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 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.