Hydrocodone is a very potent drug. Because of this, it is very easy to become addicted to this prescription medication.
Unfortunately, it’s also a drug that is readily prescribed when patients present at the emergency room or doctor’s office complaining of severe pain. It is combined with acetaminophen and other active ingredients. There are many different types of hydrocodone-containing products, and each one is designed for a different use., This drug is generally found under the brand names of Vicodin, Norco or Lortab.
Hydrocodone is an opiate, which means that it is just as addictive as other drugs in that classification. Perhaps you’ve been struggling with an addiction to Hydrocodone, or you suspect that you may have become addicted to it. Accidental addiction to this type of drug is not uncommon, but it’s also not something that you have to live with for the rest of your life.
Learn more about what an addiction to hydrocodone looks like in this guide. We’ll walk you through signs of an addiction, the side effects, overdose symptoms and withdrawal symptoms. We’ll also help you figure out what type of treatment options are available, and whether you need to seek medical help immediately.
One look at the chemical structure of hydrocodone, and you don’t have to be a chemist to know that it’s fairly complicated and complex. This opioid is a narcotic analgesic that is related to codeine. With that said, hydrocodone is much more potent. It’s also more addictive by weight than codeine.
Hydrocodone is an opioid agonist that is often also used as a cough suppressant. This basically means that hydrocodone can attach to mu-opioid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS). This gives it its analgesic and antitussive effects, and is also the reason why this chemical can produce effects like:
Hydrocodone is insoluble in water. It is, however, soluble in acetone, ethyl acetate and chloroform. It’s a stable molecule when stored properly.
There are many different hydrocodone-containing products. Hydrocodone is combined with many other ingredients to create unique products that are recommended for various uses. Some hydrocodone-containing products are designed to offer relief to moderate-to-severe pain. Other hydrocodone-containing products help relieve coughs.
Due to the fact that hydrocodone is quite versatile, many products contain this ingredient. Some of the brand name medications that contain hydrocodone and other ingredients are listed below.
Hydrocodone-containing products come in many forms. Some of the products listed above come in the form of a tablet or a capsule. Other products come in the form of a syrup or a clear, liquid solution. There are different types of extended-release forms of this medication. Regardless of the reason why you may have been prescribed hydrocodone, take it as prescribed. If you have any questions or concerns, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
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Unfortunately, hydrocodone is a pretty addictive substance. It doesn’t take much for those who are prescribed this medication to get addicted. Those who take the medication as prescribed can still get addicted to this drug within weeks of taking it regularly. The worst part is that those who go back to their doctors for another prescription will usually get it. This only enhances the addiction.
The addictiveness of the drug will vary from one patient to another. Some people get addicted within weeks. Others will develop a dependence on the drug after months of using it.
Like other opioids, hydrocodone will modify and change the pain signalling systems in the central nervous system (CNS) and brain. This prescription drug changes a person’s perception of pain. With that said, it also offers some other desirable short-term effects, which include:
The short-term side effects of hydrocodone use are the ones that make this drug so desirable. With that said, the long-term effects of hydrocodone use aren’t as desirable. Long-term effects of hydrocodone use include acetaminophen toxicity and liver damage. Other long-term effects include sensorineural hearing loss and also physical issues.
This type of drug addiction can lead to mental health problems. It can also, like with most drugs, wreak havoc on relationships and cause a person to perform poorly at work or school. Long-term use often leads to abuse and addiction.
Hydrocodone can be a very useful medication when it’s taken for short periods of time and only in the proper dosages. However, when it’s taken for a long time, it’s very easy to build up a tolerance to it. This usually results in people increasing their dosages on their own, or taking it more frequently than they should. These are the earliest indicators that abuse is taking place.
Over time, people may become aware that they’re taking more than they should be taking, and in an effort to conserve their drugs, they may participate in using hydrocodone in ways that are very dangerous just to get them in their bodies quicker. In some cases, people will crush the tablets and snort them or dilute them with water and inject them. Misusing the drugs can become dangerous quite quickly.
