Hydrocodone addiction is a problem across the United States. You may have received the drug as a prescription to manage pain after surgery or an injury. However, you may not have been aware of how addictive it is. This drug is one of the most highly prescribed opiates on the market. It is a medication that is given to help with pain, and it is never intended to be used long-term. However, because it is a prescription drug, some people may become addicted even if they take it as prescribed.
The number of prescriptions for this medication has increased in recent years. According to statistics, 132,000,000 prescriptions were written in 2016, up from 124,200,000 in 2008. With increased access to the drug, it becomes easier for people to obtain it either for pain or to get high.
This drug is an opioid medication designed for pain management which is considered a narcotic. Extended release forms of this medication are prescribed to stop pain around the clock. They are usually given for only a few days until the pain lessens. This medication is also included in some cough suppressants. Even at prescribed doses, there is a risk of addiction, especially for those who have a history of substance use disorder.
Those who abuse Hydrocodone will do so by gradually increasing their dosages, purchasing it illegally, or crushing the tablets and snorting them. Hydrocodone can also be mixed with a liquid and injected. The result is euphoria and a very quick addiction.
If you’ve become addicted to Hydrocodone – either because you knew you were abusing it or because you have been taking it for too long and now you can’t stop – it’s important to get professional help. Hydrocodone carries a lot of dangerous short and long-term side effects, and it’s crucial to stop taking it the proper way under professional supervision. Drug rehab offers you the assistance you need in a medical and professional environment where you can be safe as you stop.
Because hydrocodone is a prescription medication, it’s usually seen as harmless. However, it is not harmless at all, and some of the short and long-term effects of this medication can be dangerous. Short term effects may include:
Long term effects may include:
When you stop taking Hydrocodone, your body responds quickly because it’s missing something it’s used to having. Inpatient drug rehab offers you support and guidance while helping you stop this medication slowly to avoid any serious complications.
You may also experience side effects from taking the drug from the first use. Even if you’re following the doctor’s prescription, you may find that you can’t tolerate the drug or that you have different degrees of discomfort. Some of the more common side effects include the following:
You may also develop an infection of the upper respiratory tract which may require antibiotics for treatment.
If you experience any of the following, you need to seek medical attention right away:
You don’t want to ignore any of these warning signs. It’s important to get help right away.
It’s possible to overdose on this drug, especially if you take a pill and crush it or mix it with liquid for injection. It gets into your bloodstream faster, and it can be lethal, especially if you’re doing this with an extended release formula.
Symptoms of an overdose on Hydrocodone include the following:
You may experience confusion and depression along with ringing in the ears and blurry vision. Nausea and vomiting are additional signs of overuse, which could lead to a serious overdose. If not treated quickly, an overdose can result in death.
Once you get medical help, they will provide airway support if necessary, such as a breathing tube and oxygen. They may give activated charcoal to help absorb the excess drug. You may need blood tests, an X-ray, CT or EKG to check for organ damage or issues.
Combining other drugs with Hydrocodone is dangerous but all too common for drug abusers. It may be combined with alcohol, other opioids like heroin or morphine, antipsychotic medications, or antidepressants.
When you mix this drug with alcohol, you may have a serious impairment of judgment and be unable to make good decisions. This not only includes drinking alcohol but even the amount found in cough syrups and other medications can cause problems.
Combining the drug with other drugs which cause a depression of the central nervous system can lead to respiratory conditions which are life-threatening. It can slow down your systems to the point where they cannot keep you alive. It also makes you less alert and drowsy. You may be unable to function, especially if you take other medications which make you feel sleepy. You may go into a coma or be unable to respond quickly enough if you’re operating machinery or driving a car, which can lead to a serious accident and injuries.
You may find you’re taking the medication more often than prescribed or for longer than necessary. It’s easy to move to Hydrocodone abuse from regular use. You may continue taking it even when your pain has been reduced or you’re healing well. You might start trying to find a second and third doctor who will prescribe the medication so you can continue to increase the dosage.
Abuse often begins when you take a pill a little earlier than the dosage given by your doctor. You may increase it to two pills in 24 hours instead of one. Even taking the medication as directed could lead to addiction with long-term use. If you crush the pills or add liquid to inject it into your bloodstream, you increase the risk of addiction because it impacts your brain and system faster and gives you more of a rush. Drug abuse doesn’t mean you’re addicted, but it is the start down a slippery path to addiction.
