Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opiate pain reliever and effective cough suppressant sold under brand names such as Vicodin, Lortab, Vicoprofen. Its chemical structure is similar to codeine, and it produces opiate-like effects that mimic morphine. It is most frequently prescribed as an analgesic for the treatment of moderate pain.
Since Hydrocodone is seen as safe among some health professionals, its been made easy to attain, even though it’s a Class II narcotic, (in some products, its combination with other drugs, such as acetaminophen, allows it to be categorized as a Class III). Hydrocodone has the image of being a “white collar” abuse problem, but its abuse has steadily increased across all ethnic and economic groups. Every age group has reported Hydrocodone-related deaths.
Symptoms of Hydrocodone Addiction and Abuse
Hydrocodone is both physically and psychologically addicting, with telltale signs in both areas.
Physical indications of abuse and addiction include:
- Constricted pupils
- Decreased respiration
- Diaphoresis (excessive sweating)
- Dry throat
- Physical dependence
- Urinary problems
Coma and death are also possible consequences, especially when combined with alcohol.
Psychological indications of abuse include:
- Personality change
- Psychological dependence
Another indicator of dependence and abuse is “doctor shopping” — making frequent trips to different doctors, clinics and emergency rooms in order to acquire the drug.
Hydrocodone Addiction Treatment and Therapy
The first step in Hydrocodone treatment is detoxification. Under medical supervision, the addict may stop using the drug completely and experience the full range of withdrawal symptoms. Or, detox may gradually reduce the drug in dosages. After detoxification, the patient is then directed to an inpatient rehabilitation facility to continue with therapy.
Treatment center therapy is most effective in a therapeutic community environment with access to medical supervision. Because psychological dependence is complex, and the possibility of dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders exists, any treatment program must be designed to meet the individual circumstances of the patient. Even though detoxification has eliminated physical dependence, the addict may continue to feel overwhelmed with the daily activities and stresses that had been addressed under the influence of drugs.
In order for rehabilitation to be successful, and to prevent a relapse, the physical environment and other motivators must change. Upon completion of the inpatient program, patients must have access to and be directed to utilize a wide range of support communities, groups, and counseling opportunities.
If you feel you or your loved one must be placed in a rehabilitation treatment center for Hydrocodone abuse, please call 888-373-5963 or fill out a patient placement form and The Way Out Recovery will aid in placement.