Hydrocodone is an addictive opioid that is still prescribed more often than many other prescription drugs in many areas of the United States. Sadly, this high-volume prescribing is only feeding the opioid epidemic spreading throughout the country, and individuals who develop a hydrocodone addiction will require treatment in order to recover safely.
Is Hydrocodone Acetaminophen Addictive?
Often, hydrocodone is prescribed along with other medications to treat pain. This is known as a combination drug. According to the National Library of Medicine, one of the most popular hydrocodone combination drugs contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen.
- Acetaminophen is not addictive. However, hydrocodone is an opioid drug, which means it can cause addiction as well as dependence, tolerance, and other problems. Though addiction only occurs when the drug is abused, the other two issues can happen to someone who is simply taking their medication as prescribed.
- Those who take hydrocodone and other opioid products for more than a week or so have an increased chance of addiction. While some can take the drug without experiencing problems, it is important to always remember that hydrocodone can become addictive if abused.
- As such, combination products like Anexsia, Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, and Vicodin can all become addictive.
These drugs may be prescribed for many reasons from treating short-term pain to helping patients cope with long-term pain issues. Whatever the case, it is important to be very careful with hydrocodone and its combination products.
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Why Is Hydrocodone So Addictive?
Hydrocodone is an opioid drug, which means it causes the brain to experience pain relief and relaxation. When it is taken in large doses, it can also cause euphoria. Some abuse the drug for this purpose, but people often feel good when they are taking the drug as recommended by a doctor, leading them to take more in order to keep feeling this way. This type of use can cause addiction in a lot of people.
The brain becomes accustomed to the feeling hydrocodone causes over time. It will start to rely on the drug to cause more and more good feelings and stop being able to regulate these reactions on its own. Over time, the user will experience dependence, tolerance, and eventually, addiction.
How Long Does It Take to How Long Does It Take to Develop a Hydrocodone Addiction?
This is different for each individual person. Some can become addicted quickly, often because they are already addicted to other opioid drugs. Some may begin to experience problems with addiction later on, sometimes months after they begin using. Usually, people take about a few weeks to a few months of regular, intensive use to become addicts.
When a person misuses a drug like hydrocodone, it won’t take long for them to start needing higher and higher doses to experience the same effects, also known as tolerance. Tolerance often leads many individuals to abusing other dangerous drugs like heroin and fentanyl. This kind of increased abuse often leads to overdose, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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Am I Addicted to Hydrocodone?
The side effects of hydrocodone abuse are many and varied, but over time, the path of drug abuse will lead to addiction if you are not careful. In fact, many people become addicted to drugs like hydrocodone, which are highly available and easy to obtain, without even realizing it. Ask yourself these questions to learn whether or not you may already be suffering from a hydrocodone addiction:
- Do I use hydrocodone every day?
- Has my use become more and more frequent? Have the doses I take gotten higher because I need more of the drug to create the same effects?
- Do I use the drug without a doctor’s consent, more often than my doctor prescribed, in higher doses than my doctor prescribed, or via methods not sanctioned by my doctor (such as crushing and snorting the tablets)?
- Have my loved ones shown concern for my drug use?
- Am I spending more and more time alone so I can use?
- Do I become anxious, angry, or otherwise upset when I cannot use hydrocodone?
- Have the things, people, activities, etc. that used to matter to me started to matter less?
- Have I lost my job or gotten reprimanded at work or school because of my hydrocodone use?
- Am I struggling financially because of hydrocodone?
- Have I had a falling out with any of my important friends, family members, or other loved ones because of my hydrocodone use?
- Have I gotten into legal trouble because of my hydrocodone use?
- Is my physical and/or metal health becoming affected by my use of the drug?
- Have I ever overdosed on hydrocodone?
- Have I ever experienced withdrawal symptoms when I tried to stop using hydrocodone or when I could not obtain more of the drug?
- Have I tried to cut back, stop using, or otherwise minimize my hydrocodone intake and been unable to?
- Do I worry I won’t be able to live without the drug?
- Even if I wanted to quit, do I think I would be unable to do so on my own?
These questions are important to consider if you think you might be addicted to a dangerous opioid drug. Answering at least two or three with a yes is a strong sign you are addicted. Fortunately, you can seek treatment and put an end to your hydrocodone abuse while also learning to avoid relapse in the future.
You Can Begin to Recover From Hydrocodone Addiction Today
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