Treating Hydrocodone Addiction

Hydrocodone is an opioid analgesic used for the management of pain. Many people who are prescribed the drug end up needing hydrocodone addiction treatment.

That is to say nothing of those who abuse the drug without prescription, with an estimate as high as four million people. The Drug Abuse Warning Network estimated that over 80,000 cases of emergency room visits are related to non-medical abuse of hydrocodone. It is in the same family as morphine, oxycodone and other opioid based drugs, including heroin. Which is why many people who became addicted while it was prescribed to them move to street available heroin once their prescriptions run out.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has declared addiction to prescribed medication an epidemic in the U.S. So, anyone suffering from such an addiction should not feel alone, or be too ashamed to reach out for help. This is a serious problem requiring serious treatment, and in most cases that should include proper detoxification and residential care.

Hydrocodone Addiction Treatment

The level of addiction and the length of time the abuse has been going on will determine what level of detox is appropriate. In most cases detox in a dedicated subacute center under a physician’s supervision may be recommended.

Withdrawal symptoms may include low energy, irritability, anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, hot or cold sweats, fatigue, muscle aches and pains, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and more. While in detox some medications may be prescribed to help relieve, or ease, some of these symptoms. In a medication-assisted treatment program you may also be prescribed a medication to help with cravings, such as buprenorphine, or a medication that will counter, or block, any euphoric effects of opioids, such as naltrexone.

Treatment for hydrocodone addiction in a residential center will focus on restoring both your physical and mental health. The physical through proper nutrition and exercise, the mental, or psychological, through one-on-one sessions and group therapy sessions with a psychologist or other therapist. Depending on the treatment center, you may also have equine therapy, art or writing therapy, yoga, meditation, family therapy sessions and more. Many treatment centers also feature a spiritual element to their programs. All of which is designed to help the addict reevaluate his, or her, life and goals and reinvest in themselves and their future. Much of treatment to any form of addiction requires true commitment on the part of the addicted person to getting better. Much of it is in their own hands.

Continued Treatment for Hydrocodone Addiction

Following the residential level of care most people step down to a less formal and more lax stage of outpatient care. It is important that some level of care follow residential treatment to help the recovering addict re-assimilate into life without encountering triggers and relapsing into drug abuse to deal with what are typically every day stresses for non addicts.

Therefore continuing therapy and sessions on dealing with relapse triggers, as well as the situations life will through at you is vital. Also, this level of care continues to aid the recovering addict’s reinvestment in their own life by providing guidance in finding work, or a place to live, or education that can help bring real meaning to their lives.

If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction to hydrocodone, please call Recovery Channel now for advice and to see if your insurance will cover treatment.

History of Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid synthesized from codeine, an alkaloid found in poppies. It was first synthesized in Germany in 1927.

Today it is predominantly prescribed in the United States for pain and as a cough suppressant in cough syrups, with 99 percent of the world supply being consumed here. Like oxycodone, hydrocodone is very effective as a pain killer but produces a euphoric effect that makes it highly addictive.

In fact, many patients who have been prescribed hydrocodone become addicted to it without even realizing it and then require detoxification from the drug. It is usually taken orally, rectally or nasally.

Hydrocodone Addiction

Hydrocodone addiction is common in those people who have been prescribed the medication and it is a much sought after drug for abuse for its ability to produce a euphoric effect.

The drug is not commonly distributed in its pure form but, rather, in formulations known by other names, such as Vicodin, Norco and Loratab, that are mainly used for moderate to sever pain management and for coughs. Over 140 million prescriptions for medications that contain hydrocodone are written every year.

Common side effects of extended use include dizziness or lightheadedness, nausea and vomiting, constipation, drowsiness, anxiety, moodiness, difficulty urinating, rash or itching. More serious side effects include liver damage and slowed or irregular breathing, possibly leading to death.

It is common for people who have become addicted to continue to visit doctors to acquire prescriptions for the drug complaining of continued symptoms for which the drug was originally prescribed.

Recovering from an Addiction to Hydrocodone

The effects of euphoria produced by hydrocodone are similar to other opiate based drugs such as morphine or oxycodone and addiction to hydrocodone is treated in much the same manner.

In cases where the addiction is a byproduct of a prescribed medication for pain or cough, a simple detox may be enough. In other cases, residential or outpatient care may be called for.

Additionally, some cases of hydrocodone addiction may be coupled with other conditions, such as early trauma or mental health issues. These cases would require additional therapies for those conditions, as well, including cognitive therapies, such as dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), or Somatic Experiencing™ therapy, among other recovery options.

There are many programs available for addiction to hydrocodone. Finding one for yourself or a loved one can best be done with the advice of an expert in the field of addiction, such as you’ll find when you call Recovery Channel.

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