Once the mode of taking Hydrocodone has progressed into altering the tablets, it’s safe to assume that the abuse has become a full addiction. Those who are addicted to hydrocodone may also experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit. Withdrawal symptoms are an indication of physical or chemical dependence.
It can be so difficult to convince someone that they have an addiction to a prescription medication like hydrocodone. That’s because even though there are always addiction warnings on the bottle, people tend to believe that they’re safe since they’re prescribed by a doctor and not purchased on the street from a drug dealer. Even when your loved one runs out of pills, they still might not realize they’re addicted even if they are going out to obtain the pills illegally.
This can be very frustrating for families. If you can relate to this situation, staging an intervention can help you communicate your concern. It can also help your loved one understand that they need for hydrocodone addiction treatment. Interventions are usually held in homes, and a representative from your local drug rehab facility will be able to help facilitate it.
It’s possible that you’re still not really sure if you’ve become addicted to hydrocodone. You might suspect that you’re addicted. There are certain Hydrocodone addiction symptoms and behaviors you can look for to know for sure. These may include:
Maybe you’ve experienced one or more of these physical symptoms, but you’re still not sure if you’re someone who would benefit from going to one of the best hydrocodone rehab programs in the Pacific Northwest. You may still feel as though you have your drug use under control, and even though you may have an addiction, you’re not sure it’s severe enough to warrant treatment.
If you’re exhibiting any of the following Hydrocodone addiction behaviors, you would definitely benefit from getting professional help:
If you’re still unsure of whether you need help, check in with us. Our professionals can offer you a free addiction assessment over the phone. Rest assured that any information that you share with us will be kept confidential. Our team of specialists will see what we can do to help you. We’ll guide you toward the right addiction resources.
Is it worth taking hydrocodone to treat pain and other medical conditions? It all depends. You need to weigh out the benefits with the cons. Although hydrocodone is a fairly potent and effective drug, it also comes with some unsavory side effects. Some of the mild side effects that may appear include:
In general, the side effects listed above are considered to be fairly mild. They will usually slowly dissipate with time. With that said, there are some side effects that are considered more serious. Some of the more serious side effects include bowel obstruction, difficulties breathing, slowed or irregular heartbeat and severe allergies. Anyone who experiences any of these side effects should seek immediate medical attention.
One of the main characteristics of an addiction is hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms. The presence of withdrawal symptoms means that your body has become physically and chemically dependent on the substance.
Basically, the presence of hydrocodone will flood your brain with neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are responsible for creating euphoric sensations. This is the main reason why those who take hydrocodone will feel happy and euphoric.
Once the hydrocodone leaves your system, your brain won’t have enough neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin, to function. This is responsible for the negative emotions that substance abusers feel when ‘coming down’ from the drug. Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms can be very overwhelming and overbearing. They are the reasons behind why many hydrocodone addicts relapse.
“Between 40% and 60% of drug abusers who complete an addiction treatment program will relapse.”
The intensity of the withdrawal symptoms will vary from one individual to another. It all depends on the length of the hydrocodone abuse, the dosage taken, and other factors. In extreme cases, the withdrawal symptoms can turn deadly.
So, how long does it take to recover from hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms?
The withdrawal timeline for hydrocodone can vary from one individual to another. Much like with the severity and intensity of the symptoms, the factors that influence the length of the withdrawal timeline include the length of the abuse, the dosage taken, one’s biological makeup and more.
The type of hydrocodone that drug abusers took will also affect the length of the withdrawal. For those who took extended-release hydrocodone pain relievers, it takes longer for the drugs to leave the body. Due to this reason, the withdrawal symptoms will take longer to kick in.
While physical withdrawal symptoms can be treated with drug detox, the psychological ones will require counseling and therapy. Psychological symptoms can linger around for months, if not even years.
Mixing hydrocodone and other opioids with any other substances can be potentially dangerous. Unfortunately, many substance abusers will attempt to do so to see if they get a more potent and stronger high. Those who abuse more than one substance at a time are engaging in polysubstance abuse, or polydrug abuse.
