Hydrocodone is an opioid class of drugs that are prescribed to help people deal with their pain. It is most commonly sold under the Vicodin name. Other brand names of the drug include Lortab and Norco. Although the drug is supposed to be used by prescription only, many people become addicted to the drug and continue using it well past the time intended. Others obtain the drug illegally, which can also lead to hydrocodone addiction.
Hydrocodone and other opioid addictions have become extremely prevalent in this country leading to an opioid epidemic as many people get hooked on the drug. It’s important to understand the effects on the body and what symptoms to watch for when it comes to hydrocodone addiction.
How Does Hydrocodone Affect the Body?
Since hydrocodone is intended to treat pain, it sends euphoric feelings throughout the body. Hydrocodone binds to pain receptors in the brain to block or weaken the pain signals. Since it makes people feel good, some continue to take it, even when their pain has subsided.
Taking hydrocodone for a long time can make your body build a tolerance to the drug. Tolerance of hydrocodone means that your body requires more of the drug to experience the same effects.
When a person stops taking hydrocodone after using for a prolonged period of time, their body will begin to exhibit withdrawal symptoms. Many people continue to take hydrocodone for longer than prescribed to feel “normal,” instead of the pain that accompanies withdrawal. They may also mistake the withdrawal pain as the original pain that they needed the hydrocodone for, in the first place.
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What are the Symptoms of Hydrocodone Addiction?
Many people may not recognize the symptoms of hydrocodone addiction because it is a prescription drug. But, make no mistake, there are damaging symptoms. Hydrocodone can alter the body in negative ways in people who abuse it.
Here are some of the symptoms that can occur:
- Blurry vision
- Reduced breathing rate
- Reduced heart rate
- Slowed heartbeat
When people use hydrocodone for an extended period, it also changes the way their brain works and can impact their mood.
Long-term use and abuse of hydrocodone can also have these serious effects:
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
If there is too much hydrocodone in the body, it can make the heart rate decrease rapidly and cause breathing to become extremely shallow. The brain can also be deprived of oxygen. Statistics show that 103 people die of an opioid overdose every day in the United States.
Seeking treatment for hydrocodone addiction is so important to reduce this number and get people the help they need.
Getting Treatment for Hydrocodone Addiction
At Ocean Hills Recovery, we can help people overcome their hydrocodone addiction and live a full life. We help patients safely detox from an addiction to minimize the effects of withdrawal on the body. Once the body is free from these toxins, we begin to teach them how to not depend on hydrocodone to feel good. People learn how to find new hobbies and make new friendships that can bring them the fulfillment that they seek.
Through therapy sessions and inpatient and outpatient treatments, our clients learn how to live a sober life. If you’re ready to take the first step in your recovery, contact Ocean Hills Recovery contact us online to start getting the treatment you need to lead a healthy life.
About the author:
Greg opened his home and heart to alcoholics and addicts in 2003. He is a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (CATCI). Starting in 2009 Greg has fostered the growth of Ocean Hills Recovery into one of the most respected and effective treatment centers in the area and has been working with people with addictions since March of 2001. Greg believes in a holistic approach to recovery. His focus is on drug alcohol addiction treatment with a combination of 12 Step work, therapy and counseling, and the rejuvenation of the body through healthful eating and exercise. He has designed his program to foster a family-like atmosphere and believes that people in recovery are just beginning their lives. He encourages the people he works with to learn to enjoy life in sobriety. Greg is married to Nicole; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.