What is Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is an opioid pain reliever, which is similar to methadone, morphine, oxycodone and fentanyl. Hydrocodone can be used to relieve moderate to severe pain, and it works by changing the way your brain reacts to pain, which is why it can be classified as a narcotic or an opiate analgesic. It’s most commonly used in combination with acetaminophen to treat chronic and acute pain.
Why is Hydrocodone prescribed?
Hydrocodone is prescribed to people with chronic and acute pain. It is usually given to patients who need to use pain reliever 24/7 for a longer period of time, and cannot be treated by any other kind of medications. This drug treatment should not be used if you’re also taking other medication to treat your condition and control your pain.
How does Hydrocodone work?
When taken, hydrocodone affects the body by slowing down and altering your brain activity. It reacts as an agonist and binds to your brain’s pain receptors, preventing it from receiving pain signals.
The same part of the brain reacts when it comes to emotional pain, as well. The way that hydrocodone blocks emotional pain, such as depression, anxieties, and behavioral problems, is it actually replaces all of the negative feelings you have with euphoria.
How should Hydrocodone be used?
Depending on your prescribed drug treatment program, you may be required to take hydrocodone every 12 hours, or once a day. Hydrocodone comes in the form of a capsule or a tablet, both of which have an extended-release, long-lasting effect. The capsule is usually taken twice a day, and the tablet once daily.
Read and follow the prescription directions carefully, and consult your doctor or pharmacist if there’s anything you don’t understand.
You may have developed a tolerance to hydrocodone if you notice that your body isn’t reacting to it the way it used to, and that you find yourself needing a higher dosage in order to achieve the same effect. Developing a tolerance to hydrocodone doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve become dependent and addicted to it, as each person reacts in a different way, although no one is immune to its effects, and no one is safe from developing a hydrocodone addiction.
What is Hydrocodone Abuse?
Although hydrocodone abuse was once seen as a problem affecting the middle and upper class, as health insurance becomes more accessible, its abuse rates have gone up drastically.
Hydrocodone abuse starts when you start using the drug more frequently and for a longer period of time than the one prescribed by your doctor. A person that starts to abuse hydrocodone, or develops an addiction to it will have a hard time functioning without the use of the drug. They will feel the absence of the drug quite strongly. They may want to avoid doing any social activities, or hanging out with their friends. Their breathing may slow down, and they may experience drowsiness, nausea, fatigue or even develop a rash.
Treating hydrocodone addiction
If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, you need to consult your doctor right away. Don’t try to quit using hydrocodone suddenly. Your doctor may advise you to simply reduce your daily dosages and try to get over your addiction gradually. Trying to beat your hydrocodone addiction by quitting suddenly may cause you to develop other physical and mental problems, like: insomnia, anxiety, uncontrollable sweating, and muscle pain.
Hydrocodone addiction is a serious problem, and if you think you need help quitting, and aren’t capable quitting on your own, then there are many programs out there that can help. Another viable option is to check into a rehab center, where you can detox your body, while being supervised by medical staff that’s there for your safety, as well as to offer support. A long-term hydrocodone abuse may mean a longer recovery period, so that you can fully get rid of your addiction.
Tips for handling hydrocodone addiction
Battling with addiction is a hard and exhausting journey and can be difficult to face on your own. What you need to have is a lot of courage, strength, and plenty of support. The recovery process can be a long one, so you need to be prepared for many ups and downs and many road blocks on the way. Here are a few tips that will make the whole process a lot easier:
- Don’t take any shortcuts. It can be a long and painful process, but it’s one you need to take.
- Detoxing without any drug treatment can lead to a relapse. You have to follow the program prescribed by your doctor along with your detox regimen.
- Find out what lead to your hydrocodone abuse in the first place. You can consult a psychiatrist to help you go through the whole process and identify the root of the problem.
- Get the moral support of your friends and family, or join a social support group.
- Don’t lose hope, and stick to your promises.