Polydrug abuse is dangerous because both substances may magnify and enhance the effects of the other. This can lead to an increased risk of addiction and an increased risk of overdose. For some drugs, researchers don’t fully understand how the mixed substances may interact with one another. This means that mixing substances can lead to irreversible and severe bodily harm and damage.
Mixing opioids with any other drugs is never a good idea. Mixing the two drugs could have an adverse effect on the central nervous system (CNS). It can also cause a lot more damage than you’d think.
TripSit is a website that aims to reduce harm reduction through education. They have come up with a drug interaction chart that showcases which substances interact negatively with one another when mixed together. Take a look at the chart below. We will, then, also further explore the relationship between each drug mixture.
If you’d still like some further information, you can try our drug mixer tool. It will give you some insight into the dangers involved with mixing certain substances together. Abusing one substance only can already be quite dangerous. Those who abuse more than one substance are more likely to be in harm’s way.
|LSD||Low risk and no synergy|
|Mushrooms||Low risk and no synergy|
|DMT||Low risk and no synergy|
|Mescaline||Low risk and no synergy|
|DOx||Low risk and no synergy|
|NBOMes||Low risk and no synergy|
|2C-x||Low risk and no synergy|
|2-C-T-X||Low risk and no synergy|
|5-MeO-xxT||Low risk and no synergy|
|Cannabis||Low risk and no synergy|
|MDMA||Low risk and no synergy/ Caution|
|Caffeine||Low risk and no synergy|
|SSRIs||Low risk and no synergy|
Ketamine is a drug that is usually used during surgery. Due to its effects, it’s also very popular in the club and party scene. Many people often wonder what would happen if they were to mix hydrocodone and ketamine together. This combination can lead to potentially fatal consequences. It’s extremely dangerous.
Each one of these drugs increases the toxicity of the other. As ketamine is fairly potent, as is hydrocodone, mixing the two is never a good idea. Both of these drugs are CNS depressants. When mixed together, each drug will increase the user’s likelihood of oxygen deprivation and respiratory depression. It can also increase a person’s risk to depression, and impair their psychomotor skills.
In extreme cases, people have been known to die from this drug combination.
MXE, also known as methoxetamine, is a dissociative substance. It’s known to produce a dissociative effect that is similar to ketamine. This drug is ‘legal’. Many people consider it to be the ‘bladder-friendly’ alternative to ketamine.
With that said, although MXE appears to be a safer option to ketamine, is it safe to mix this drug with hydrocodone?
Unfortunately, mixing hydrocodone and MXE can lead to overdoses. Both drugs are CNS depressants. As a result, they can magnify the effect of the other.
DXM, also known as dextromethorphan, is a common ingredient found in cough medicines and suppressants. This drug is quite potent, and is often compared with ketamine. Not only can it be abused, but drug abusers should be wary of mixing it with hydrocodone.
Studies show that DXM does not enhance the abuse potential of morphine. They also suggest that the potentiation of analgesia may be selective. Some people take this to mean that it’s okay to mix hydrocodone and DXM. This isn’t necessarily true. Hydrocodone is much stronger than morphine. As a result, mixing DXM and hydrocodone could lead to more adverse results.
DXM products also usually contain alcohol. The alcohol inside this medication can also negatively interact with hydrocodone. Both substances can suppress the CNS.
It’s best to be extremely cautious when mixing the two. Unless advised by a doctor, don’t do it.
Nitrous oxide interacts with the endogenous opioid systems. This chemical can attach to and bind to mu, kappa and sigma opioid receptors. When taking hydrocodone with nitrous, users may feel that the effects of the opioids are heightened. This may lead to an increased risk of cardiac and respiratory depression. It may also lead to an increased risk of an overdose.
Avoid taking hydrocodone and nitrous together. If you are currently taking hydrocodone, let your doctor or dentist know before they administer nitrous oxide. Only a medical professional can assess how dangerous the condition may be.