If you continue abusing the drug, your body will develop a tolerance to it. You’ll need to take a higher dosage or take it more frequently to experience the euphoria that comes with the drug. You will probably have symptoms of withdrawal if you go for too long without it. At this point, you may be addicted to Hydrocodone.
You’ll become more likely to do whatever it takes to get the drug, even getting it off the street. However, it’s often more expensive this way, which is why many addicts turn to substances like heroin which are cheaper than prescription medications. While Hydrocodone addiction is a serious problem in its own right as an opioid drug, the chances of leading to other addictions makes it even more dangerous.
If you wonder whether you suffer from such an addiction, you can take a quiz to help you determine where you are in this scenario. You can also seek out help from a drug rehab center whether you are dependent or just abusing the drug.
When you take this drug as a prescription, your doctor will probably decrease the dosage slowly rather than taking you off it right away. If you try to stop taking it all at once, you may find you become anxious and have difficulty sleeping. You may start to sweat uncontrollably and have muscle aches. You may become irritable. If the symptoms become too severe, you’ll try to find a way to get more of the drug so you can stop them.
Detox is the process of cleansing the drug and its toxins from the system. If you are abusing Hydrocodone, you’ll need to go through the detox process. It’s best to not try it on your own. Instead, seek out a detox facility where you can receive 24-hour support until you’re finished with the process.
Because Hydrocodone is an opiate, you may experience serious side effects. For some, they want to use medical detox to help them through the process. With this method, you take a medication which is designed to help reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of withdrawal. The down side of this approach is many of these medications also have addictive properties and must be monitored closely to prevent a secondary addiction. It slows down the detox process and makes treatment take longer.
Another option is holistic detox. With this method, the focus is on helping you get healthy through nutrition and exercise so your body can fight the withdrawal symptoms naturally. Healthy eating enables you to get the nutrients you need which can enable your body to fight off those symptoms. Exercise increases the feel-good hormones in your brain, which will mimic the effect of the drug but in a natural way.
If you’re interested in detoxing so you can start drug addiction treatment, consider your options and find a facility that offers the approach you prefer. You want to think about long-term success and getting healthy from your addiction.
If you suffer from an addiction to a prescription drug like Hydrocodone, you may think you don’t need rehab. Once you’ve gone through detox, you may feel like you’re ready to get back to your life. While this may be the case, often a person relapses because they failed to follow up with drug addiction treatment.
You have several options when it comes to getting help for your addiction. For many, they will succeed with outpatient rehab, especially if they are a new addict or only have a light abuse or addiction problem. They can attend therapy a few hours a week and continue with their other responsibilities. It’s the ideal option for someone with a job or with children they can’t leave overnight.
If you have a more serious addiction but still have responsibilities to manage, intensive outpatient treatment may be a viable option. You spend more time in treatment but still get to go home and to work. Instead of a few hours per week, you may go every day or even spend several hours each day in therapy.
Inpatient treatment is often the best option for many drug addicts. You stay in the facility for the duration of your treatment, which can be up to 30 days. During this time, you focus solely on getting better and dealing with your addiction. You won’t have to deal with the triggers that cause you to crave the drug. You have full support with the staff and other recovering addicts.
If you’ve been a drug addict for many years or have tried therapy in the past and failed, you may need to attend a residential treatment center. This program allows you to stay for several weeks or months and may even transition you to a sober living home before you finish treatment.
When considering what type of program is best for your addiction recovery, you will need to think about how much support you have as well as the negative situations and influences you will encounter if you try to live on your own during this time.
Most modern drug treatment centers offer various types of treatment to address their patients’ addictions. It’s important to provide a well-rounded treatment plan so that patients’ needs are met properly. Some of the main types of treatment that are offered include:
You may attend a program that includes alternative treatment as part of your program. You’ll find a variety of options under this category. For instance, a drug rehab center may offer art or music therapy, equine therapy, yoga, journaling and more. These programs help you find new ways to deal with your addiction and handle stress in a positive way so you are less likely to relapse in the future.
Many treatment centers provide a focus on getting the recovering addict healthy, both physically and mentally. You may work with a nutritionist to ensure you’re getting the right vitamins and minerals so you can feel good. This becomes very important because a vast number of addicts eat poorly when they’re using.
