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Hydrocodone addiction treatment

A semi-synthetic opioid, hydrocodone is widely used in the U.S. However, this prescription drug changes the way how the brain functions, and regular use can increase your level of tolerance in the body. Moreover, hydrocodone use is known to develop into dependence and hydrocodone abuse leads to possible addiction. What are the signs of addiction and how is it treated? We review here and invited your questions about hydrocodone addiction at the end.

What is hydrocodone addiction?

Continued use of hydrocodone despite negative consequences to your health, social, or home life is the basis of hydrocodone addiction. Psychologically speaking, hydrocodone addiction is also defined as an inexplicable desire, and urge to use more of the drug, even after it has left the system. Addiction is compulsive use, obsessive thinking, and loss of control over hydrocodone dosing.  Some of the general signs of hydrocodone addiction include:

  • Hydrocodone cravings, or a strong urge or desire to use hydrocodone
  • Inability to control dosing amounts, frequency, or to stop using hydrocodone
  • Loss of control of hydrocodone use
  • Obsessive thinking about the drug
  • Ongoing use of hydrocodone, regardless of negative consequences to home, work, or social life

Addiction to hydrocodone: What’s it like?

Being a highly habit-forming prescription drug, hydrocodone can affect every person who is using it. Withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable after you develop dependence on hydrocodone, but addiction manifests as desperation. A hydrocodone addict will do anything to get the next dose. Here are some real stories about hydrocodone addiction. This is some excerpt about addiction and related hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms:

“Continued to use sparingly until that ‘low’ day happened again– I knew how to fix that! More and more days started to feel ‘low’, so I was using more often. Same dosage as always (25-30mg).. then one day that didn’t quite cut it, more were in order. That worked great, and before I knew it EVERY day was a ‘low’ day that I was taking them. It happened ever so slowly. I just woke up one day and realized this is not right, I’m.. not me.. I’m an.. addict? How could I have been so stupid and not seen this coming? I am an idiot.”

“I wanted to go to the hospital so bad. My ribs hurt like hell. My body ached all over. And I just wanted to be dead…I tried to go to sleep as soon as I walked in the door, but every single joint in my body hurt. It felt like a knife was in my ribs, and pain was radiating through my bones. I kept having to run to the toilet because of the diarrhea, but there was nothing left inside of me to come out. I prayed for relief.”

Regular, daily dosing of hydrocodone addiction can really affect your health. Here is a list of some of the negative side effects associated with hydrocodone:

  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Irregular or slowed breathing
  • Pain in the chest
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Vomiting

Treatment of hydrocodone addiction

The risk of relapse is always possible when we are talking about hydrocodone addiction. So, a good hydrocodone addiction treatment plan made by an addiction professional is the best way to start. The first step in treatment is to complete a hydrocodone detox program. Then, inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation programs address the psychological and emotional compulsion to use.

The main purpose of addiction treatment is to help a person to develop a normal, productive life without the need to take drugs. During a typical program day, a hydrocodone addicts attends one-on-one therapy, support groups, and educational sessions several hours per day. Usually, outpatient programs last about 10 weeks, but they can be continued up to 3 months or a year. Inpatient programs usually last for at lest 28 days and require residential accommodation with surveillance by a trained medical staff.

During hydrocodone addiction treatment, methods used in therapy include:

  • Behavioral treatments
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Contingency Management
  • Educational curriculae on the science of addiction
  • Opiate/Opioid substitution therapy
  • The Matrix Model
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Psychotherapy sessions (individual, group, and/or family)
  • Support group facilitation (12 step, SMART Recovery, etc.)

Hydrocodone addiction questions

Keep in mind that hydrocodone addiction is a serious problem, and must be treated. It can be difficult, but it is worth it.

If you still have any questions and concerns about treating hydrocodone addiction, please write us in the comment section below. We are eager to help you in any way and will try to respond to your comment personally and promptly!

Reference Sources: American News Report: My Story: Going Off Hydrocodone Cold Turkey
NIH: MedlinePlus: Hydrocodone
FDA: Questions and Answers About FDA’s Enforcement Action Regarding Unapproved Hydrocodone Drug Products
DEA: Drug Fact Sheet: Hydrocodone

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4 Responses to “Hydrocodone addiction treatment
8:13 am December 10th, 2015

Is hydrocodone safe while pregnant?

12:46 pm December 10th, 2015

Hello Andrea. The FDA classifies this medication as a Category C for use during pregnancy, which means that hydrocodone could be harmful to unborn infants but there is still not enough clear evidence. Studies conducted on animals show that there are some potential birth defects caused by hydrocodone use, but it is not known if this applies to humans as well.

When used carefully by a pregnant woman under the direction of a doctor and for a short period of time, there is no conclusive evidence that hydrocodone will cause long-term effects in a baby. However, excessive use and dependency can cause complications for the baby, particularly right after the birth when withdrawal symptoms in the baby are expected.

I advise you to speak with your prescribing doctor and your gynaecologist if you are on hydrocodone therapy and pregnant or thinking about having a baby.

11:46 pm June 3rd, 2016

i want to taper off hydrocodone i have been taking for 3 years for back pain how much do i taper each day i have tried a few times but got to sick i was taking 6 10/ 325/

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
4:48 pm June 7th, 2016

Hi Ernest. I suggest you consult with your doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule.

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