Opioid Misuse: How is Hydrocodone Abused?
America faces a serious problem with opioids, especially prescription opioids such as hydrocodone. In 2017, every day that passed claimed another 115 people to opioid overdose. But how is hydrocodone abused and how can you tell when you or someone you care about has a problem with the drug?
The question “how is hydrocodone abused?” will be discussed in this article, along with the most common signs of hydrocodone abuse and what to do if there is an addiction.
How is Hydrocodone Abused?
The way in which hydrocodone is abused can have a serious effect on how strongly it affects a person. The drug is designed to be relatively safe, but when it’s taken in other ways that weren’t prescribed, the risk factors becomes far higher.
The following answers the question “how is hydrocodone abused?”
- Changing the way that it is taken, such as dissolving and injecting it, or crushing and snorting it.
- Mixing hydrocodone with other substances such as alcohol, illicit drugs or other prescription medication.
- Taking larger doses of the drug than you were advised to take.
- Taking hydrocodone more frequently than the prescription suggests.
The metabolic barrier is meant to lower the effects of hydrocodone, but when it is taken in different ways, it can cause the drug to bypass this system and greatly increase its effects.
Hydrocodone Addiction Signs
So, how do you know when your or a loved one’s use of hydrocodone has become a problem? When a person becomes addicted to a drug, their life starts to revolve more and more around the abuse of the substance. Supply is one of the facets of substance abuse that becomes a problem for an addict, and a person who buys additional prescriptions online, sees several doctors for more prescriptions or starts to buy opioids illegally can have a problem.
Tolerance is another one of the classic hydrocodone addiction signs. If you find yourself using increasing amounts as time goes by, or notice a loved one having to use more and more, then there is a dependence forming.
Some of the other signs include cravings, experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop, neglecting other things in your life and trying to stop but being unable to.
What Can Happen if You Abuse Hydrocodone?
Opioid abuse is not something that can be ignored. The abuse of hydrocodone opens a person up to many negative side effects. They include the following:
- Overdose and death
- Mental confusion
- Accidents such as falling down, which can be dangerous in seniors
- Damage to the liver, which may lead to complete liver failure
- Depressed breathing, which can lead to brain damage
- Irregular mood
Hydrocodone Addiction Treatment
In order to avoid the many negative side effects of opioid abuse, and the downward spiral it creates in a person’s life, hydrocodone addiction treatment should be found. Addiction treatment takes a multi-pronged approach.
Firstly, withdrawal symptoms are a big reason why people aren’t able to stop initially. However, in a rehab program, one can receive drugs that help to reduce the overall symptoms, especially symptoms such as cravings, helping to keep the person away from the temptations of relapse.
Detox is only meant to help the person start their recovery. The next stage of recovery is therapy. Therapy can be done traditionally, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, or it can be alternative methods of treatment that ultimately help the person stop drug abuse – usually a combination of both.
Once the person feels ready to leave rehab, they can then take part in regular support group meetings to stay on top of their addiction management for the months and years to come.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.