Amphetamines are psychoactive substances and also stimulants. As a stimulant, it has the opposite effect as hydrocodone. Due to this reason, it can mask the symptoms of an overdose. Those who are taking amphetamines and hydrocodone at the same time may not notice some obvious overdose symptoms, and may continue to take more and more of both drugs. This increases the substance abuser’s risk to a fatal overdose.
Taking hydrocodone and amphetamines together can also lead to some adverse effects. Both of these drugs are highly addictive, and those who take both drugs at the same time may develop a higher tolerance to the drug. They may also become more chemically and physically dependent on both drugs; thus, leading to an addiction.
MDMA, also known as ecstasy, is a very popular party drug. It’s often found at raves and clubs. TripSit claims that the risks involved with mixing hydrocodone and MDMA are low; however, many other sources would caution users in mixing the two.
At the end of the day, MDMA is still a stimulant. Mixing a stimulant with a depressant can lead to some very unexpected results. The two drugs may cause users to take more of each substance, as the effects may cancel out. In worst case scenarios, the consequences can be fatal.
The latest statistics show that cocaine use is on the rise in America. This is very dangerous, as cocaine use mixed with hydrocodone use can lead to some devastating consequences.
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant. On the other hand, hydrocodone is a powerful depressant. The effects of each drug may cancel the other out. Cocaine can easily mask hydrocodone overdose symptoms, which include:
Another important thing to note is that cocaine can wear off faster than hydrocodone. Once the cocaine exits the body, the full effect of the hydrocodone may cause the user’s CNS to become dangerously depressed.
On the other hand, hydrocodone can also mask cocaine overdose symptoms. Cocaine overdoses usually involve heart attacks or strokes. The hydrocodone addict may not even realize that he or she is suffering from a stroke. Unfortunately, hydrocodone can also mask these overdose symptoms.
It’s never a good idea to mix opioids with alcohol. The same can be said for hydrocodone and alcohol. Alcohol depresses the CNS and slows breathing, like hydrocodone. Mixing the two drugs will only magnify the other’s effects.
Mixing alcohol and hydrocodone could lead to life-threatening respiratory problems. In worst case scenarios, mixing the two drugs could lead to extreme drowsiness or coma. The extreme drowsiness could place the drug abusers in dangerous situations. For example, they will become incapacitated when they are driving a car or operating heavy machinery.
Combining the two substances can also lead to impairment of judgment and cognitive function and loss of psychomotor skills. It also increases the risk of an overdose.
It’s important to note that alcohol is an ingredient in many over-the-counter medicines, like cough syrup. As a result, those who are thinking of mixing any prescription medications should first get the approval of their doctor. Read the medicine labels to avoid the risk of taking any medications that contain alcohol.
GHB, also known as the date rape drug, is also a bad combination to have with hydrocodone. GHB has a tranquilizer effect. Those who take the drug may pass out or may lose consciousness. This may cause them to become unaware of opioid overdose symptoms. GHB is also a depressant, so it can magnify or enhance the effects of hydrocodone.
With that said, some studies are looking into the use of GHB to manage opiate withdrawal symptoms. These studies have had promising results. Patients received GHB every 2 to 4 hours for the first 2 days after quitting an opioid. They would then receive a dose of GHB every 4 to 6 hours for the following 6 days. Most patients reported feeling well.
With that said, those who are abusing GHB are likely not taking the right dose. This is what makes GHB and hydrocodone polydrug use dangerous.
Tramadol is another very popular opiate. It’s considered as a safer and less potent version of oxycodone. As a result, many doctors are more willing to prescribe Tramadol than other opioids.
Tramadol use has become so widespread in the U.S. that there were 45 million prescriptions written in 2013. That’s quite a lot of Tramadol prescriptions! While it’s mostly prescribed for pain relief, some patients have also been taking it as an antidepressant.
It’s not a wise idea to mix hydrocodone and Tramadol. The effects of each drug may magnify and enhance the other. This makes it much easier for drug abusers to overdose on opioids. In reality, Tramadol is actually a lot more dangerous than what most people would believe.
