Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid that can be derived from codeine and thebaine. Trade names of hydrocodone include Vicodin, Anexsia, Hycodan, Tussionex, Vicoprofen, and Tylox. Hydrocodone is typically administered in conjunction with non-opioid drugs such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen in order to discourage abuse as acetaminophen is toxic to the liver at high doses. Other opioid painkillers are often combined with one of these two drugs to discourage abuse and reduce rates of painkiller addiction. It is debatable whether the addition of acetaminophen and ibuprofen to hydrocodone results in less abuse of the medication.
Hydrocodone addiction has become widespread throughout the past ten years because of the drug’s euphoric effect that is similar to codeine or heroin. Emergency room visits over the past ten years relating to hydrocodone abuse have increased 500 percent. Hydrocodone addiction is considered by some to be the most common type of painkiller addiction in the United States. Painkiller addition is common in the United States because potentially addictive painkillers are commonly prescribed for various ailments. In most cases of painkiller addiction, addicts obtain their drug of choice through illegal or unethical methods.
Painkiller addiction treatment is difficult due to the strong physical and psychological dependencies that are associated with the addiction. Hydrocodone addiction treatment may include detoxification, rehabilitation, psychotherapy, and group therapy. Since hydrocodone addiction and other types of painkiller addiction are such a common problem, many drug rehab centers are more than capable of handling hydrocodone addiction treatment. Many drug rehab centers have successfully treated several cases of hydrocodone addiction as well as other types of painkiller addiction.
Hydrocodone Addiction Side Effects
The side effects of hydrocodone addiction are many, and they are similar to other side effects of opioid painkiller addiction. The most reported effects of hydrocodone addiction include lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, constipation, decreased appetite, diarrhea, dry mouth, indigestion, muscle twitches, ringing in the ears, shortness of breath, fatigue, tiredness, vomiting, and other effects. Some of the more severe effects include cold and clammy skin, difficult breathing, seizures, and severe vomiting. The effects may peak when the individual is physically active.
Psychological effects include mental clouding, impaired judgment, euphoria, anxiety, decreased mental performance, emotional dependence, an exaggerated sense of well-being, mood changes, and other symptoms. Addicts to hydrocodone will demonstrate some of these physical and psychological effects, and observing these effects may be the fastest way to spot cases of hydrocodone addiction.
Addicts may go to several physicians to obtain multiple prescriptions of hydrocodone. They will typically also not perform very well at cognitive tasks, schoolwork, and other types of work. They may have difficulties with maintaining a regular job. They may also show signs of emotional and psychological dependence on the drug and refer to it in an overtly positive manner. Hydrocodone addiction treatment is required for addicts to successfully withdraw and detoxify for cases of moderate to severe hydrocodone addiction.
Withdrawal from hydrocodone can be difficult depending on the severity of the addiction, the individual patient, and the length of the time that the patient has been addicted to the drug. Symptoms of withdrawal from hydrocodone addiction include: nausea, vomiting, muscle and bone aches, running nose, watery eyes, dilated pupils, sweating, chills, fever, and excessive yawning. Psychological symptoms of hydrocodone addiction include depression, insomnia, irritability, mood swings, and psychological cravings for the drug. Symptoms peak within 24 to 72 hours after the last dose of hydrocodone and they may continue for 7 to 14 days. Psychological effects of hydrocodone withdrawal may continue for even longer periods of time.
The intensity and severity of the withdrawal symptoms will vary between patients. Withdrawal is typically the result of an addiction to hydrocodone that has been going on for at least 2 weeks. Hydrocodone addiction treatment may require a stay at a drug rehab center that specializes in painkiller addiction. Withdrawal symptoms may begin within 6 to 20 hours after stopping the use of hydrocodone. A gradual detoxification program results in the minimization of side effects of withdrawal. The hydrocodone dosage is typically lowered over a period of several days or weeks during a stay at a hydrocodone addiction treatment program.
Painkiller addiction treatment should be administered at a drug rehab center. These centers help with the detoxification process by providing the unique and specific medical treatment plan that each patient requires. No individual can successfully prescribe their own hydrocodone addiction treatment plan without the assistance of an addiction medical professional. Treatment for the withdrawal symptoms of hydrocodone addiction must include medications that assist with the gradual reduction of the dosage of hydrocodone, psychotherapy and supportive counseling, and other medications that help treat the physical and psychological effects of the drug. Drugs such as Klonopin and Clonidine may be administered to help patients come off of their hydrocodone addiction.
It may take several days or even weeks for a detox program to fully be administered because of the length of time that a gradual reduction may require. Detoxing at home without the supervision of medical and addiction specialists is potentially dangerous due to adverse withdrawal symptoms and psychological effects. Relapse is common for those who attempt to detox at home without the assistance of a drug rehab center. Painkiller addiction treatment at a drug rehab center is much safer and has a greater chance for success without relapse. Patients are provided a comfortable room and as much access to food, medications, and supportive therapy as they need.
Hydrocodone Addiction Treatment
Hydrocodone addiction treatment involves several phases, and one of the first phases of hydrocodone addiction treatment is the detoxification process. Detoxification is never rushed into, and there is a preceding evaluation before this process. Hydrocodone addiction treatment also involves supportive psychotherapy, psychiatric support, treatment from medical doctors, and group and social support. The more types of hydrocodone addiction treatment that are administered to the patient, the better the results typically are for both recovery and the avoidance of relapse.
The nature of painkiller addiction with its numerous physical and psychological effects makes it a challenging addiction to treat. Hydrocodone is shown to change how the brain functions by altering opioid receptor chemistry, and the psychological associations with euphoria and the drug are difficult to break. However, hydrocodone addiction treatment facilities offer patients the latest in addiction care and treatment that is capable of breaking these psychological and physical barriers to recovery. The addiction is treated with a lot of social support as well, and social support has been shown to improve a patient’s chance of success in the long term. Patients can be admitted to a hydrocodone addiction treatment facility or treated on an outpatient level as well.