?+

Combining alcohol with hydrocodone may cause confusion and increase sleepiness. If hydrocodone is used in conjuncture with other drugs that cause drowsiness, there is a risk of severe sedation. You should speak to your pharmacist or doctor before taking any over the counter medicines that contain acetaminophen since too much of this drug could cause liver damage.

What are the side effects?+

Side effects of hydrocodone are common and often disappear within the first week of use as the body adjusts to the drug. They include the following:

  • Difficulty urinating
  • Vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sedation
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Nausea

Speak to your doctor if any side effects that you are experiencing do not go away or become more severe. Do not drive while taking hydrocodone until you are sure of your personal reaction to this drug. Elderly patients and those who have lung disease should be aware that hydrocodone may increase the risk of respiratory depression. If you have problems breathing or experience sudden mood changes while taking hydrocodone, inform your doctor immediately.

What else should I know when taking hydrocodone?+

Special precautions are advised when taking hydrocodone. Store this prescription in its original container and in a space away from children. Your doctor will need to know if this medication stops managing your pain or if you feel that your dose needs to be adjusted because you’ve built up a tolerance. Never alter your dose without the supervision of and approval from your physician. You may be required to have your prescription refilled, so ask your pharmacist if you have any questions pertaining to your hydrocodone refill. If you are allergic to other drugs, especially to acetaminophen, hydrocodone or codeine, you may not be able to take this medication. If your medical history consists of urinary retention, prostatic hypertrophy, thyroid disease, liver or kidney disease, tell your physician before taking hydrocodone.

In the event that you undergo any type of surgery, be sure to explain that you are taking a prescription containing hydrocodone. Your doctor may suggest keeping a list of all medications you are currently taking in the event that you are admitted to the hospital. As with morphine, hydrocodone is physically and mentally addictive. Get emergency medical help if you suspect an overdose or call poison control for further assistance. You should never take more of this drug than directed.

Rehab at The Canyon

We provide patients with the best and most effective treatments to help fight hydrocodone addiction. In this fight, we provide patients with treatments and therapies that are overseen by a highly trained and qualified staff of physicians and other medical personnel; all of whom are experts in their fields. Every patient who comes to The Canyon receives his or her own unique hydrocodone addiction treatment plan, a plan that is reviewed weekly to see if any changes or updates are needed. Call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline today to get started.

[i] https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2016/americas-addiction-to-opioids-heroin-prescription-drug-abuse

[ii] https://www.drugs.com/stats/acetaminophen-hydrocodone

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