With that said, some addiction experts do theorize that Tramadol can treat opiate withdrawals. Under medical supervision, mixing these two drugs may help ease opiate withdrawal symptoms. Still, there isn’t enough research in this area for addiction experts to come to a concrete conclusion.
What about mixing benzodiazepines with hydrocodone? Both of these drugs are prescription medications used to treat different conditions and symptoms. Opioids are used to treat pain, and benzodiazepines are often prescribed to treat insomnia, seizures and anxiety. The truth is that mixing hydrocodone and benzodiazepine together can be incredibly dangerous.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just released a warning against using benzodiazepines and hydrocodone together. Both of these drugs depress the CNS, and can cause some serious side effects, including but not limited to:
Patients who are taking opioids and benzodiazepines must speak with their doctor. Alternative treatment options may be safer. If patients need both drugs, doctors will usually try to limit the dosages of each drug and also the duration of use. Patients should also be warned about the possibility of respiratory depression and arrest. In the event that they experience any of those side effects, patients should seek medical assistance and help immediately.
MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) are antidepressants. They are also often added to other drugs to enhance their effects. For example, MAOIs are added to DMT, so that it can be absorbed through the stomach lining. This is the reason why DMT is inactive orally, but can be very potent in ayahuasca.
So, is there any harm in taking MAOIs and hydrocodone together? The answer is yes. In fact, many pharmacies caution against mixing the two substances.
With that said, the information present in scientific literature is conflicting. Undoubtedly, studies have shown that there is a risk of interaction. Taking MAOIs and hydrocodone together at the same time can increase the drug addict’s risk to serotonin syndrome. On top of all that, MAOIs inhibit a certain enzyme that can break down opioids; thus, combining hydrocodone and MAOIs can result in an increased risk of opioid toxicity.
The latest statistics show that over 72,000 Americans overdosed in 2017. Drug-related overdoses are on the rise. More and more people are becoming victims of overdoses. This means that they have taken too much of a certain substance. This overwhelmed the CNS and the brain causing a potentially fatal situation.
Hydrocodone overdose symptoms can kick in very quickly. In extreme cases, an overdose can lead to a coma or death.
A hydrocodone overdose can potentially become fatal, it is crucial for an onlooker to act quickly. Don’t wait around. Many people make the mistake of waiting, as they believe that the overdose victim may come to or feel better in another hour or two. What they don’t realize is that the overdose victim is in more danger if they wait longer. This gives the opioid more time to bombard the CNS.
The best thing to do when faced with an overdose is to call 9-1-1. There’s really nothing else that you or anyone else should do. Give the 9-1-1 operator as much information as possible on the overdose. This includes the dosage taken, the type of hydrocodone taken, the length of the abuse and more.
After calling 9-1-1, stay with the victim. He or she will want to fall asleep and feel extremely drowsy. Your goal should be to try to keep him or her awake for as long as possible. This may help prevent potentially fatal consequences.
If the overdose victim does lose consciousness, then place him or her on the side in the recovery position like in the video below. It’s crucial that you do this because he or she can still vomit even when unconscious. If the overdose victim is not in a recovery position, he or she could choke on his or her own vomit and die. It’s that serious!
Monitor the overdose victim’s heart rate and breathing. If he or she stops breathing, perform CPR immediately!
Naloxone is the only drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. This drug comes in two forms. It can either be injected into a muscle or sprayed up the nasal passage. This prescription drug will attach to the opioid receptors in the CNS. It will, then, block the receptors, so that opiate molecules cannot bind to them.
The effects of naloxone kick in within 2 to 5 minutes. After they kick in, the overdose victim’s breathing will return to normal. Unfortunately, this doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is safe. The effects of naloxone will wear off in about 90 minutes. Once that has happened, the hydrocodone that is still in the system can still overwhelm it and cause an overdose.
Due to the effectiveness of naloxone, this drug has already saved countless lives. Due to this reason, many police departments and fire departments have already equipped law enforcement officers and emergency responders with this drug. It’s also possible to purchase this drug at pharmacies. Some outreach centers and programs will also give them away for free to high-risk opioid abusers.
