What Is Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is a powerful opioid narcotic, commonly given to patients for minor injuries or post-surgical pain, but the long-lasting effects of taking this drug can last a lifetime.
Hydrocodone is commonly combined with acetaminophen in formulations marketed under names such as Lortab, Norco and Vicodin.
Is Hydrocodone Addictive? How Addictive is Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is highly addictive and--as an opiate--is chemically similar to heroin. This means not only that users can quickly become addicted to the drug, but also that the chemical dependency associated with hydrocodone is more intense than with most other drugs. Intense withdrawal symptoms encourage some users to return to the drug, even when it has resulted in catastrophic life consequences.
If you're using hydrocodone without a prescription, you have a problem and deserve help. And if you have a prescription for hydrocodone, know that addiction often happens more quickly than you might expect.
This accounts for a substantial number of addiction cases.
What Are the Signs of Addiction?
The classic sign of hydrocodone addiction is the development of chemical dependency. Users report the following symptoms when they attempt to quit using:
If you experience these symptoms when you attempt to cut back on your use, you may be an addict. Some other common Hydrocodone addiction symptoms include:
- "Doctor-shopping" to get hydrocodone.
- Lying to medical professionals and loved ones about your use of and reliance on hydrocodone.
- Organizing your day around your next hydrocodone fix.
Am I Addicted to Hydrocodone?
If you have--or once had--a medical prescription for hydrocodone, you might believe that your addiction is no problem. But about half of addicts began with a medical prescription. Addiction often comes with a hefty dose of denial, so it's important to critically assess how hydrocodone has affected your life. Ask friends and family if it seems like you have a problem.
Afraid to ask? Then you may have to deeply evaluate your dependence on hydrocodone since addicts typically conceal their use from the people they love the most.
Prescription drug use has a way of sneaking up on you, and very often the difference between using a prescription legitimately and using it in excess can be very subtle. If you notice signs of addiction in yourself or a loved one but are having trouble understanding the extent of your problem, help is available to guide you to the best available care.
If you're struggling with your hydrocodone use, understand that you can get better. Call 1-888-993-3112Who Answers? now to speak confidentially with someone who can help you find recovery options near you.
How to Encourage Someone to Get Treatment
You can't force a hydrocodone addict into treatment. Worse still, hydrocodone addiction often induces apathy and depression, causing the addict to continue using to alleviate symptoms--and to not care what anyone thinks about this decision.
All you can do is educate yourself about the problem of addiction, then do everything in your power to protect yourself from the painful consequences of your loved one's addiction.
By setting clear boundaries, you avoid becoming an enabler. This makes it more difficult for your loved one to continue with his or her addiction, potentially encouraging them to seek treatment.
Staging an Intervention
An intervention is a last-ditch effort to get an addict to get sober. The theory behind interventions is that, by making the addiction uncomfortable and unpleasant, it's possible to encourage an addict to seek help.
Most interventions are surprise endeavors so that the addict is more likely to listen, but it's critically important to ensure the addict is not high when the intervention begins.
There are 3 simple steps to an intervention:
- Each member of the group shares the way the addict's hydrocodone use has affected his or her life. The person who will be the most convincing--typically a child or spouse--usually goes last.
- Each member of the group shares what he or she will do if the addict does not seek help. This helps loved ones set boundaries, and also indicates to the addict that his or her loved ones will no longer enable the addiction.
- Each group member encourages the addict to seek treatment. If the addict agrees to treatment, he or she will begin such treatment shortly after the intervention.
Support Groups for Family and Friends
Hydrocodone users are often detached and withdrawn, leaving loved ones with the impression that they don't care. Your loved one is still in there, but his or her usual personality is masked by the addiction.
Though you can't force your loved one to get better, you can do plenty to help yourself cope with the addiction.
Some people find that therapy helps, while others embrace the chance to learn about and better understand addiction. Nar-Anon, a family support program built around the 12-step recovery model, offers fellowship, support, and a chance to discuss addiction with people who are facing similar obstacles to your own.
Many people find that simply knowing they're not alone takes them a long way toward recovering from a loved one's addiction.
Hydrocodone Addiction Treatment
If you're addicted to hydrocodone, you'll need treatment for both the physical and psychological manifestations of your addiction. Rehabilitation is one option.
Finding the Best Hydrocodone Treatment
To get the best care possible, consider asking the following questions:
It's not rude to ask questions; instead, doing so means you're being a good advocate for your own recovery.
- How long will treatment take?
- What's your treatment philosophy, and what can I expect during treatment?
- Can you accommodate my religious, dietary, or lifestyle needs?
- What experience do you have with Hydrocodone addiction?
- What can I do to improve my chances of recovery?
It's not rude to ask questions; instead, doing so means you're being a good advocate for your own recovery. Once you choose a program, stick with it. Recovery isn't easy, but it most assuredly is possible.
Finding answers can be overwhelming, and if this is the case with you, our knowledgeable support specialists are on standby to answer your treatment questions so you can have a reliable conversation that will aid your recovery. Don't let hydrocodone addiction steal any more of your time. Call 1-888-993-3112Who Answers? to find recovery options.