Hydrocodone is an opiate painkiller often prescribed to treat mild to moderate pain. Highly addictive, hydrocodone is prescribed in its pure form as OxyContin, and this drug is notorious for causing intense addictions. It’s so addictive, in fact, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration chose to approve an abuse-resistant form of the drug in the spring of 2013. Those who thought this change would signal the end of the hydrocodone abuse era might need to think again, however, as there’s still a significant amount of hydrocodone available in the marketplace.
Hydrocodone is also combined with aspirin to create Lortab ASA, with ibuprofen to make Vicoprofen, and with antihistamines to create Hycomine. And when users take any form of hydrocodone on a regular basis, they may exhibit hydrocodone addiction symptoms.
Seeing the Signs
It can be difficult for users to spot their own hydrocodone addictions. Those who take the drug regularly may develop a physical dependence on the substance, and they may feel ill when they don’t have access to the drug. This physical dependence is disturbing, to be sure, but it’s not typically the most important part of the profile of someone who has an addiction.
A person who is addicted has a psychological need for the drug, and that person may crave the emotional changes the drug can bring about. In a quest for a bigger high and a deeper rush, a person like this tends to augment hydrocodone use by taking more and more each and every day. In a study of the issue in the Journal of Addictive Diseases, researchers suggest that those who develop a hydrocodone addiction typically begin by taking the drug orally, but in time, they choose to crush the pills and either snort them or inject them. People who are taking these steps are definitely showing signs of an addiction.
In addition to changing the mode of use, people with hydrocodone addictions also tend to:
- Crave the drug between doses
- Supplement or augment the effects of the pill with alcohol or other prescription drugs
- Take the drug despite physical or emotional consequences of drug use
- Shop for doctors willing to write new prescriptions
Any of these signs should merit closer examination and perhaps treatment in an accredited facility that deals with addictions.
Hydrocodone Addiction Dangers
Hydrocodone addiction is not, contrary to popular belief, a willpower issue. Rather, it is a disease that is chronic or recurring in nature and, as such, requires medical treatment. Those who try to treat hydrocodone addictions at home by simply quitting the drug can often experience flu-like symptoms that are so uncomfortable that a relapse seems reasonable, and relapsing can lead to hydrocodone overdose. During each day of detox, the body has time to adjust its tolerance to the drug. If the user takes the same amount of the drug post-detox as he took before the detox, his body could be overwhelmed, and the result might be cardiac arrest, coma or death.
Medications that mimic hydrocodone can trick the body into believing that the drug is still available or be used to treat each withdrawal symptom as it occurs. Hydrocodone detox can mitigate the pain and discomfort of withdrawal significantly and allow people to focus on the next stage of treatment.
The rest of the hydrocodone addiction treatment will focus on the psychological and emotional dependence upon the drug, providing people with the tools they need to stay clean and drug-free when they return home. Group counseling plays a big role here, but clients might also be provided with individual therapy sessions, so they can discuss personal issues and obtain targeted help for the problems that led to their hydrocodone abuse. Programs like this tend to last for months, and with each day that passes, people learn just a little more about what they’ll need to change in order to get well.
Treatment at The Canyon
At The Canyon, we can treat your hydrocodone addiction symptoms with our comprehensive program that combines detox, supervised by consulting physicians, with a number of therapeutic addiction treatments. Our programs can be personalized to suit your needs and interests. Call us today at for more information.