Doctors prescribe narcotic painkillers after surgery for chronic pain management, and in some cases, to battle cancer. Currently, an ongoing oxycodone vs hydrocodone debate claims one drug is less addictive than the other. Finding out the truth can make a huge difference in your decision to rely on either of these substances. What do you need to know about these products today?
Oxycodone vs Hydrocodone: What Are They?
When it comes to oxycodone vs hydrocodone, it’s important to know the difference. Oxycodone abuse can be devastating for you and your family. You may know oxycodone under the trade names OxyContin, Troxyca, or Percocet. These names indicate the delivery method of the active ingredient as controlled-release or mixed with naltrexone or acetaminophen. The active ingredient comes from thebaine, which chemists synthesize from poppy plants. One of the active ingredient’s side effects is the creation of euphoric feelings, causing derivative drugs to have a high abuse potential.
Hydrocodone comes from codeine, which is an opiate associated with the opium poppy. You may know it under the trade names Vicodin (when mixed with acetaminophen) or Damason-P (with aspirin). It’s also possible to mix this active ingredient with expectorants, so some doctors prescribe it for persistent coughs. Due to the drug’s origin, it also carries a heightened abuse potential for its possibly euphoria-inducing properties.
Scientists consider differences in strength and speed of pain relief to be minimal. Side effects, too, are very similar. Both drugs are at the heart of the opioid crisis that currently grips the nation. And because they act upon the brain’s pain receptors, they actively re-write brain chemistry in the process.
Addiction Can Develop Quickly
Once you take these painkillers for a short time, your body begins to develop a tolerance. To achieve the same level of pain relief, you now have to take more. As you do so, the chemicals in the active ingredients continue to change your brain chemistry. Dopamine release, as well as other processes, become dependent on the presence of the drugs.
If you try to stop taking the painkillers, you start to feel depressed. If you’ve abused the substances and have taken very high dosages, you feel the absence of dopamine more strongly. As a result, you continue taking the drugs and occasionally increase the doses. However, there’s another option: substance abuse treatment.
When discussing your situation with a therapist who treats substance abuse, he or she will offer several options. These options include:
- Detoxification that breaks the physical dependence you have on either drug
- Enrollment in a pain recovery program to help you with managing chronic pain or persistent symptoms
- Talk therapy that helps you overcome the reasons for falling victim to the addiction
- Group therapy that helps you build a support system of others in similar situations who hold each other accountable
- Holistic treatments that provide you with a whole-person approach to treatment
Don’t Delay Recovery!
No matter if it’s oxycodone vs hydrocodone, if you’re currently in the vicious cycle of an opioid pain pill addiction, reach out for addiction treatment. The experts at Ashley Addiction Treatment routinely work with people who need a hand with breaking a dependence. Dial 866-313-6307 now for immediate assistance!