Hydrocodone is a type of opioid which is used for relieving extreme pain. It is a semi-synthetic substance which will usually be consumed orally. Hydrocodone is most commonly used in the United States, and when taken its analgesic effects will begin within twenty minutes and can last as long as 8 hours. In terms of potency, hydrocodone is very similar to oxycodone.
Even at normal doses, hydrocodone can become addicting. It is for this reason that it should never be used longer than prescribed, nor should the dosage be increased. Hydrocodone can reduce or even stop the breathing of those that misuse it. The pills should always be swallowed whole, as those who break or crush them may suffer a fatal overdose when consumed in this manner. The ease with which someone can become addicted to this substance means it should be administered with extreme caution.
Warning Signs of Hydrocodone Addiction
Those that abuse hydrocodone will exhibit a number of symptoms. Some of these include vomiting, constipation and anxiety. Addicts may also become dizzy or lightheaded. Another characteristic which is associated with misuse of this drug includes frequent mood swings, where the user will go from being unusually happy and excited to being sad and depressed. Additional warnings signs to look for include:
- Problems when urinating
- The chest becomes tight
- Breathing is slow or irregular
- The pupils will become narrow
- Appearance of rashes or itching
- Hearing loss
- Skin which is clammy or cold
- Physical or psychological dependence
Side Effects of Hydrocodone Abuse
There are many undesirable side effects which are associated with this substance. While some are relatively mild, others may be life threatening. Side effects which are particularly dangerous include swelling in the hands, legs or feet. Hydrocodone addicts may also experience a general ache which spreads across their body, and they may also have a persistent cough or chills. The ears may become congested, and psychologically, the addict may display unusual levels of nervousness and fear. Hydrocodone abuse may also lead to headaches or fever. Long term users of this substance may lose their voice, gain weight rapidly, or experience a tingling in their feet and hands. Other side effects to look for are:
- Severe fatigue and exhaustion
- Sore throat
- Blurry vision
- Bluish fingernails or lips
- Reduced responsiveness
- Loss of awareness
- Breathing which is loud or fast
- Profuse sweating
Although it is a legal prescription drug, hydrocodone can be very dangerous due to the fact that many of its users are suffering from severe or chronic pain. This type of pain can take its toll on a person both physically and psychologically, and medications like hydrocodone are sought after due to their ability to alleviate it. It is for this reason that so many become addicted to this substance, and overcoming this addiction can be incredibly difficult, especially when one considers the effects of withdrawal.
It is for this reason that rehab services are highly sought after. Rehab allows addicts to enter a community which is designed to help them break free from their addiction. They have the option of choosing inpatient or outpatient programs, and the rehab staff will assess them to determine the extent of their addiction before prescribing the best treatment program for them. Many insurance companies will also cover the costs of rehab so the treatment costs do not have to be prohibitive.
Contact us now at NeuroPsychiatric Addiction Clinic, where we can assist you in living a drug free life. You can reach us by email or phone.