Hydrocodone addiction is quickly becoming a serious problem in the United States and other countries. The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration reports that Hydrocodone is the most abused prescription drug on the market today.
What is Hydrocodone Addiction?
Hydrocodone is a type of narcotic that can be found in pain relievers like Vicodin and Lortab. Currently, there are over 200 products on the market that contain Hyrdrocodone.
These drugs are widely prescribed because of their pain relieving benefits. Hydrocodone has a calming and euphoric effect on patients, especially in high doses. The effect is similar to the one produced by drugs like Heroin and morphine.
In its pure form, Hydrocodone is classified as a Schedule II substance. As such, it is heavily controlled and regulated. However, there are very few prescription drugs which are considered to be pure Hydrocodone. While these drugs are regulated by federal and state laws, they are not as heavily regulated as other powerful painkillers. The slack regulations have led to widespread use and abuse.
Studies have shown that a Hydrocodone addiction can develop in as little as one to four weeks. The amount of time it takes to become addicted to a drug with Hyrdrocodone in it depends on the individual user as well as the amount of hydrocodone found in the medication. Once addicted, the habit can be very hard to kick and could lead to a chronic addiction.
Side Effects of Hydrocodone Addiction
There are both severe and acute side effects associated with a Hydrocodone addiction. Many of these effects are similar to those experienced by Morphine users. The most common side effects of Hydrocodone use include:
- Allergic Reactions
- Dry Mouth
- Decreased Appetite
- Stomach Cramps
- Muscle Twitches
- Decreased Sex Drive
- Difficulty Breathing
- Mood Changes
- Yellowing of the Skin
- Swelling of the Appendages
- Death (Caused by overdose or an allergic reaction)
If you or someone you know is having trouble with a Hydrocodone addiction, you should contact a physician immediately. A qualified and competent physician will be able to develop a plan of action to help you overcome the addiction. You can also contact one of the many addiction treatment centers located around the country. Such centers are equipped with a staff that is familiar with the causes and effects of various addictions. Recovery may be a slow and arduous process. Most people will experience instant withdrawals once they quit taking a drug that includes Hyrdocodone. The severity of the withdrawals will depend on the level of the Hydrocodone addiction, but in most cases, symptoms are not life threatening.
Withdrawals can last anywhere from seven hours to fourteen days. At first, withdrawal symptoms will be strong, but as time passes, they will lessen. Individuals will most likely experience:
- Intense drug cravings
- Increased irritability and depression
- Nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps
- Severe headaches
- Muscle aches and joint pain
- Sweating, fever, and chills
- Difficulty sleeping
- Dilated pupils
- Water eyes
- Runny nose and cold-like symptoms
If withdrawals are extremely severe, your physician may be able to recommend medication that can lessen your discomfort. There are also several different detox techniques that may prove to be helpful in overcoming Hydrocodone addiction.
One of the most important things you can do to ensure success is to seek out addiction counseling. Group and individual counseling sessions can help you understand the causes behind your addiction and will also help you to come up with ways to fight off the cravings you are likely to experience before and after the drug has left your system.