Exercise is an important part of these programs as well. It helps you have more energy and feel good. It also enables you to have a more positive outlook on life as it works to reduce the effects of stress.
Most treatment plans will include a combination of programs. They may even be adjusted if you fail to continue moving forward or need more help with recovery. Consider what treatment options are available at the facilities you visit to ensure you find the best one for your addiction recovery.
People with a mental health disorder often turn to drugs as a way to hide the symptoms from family and friends. They are afraid to seek out treatment so they turn to self-medicating to appear normal to others.
Opioids are popular in this scenario because they help you relax while providing that “feel-good” feeling. You may take them if you suffer from depression or anxiety as a way to feel better and be able to participate in your normal activities.
The problem with treating any mental health condition with a drug on your own is you don’t know the correct dosage to take or the right medication to treat the problem. As your body develops a tolerance to the drug, it will take more for you to successfully hide your mental health disorder symptoms. Once you have become addicted to the substance, you may find your symptoms have worsened instead of improving.
Some common mental health conditions paired with drug addiction include the following:
Treating a dual diagnosis is important in addiction recovery. If the mental condition isn’t dealt with, you’re more likely to relapse down the road. You’ll need a therapist who can treat the mental health disorder as well as someone experienced with drug addiction. You will probably attend regular therapy and may be prescribed medication to deal with the mental health disorder.
While having a mental health disorder complicates your drug addiction treatment, you can still have a successful recovery if you find the right program. You want to do your research and locate a center with staff that is experienced in dual diagnosis.
As recent as only a few years ago, going to drug rehab programs was considered to be very expensive because so many insurances didn’t cover it at all. Patients would have to pay for it out of pocket, take out loans, or borrow from their loved ones in order to get the help they needed. As you can imagine, this led to a lot of people simply not going to addiction treatment programs at all.
The cost of rehab should no longer be a deciding factor because of the Affordable Care Act, which has been in effect in our country for a few years. This new healthcare law has made it possible for anyone who needs addiction treatment to get it because insurance companies are now required to offer benefits. Many patients even find that they have policies that cover it completely.
For families with loved ones who suffer from hydrocodone addictions, every day is a battle. They are often really worried about a potential overdose, and they’re not sure what to do, or how to help the people they care about. Many times, the addict fails to see a problem, especially if they are abusing a prescription medication. They may tell you they can handle it and stop anytime they want. While you know it’s not true, arguing will probably not change their minds. Instead, you can present information about Hydrocodone to help them see the dangers of this drug.
Your loved one may still not listen to you or be willing to change their ways. You begin to feel frustrated and at a loss on how to help them. If you’re at this point, you might want to consider scheduling intervention services. This is a meeting that takes place in a controlled environment with your loved one, as well as with other friends and family. Together, you talk about the addiction and how it has affected all of your lives, and admission can even be scheduled immediately afterward.
Statistics show that interventions are highly successful. Sometimes an addict will hear the message when it’s presented by multiple people at once. Other times, they are desperate enough to do something about their addiction but didn’t know how before.
Your time in drug rehab can vary based on the type of treatment you have chosen. You’ll need to go through detox first, which could take up to a week or longer if you’re mixing Hydrocodone with other substances.
Once you complete detox, you’ll begin a rehab program. It can last a few days, as many as 30 days or sometimes even longer if you have a serious opioid addiction. Many times, a person will complete initial treatment only to continue with a 12-step program or other aftercare therapy. Studies show that the longer a person spends in some type of treatment program, the less their chances of relapsing.
Understand that addiction isn’t a curable disease. Even as a recovering addict, you still have the tendency to become addicted to certain substances. For this reason, you should tell your doctor about any past addictions when they are prescribing pain medication or other drugs for a condition. They may adjust their recommendation or monitor you closely if they are concerned about you developing an addiction.
Here at Northpoint Washington, we provide all of the above, plus a lot more for our patients while they’re recovering from their addictions. We focus on a holistic approach and offer the opportunity to engage in exercise, hiking and other activities as you work on your recovery. We have a small facility with a low patient to staff ratio which means you get more individualized attention when you need it.
Drug addiction is not something you need to face on your own, and you can recover from it with the right support. Please contact us today if you’d like to get started.
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Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab and addiction counseling located in Boise, Idaho.
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Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab and addiction counseling located in Washington State.