Northpoint Recovery is a state of the art, comfortable and modern inpatient detox and drug rehab facility designed to help our clients get the help they need to overcome addiction.
Addiction affects anyone and everyone. It does not discriminate at all. This means that your family members can be hydrocodone addicts. Drug abusers can be parents, grandparents, siblings, children, uncles and more. Drug abuse has a grip on just about every demographic.
It also means that it’s easy to find celebrities and other professionals who have also taken hydrocodone. Celebrities, in particular, are most vulnerable to substance abuse. They are thrust into the spotlight, where they are constantly being judged and picked on. Many celebrities feel depressed or struggle with a co-occurring mental health disorder as a result.
Hydrocodone and other prescription opioids have been linked to many celebrities. Let’s take a look at some examples below.
In 2008, Heath Ledger died at the age of 28 from drug abuse. Heath Ledger, best known for his character in Joker, has always spoken out on how substance abuse was glorified in the entertainment industry. He said that many people claimed that drugs helped them become more creative; however, he had never used drugs as a creative outlet.
"Everyone you meet always asks if you have a career, are married, or own a house as if life was some kind of grocery list. But no one ever asks you if you are happy"
Heath Ledger died from an accidental overdose. His cause of death was attributed to acute intoxication combined with the effects of alprazolam, diazepam, doxylamine, hydrocodone, oxycodone and temazepam. At the time of his death, he has quite a lot of different substances in his system.
Courtney Love is a famous and popular rock star known for her crazy antics that are often fueled by alcohol use and drug abuse. Her drug use has led her to engage in many risky and dangerous activities. These antics have often been broadcasted by the media.
In 2003, Love was arrested after going to her ex-boyfriend’s home and breaking a window. Officers that arrived on the scene charged Love with the illegal possession of OxyContin and hydrocodone. Later, Love admitted that she used OxyContin. She thought that she had a prescription for both drugs, but did not.
There are a lot of options out there for you if you are looking to get help for your hydrocodone addiction. Drug rehab centers are not all the same. Before getting admitted into a program, you want to be sure you’re choosing a program that will suit your needs. It’s perfectly fine to ask rehab centers about their relapse rates when you contact them for information. They should be able to give you some statistics. You should also check to be sure that they’re a facility that recommends drug detox methods because Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms can become quite severe.
It will also benefit you to choose a facility that maintains a smaller population so that you can be sure to get a good amount of attention while you’re there. You want to be able to reach out to the nursing staff and support staff at any time if you need to talk with someone about the challenges you’re facing at any point during your recovery.
Please be sure that you don’t attempt to quit using hydrocodone on your own without professional support. Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms are often dangerous, and they can include muscle pain, shaking, insomnia and diarrhea. You need help in order to detox properly.
Medical detox is an important and crucial part of opioid addiction recovery. It’s one of the first steps that most opioid addicts must take before they can start their journey to recovery. Some drug abusers will pair medical detox services with holistic detox services.
Holistic detox uses natural approaches to ease withdrawal symptoms. These natural approaches include eating healthy and exercising. These symptoms can help drug users recover quicker.
Medical detox involves using medications to ease withdrawal symptoms. Some medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) while others are used to treat specific symptoms. With opioids, the medications used to treat withdrawal symptoms may simply be weaker opioids. This type of medication-assisted treatment is known as Opiate Replacement Therapy (ORT).
Some of the most common types of medications used to treat an opioid addiction include:
These medications ease withdrawal symptoms, like anxiety, tremors and flu-like symptoms. Medica detox normalizes neurochemical levels in the body. As opiate withdrawal symptoms can turn deadly, medical detox is absolutely a necessity.
Northpoint Recovery is one of the top Hydrocodone rehab centers in this part of the Pacific Northwest. We would love the opportunity to talk with you about how we can help you recover from this dangerous addiction.
We offer a wide variety of addiction treatment programs. We even offer dual diagnosis treatment to those who are struggling with a co-occurring mental health disorder. We will tailor each treatment program to each patient, so that each patient gets what he or she needs to recover. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to addiction recovery. Each person needs something different.