La Jolla Recovery provides a human-centered approach to opiate prescription abuse like hydrocodone by understanding the importance of proper detoxification, a long-term rehab approach, and aftercare support. Learn more about what makes hydrocodone addictive and easy to abuse, as well as options for treatment in San Diego, California.
Hydrocodone Rehab in San Diego
Prescription opiates like hydrocodone are many times available in people's bathroom cabinets and may be prescribed to a vulnerable population with use disorder history.
What is Hydrocodone and what makes this opiate prescription prone to abuse?
Statistics on Insomnia
Hydrocodone is a prescription analgesic that contains both acetaminophen and an opiate. It changes the way the body perceives pain, and acetaminophen enhances the effectiveness of hydrocodone. The drug is typically prescribed to relieve moderate to severe pain after surgery, injury and to deal with chronic pain. Hydrocodone is a semisynthetic opiate chemically based on opioid substances derived from the opium poppy, such as heroin, but it is not entirely natural.
The Chemical Properties of Hydrocodone
From Tablets to Liquid Solution
Hydrocodone comes from a modified codeine molecule. It’s similar in structure to both morphine and codeine. The medication comes in an extended-release form intended for all-day pain relief, while standard hydrocodone may be given on an as-needed basis. Hydrocodone is available as oral tablets, capsules, or liquid solutions. Main brands include Zohydro, Norco, Hysingla, Vicodin, Lorcet, and Lortab.
It is also available in liquid form to relieve severe coughs. Hydrocodone is highly addictive and is currently one of the most widely prescribed pain relievers in the United States.
Unfortunately, what starts as a short-term answer to pain can quickly become a full-blown addiction.
From Tablets to Liquid Solution
Treatment for Hydrocodone addiction
One type of care for hydrocodone addiction is residential inpatient treatment. Residential inpatient treatment involves an individual checking into a treatment center for weeks or sometimes months. Many residential treatment facilities like La Jolla Recovery include homelike amenities, spare time to mingle with fellow patients, and holistic treatment alternatives.
La Jolla Recovery offers several residential programs to meet our clients’ particular needs.
Hydrocodone Side Effects and Withdrawal
What Begins with Prescription May End as Tolerance
In addition to the physical side effects (decreased breathing, confusion, excessive drowsiness, and constipation), opiates impact the area of the brain responsible for feeling pleasure. These euphoric sensations lead individuals to use the drug recreationally, which increases the risk of addiction.
Withdrawal symptoms often appear as flu-like symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, chills, and muscle aches. Bone pain, pupil dilatation, and stomach cramping, and goosebumps have been reported too.
Whether the person started abusing the drug for recreational purposes or ended up abusing it after receiving a prescription for it, tolerance occurs. The person requires more and more of the drug to get the same high; as the dosage gets greater, the chances of an overdose increase, especially if the person isn’t being monitored by a medical professional.
If you or somebody you care for uses hydrocodone to ease pain and you think addiction is developing, look for these symptoms of drug overuse: blurred vision, headaches, dizziness, seizures, lightheadedness, ringing in the ears, depression, and fear.
If the person needs for of the drug before the next dose is due, looks for a supply on hand all the time, drives under the influence of hydrocodone, or turns to heroin (a cheaper form of the drug) and starts stealing or doing other illegal stuff to get the drug, it is time to get help.
Side effects of hydrocodone abuse may include mental health-induced disorders such as dual diagnosis.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), more than 4 Americans used narcotic pain relievers nonmedically in the month before the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).
Over the course of that year, almost 2 million Americans had an opiate pain reliever use disorder. One of the more commonly abused opiates is hydrocodone.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealed that around 700,000 prescriptions for opiates are dispensed every day in the United States. Almost half of them are prescribed by primary care physicians. Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) indicate an estimated two and a half million people used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons for the first time in the previous year. This is equivalent to 6,600 people using prescription pain medications daily for the first time to get high over the course of one year. Over half of the population who used pain medications for the first time to feel its euphoric effects are female. Roughly 33% of them were between 12 and 17 years old.
People who abuse hydrocodone report nodding off, feeling more social, content, and having an overall warm feeling. People who abuse hydrocodone also feel tired or lethargic. Some people attempt to enhance the effects by snorting it or injecting it, thinking it allows the drug to reach the brain sooner. This often results in several medical complications.
In some instances, particularly with those who have little experience with opioids, new users may experience a mild euphoria even if they’re using the drug as prescribed. Generally, the feeling eases up over time as the person’s body adjusts to the medication. Therefore, many people who take hydrocodone to manage pain never feel the euphoric or numb feeling caused by hydrocodone and other similar opiates.
Legitimate Hydrocodone prescriptions: Risky or not?
Those who take the prescription as prescribed can develop a tolerance for the drug, needing more to produce the same pain-relieving effect. This may lead to the person increasing their dosage or taking the drug more frequently without consulting a physician. In addition, those who are prescribed the medication may experience a euphoric effect and decide to take more than prescribed or take it in higher dosages to intensify the effects. As this misuse increases, addiction becomes more likely. Hydrocodone is part of the opiate group of prescriptions that can be misused, such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, among others. It is currently under legislation placing pharmaceutical companies that marketed these prescriptions heavily to become accountable.
More adverse consequences of Hydrocodone addiction
People who take hydrocodone for medical purposes are at risk of respiratory depression and experiencing a drop in blood pressure and heart rate. Obviously, these effects tend to be greater in people who abuse the drug. Sometimes, respiratory depression is great enough to lead to death or coma.
Other symptoms of short-term hydrocodone abuse are:
- itchiness, and
- sleep problems.
Those who have asthma or another respiratory issue are oftentimes prescribed another pain medication that doesn’t put them at risk for serious respiratory consequences. This is because repeated abuse of hydrocodone can impair pulmonary function and increase the likelihood of developing pneumonia.
All substances are metabolized by the liver. That means drugs containing hydrocodone make the liver worker harder. When hydrocodone is combined with acetaminophen in medications like Vicodin, the liver works even more challenging. With frequent usage and at high dosages, drugs containing hydrocodone, especially those with acetaminophen, will damage the liver. In some cases, the amount of acetaminophen is enough to cause complete liver failure. Furthermore, when someone abuses hydrocodone, it can interfere with the normal function of the brain’s reward system. In addition, someone who abuses hydrocodone regularly may find it hard to experience pleasure from everyday life activities.
Alternative Solutions and Support in San Diego
La Jolla Recovery is a program seeking to meet clients where they are, including intake with their pets such as a dog, attending to cultural needs such as LGBT, and specificity to drug choice or group of substances such as cocaine and opiates or on its own. Understanding the client helps to physically attend to their needs as well as emotionally create support to their development within rehabilitation. Out-of-state services are available for those coming in even from far regions such as Texas, New York, and internationally as well. If you have hesitations towards 12 steps or believe we may not understand your situation because of the stigma of some substances such as heroin, we want to make sure you know we will meet you where you are at and attend to your needs.