Hydrocodone is sold under multiple brand names, including Vicodin, Lortab, and Norco. Doctors prescribe these medications for patients with chronic pain or an aggressive cough. As an opioid, the drug clearly leads to addiction. However, many patients or those who buy it illegally still fall into the trap of physical and psychological dependence every year.
Although the drug can be helpful in managing short-term pain, hydrocodone use has two significant dangers: addiction and side effects. Anyone can become addicted to the pain medication, even those taking it under a doctor’s care. It’s easy to give in to the lure of the drug’s high and pain reduction. Even if you use your prescription exactly as your doctor instructs, you can still become addicted.
Tolerance is the first sign that addiction may occur. When you develop a high tolerance, you’ll need more hydrocodone to gain the same effect. Your body has become used to the original dose and requires more with each use. This means you may have to take your pill more often than before.
You’d be surprised by how quickly tolerance develops. In reality, tolerance is the bridge between abuse and addiction. After abusing drugs consistently for a period of time, you eventually develop a hydrocodone dependence. When your body starts relying on the drug to function, that’s when addiction sets in.
When you suffer hydrocodone addiction, you compulsively seek the drug even though you know it’s causing problems in your life. The more you feed your addiction, the further down the dark path of addiction you go, dragging your life behind you. Addiction can lead to money problems, legal issues, relationship damage, job loss, and many other effects. This is a dangerous time in your life, as you can plummet further into isolation and despair.
Dangerous Side Effects
Hydrocodone abuse can lead to various short and long-term effects. Ultimately, the medication changes how your brain perceives pain. In essence, your brain reprograms itself and changes its chemistry.
Side effects can be mild, such as temporary anxiety, constipation, sleepiness, and headaches. You may also feel nausea, muscle weakness, dizziness, or itchiness. Many people have problems with sleeping and experience vivid nightmares when using opioids.
More extreme side effects include:
- Bowel obstruction
- Breathing and heart rate problems
- Allergic rash, hives, swelling or itching
- Urination problems
Opioids are also depressants. They can slow your heartbeat and breathing, creating dangerous physical conditions. Overuse of these drugs can permanently damage your liver and hearing.
Even people experiencing these side effects will still seek more painkillers to feed their addiction. They ignore the havoc using the drug wreaks on their relationships. They also disregard problems at work, home, or school. Each day’s main objective becomes getting more of the drug and using it.
Ending Your Painkiller Addiction
If prescription painkiller addiction is destroying your life, there’s help available for recovery. You simply have to find a program that will work for you. Ashley Addiction Treatment in Havre de Grace, Maryland offers substance abuse programs suited to your individual needs, including:
- Primary Program for adults
- Young Adult Program (including Young Adult Extended Care for men 18–25 years old)
- Outpatient Program
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
- On-site medical care, including detox
Ashley offers integrated, innovative, and holistic care. We offer various amenities for comfort and personal development during your rehab experience, such as yoga, massage, acupuncture, a physical fitness and wellness center, laundry service, and housekeeping. You’ll benefit from our personal trainers, dietary team, and semi-private rooms for a maximum of two occupants. Feeling safe and comfortable in rehab is important because your comfort allows you to focus more completely on achieving strong recovery.
Painkiller addiction is an exhausting, never-ending cycle. If you need help toward lasting sobriety, count on our addiction treatment professionals to help you regain control of your life. Call Ashley Addiction Treatment at 866-313-6307 to get on the right path toward recovery.