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The addiction specialists and treatment professionals at FootPrints Behavioral Health Center know all about hydrocodone dependency. They understand the risks users face if they fail to follow their doctor’s recommendations to the letter when taking it.
If you have been abusing hydrocodone-based painkillers, we can show you how to conquer your addiction and regain control of your life now, before any more damage is done. And if it is a loved one suffering from hydrocodone dependency, we can give you the advice and guidance you need to make the best decision for everyone involved.
What is Hydrocodone?
“Hydrocodone is the most frequently prescribed opioid in the United States and is associated with more drug abuse and diversion than any other licit or illicit opioid.”
Hydrocodone is an opioid, which puts it in the same drug class as heroin, morphine and oxycodone. Synthesized from the weaker opioid codeine, hydrocodone is the active ingredient in a number of widely-distributed prescription painkillers, sold under brand names like Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Vicoprofen and Zohydro ER.
In most of formulations the drug is mixed with a non-prescription pain-reliever (either acetaminophen or ibuprofen) to help moderate its effects. But it is the presence of hydrocodone that gives these drugs their strength and potency.
Zohydro ER is the latest drug from this category to hit the market, and unlike the others it is 100 percent pure hydrocodone. Its release has generated enormous controversy inside the medical profession, as many physicians and addiction specialists fear it will lead to runaway levels of addiction.
How Does Hydrocodone Work?
Like other opioids hydrocodone binds with specialized opioid receptors in the neural and nervous systems. In doing so it interrupts the flow of pain signals to the brain, acting as a masking agent for even the most chronic or severe forms of distress.
In addition to relieving pain hydrocodone produces feelings of drowsiness and euphoria, which can seem soothing and pleasant to users. But some of its other side effects can be quite nasty—headaches, breathing troubles, anxiety, fatigue, fever, nasal congestion and constipation are just some of the symptoms experienced by those who consume the drug on a continuing basis.
In comparison to other opioids the effects of hydrocodone tend to be relatively mild. But this is a mixed blessing, because it often tempts users to take more of the drug than they really need.
Early Signs of Hydrocodone Addiction
Opioids are all addictive, and despite its benign reputation hydrocodone is no exception. Few suspect they have become dependent on the drug until they are fairly far along the road to addiction, which explains why hydrocodone has the dubious distinction of being America’s most commonly abused prescription painkiller.
Some of the early physiological indicators of hydrocodone dependency include:
- Chronic Constipation
- Difficulty In Urinating
- Daytime Drowsiness
- Lower-than-normal resting heart rate
- Generalized Lethary
Soon, emotional and psychological symptoms of opioid addiction may become noticeable as well, as the hydrocodone dependency deepens. Possible effects include:
- Moodiness and Irritability
- Anxiety Attacks
- Excessive Fear & Paranoia
- Confusion or Loss of Memory
- An Inability to Concentrate
From Early Stage to Full-Blown Hydrocodone Addiction
Constant cravings and an increased tolerance for the drug are the surest and most universal signs of a true hydrocodone addiction.
As your slide into dependency progresses you’ll need to take more and more of the drug to achieve the same effects. You’ll also find yourself thinking about the drug all the time, wanting it and needing it even when the pain you’re feeling isn’t all that intense. At some point your cravings for hydrocodone will no longer have any connection to the pain you were experiencing when you first started taking the drug, leaving you with no more illusions about what is really going on.
As a true hydrocodone addict your behavior may begin to change in some disturbing ways, as you plot strategies to gain access to more supplies of the drug you cannot live without. In your desperation you may …
- Lie to your doctor about your pain, or fake new symptoms to persuade him or her to refill your prescription.
- Make appointments with more than one doctor, in order to obtain multiple prescriptions at the same time.
- Steal Vicodin, Zohydro ER or other hydrocodone-based medications from the medicine cabinets of friends or family members.
- Carry out secret Internet searches for black market drug dealers, or for tips on how to find them.
- Divert funds from joint bank accounts, or work accounts, or use credit cards “borrowed” from others to pay for your drug purchases.
Most addicts who do these things feel great shame and guilt. But they do them anyway, which reveals just how strong the grip of an opioid addiction can be.
Symptoms of Hydrocodone Withdrawal
If you attempt to overcome your hydrocodone dependency on your own, you’ll quickly find yourself on a hard and treacherous road. When you stop taking Vicodin, Lortab, Zohydro ER or Norco suddenly you may experience:
- Agitation and Restlessness
- Chills or Other Flu-like Symptoms
- Severe Muscle and/or Bone Aches
- Excessive Sweating
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Back Aches
- Leg Spasms
- Rapid Heart Beat
- Abdominal Cramps
Unless pre-existing medical conditions are present, none of these symptoms are life-threatening. But they will undermine your resolve and sabotage your efforts to stop taking hydrocodone.
- Slowed Pace of Breathing
- Steadily Decreasing Heart Rate
- Generalized Muscle Weakness
- Cold, Clammy, Pale Skin
- Serious Drowsiness
- Mental Confusion & Disorientations
- Loss of Consciousness
Hydrocodone Overdose: Recognizing the Warning Signs
Addiction plus an ever-growing tolerance to the effects of hydrocodone could leave you vulnerable to an overdose.
If you or someone you know experiences any or all of these symptoms after taking hydrocodone, call 911 immediately and ask for help, and be sure to let them know an opioid overdose is suspected.
Detox for Hydrocodone Addiction
No matter how much your determination to get well is challenged, you must pass through withdrawal before you can break free from the hold hydrocodone has gained on your life.
Detox is the safest, most efficient and most reliable method for managing drug withdrawal symptoms. Under the careful supervision of a highly-trained team of physicians, nurses, therapists, addiction experts and support staff, in detox you’ll make the transition to sobriety in a calm, peaceful environment at a facility prepared to handle any contingency that might arise.
In detox, you’ll get the crucial, immediate intervention you need while every effort is made to keep you comfortable and relaxed. If you have any pre-existing physical or psychological issues they will be thoroughly addressed, and staff members will be available round-the-clock to answer your questions and ease your fears and uncertainties.
The FootPrints BHC Detox Program
When you arrive at FootPrints Behavioral Health Center to begin your detox, you’ll find yourself in good, caring hands. Your detox regimen will be fully customized to meet all of your needs, both as a medical patient and as a human being.
You will most likely be in detox for somewhere between a few days and a couple of weeks, but of course that is conditional and could change based on the length and severity of your substance abuse and any other factors that might complicate your recovery. In addition to traditional medical care you’ll have unlimited access to mental health professionals and addiction treatment specialists, who can help you come to terms with your past as they prepare you for a better and brighter future.
While their initial focus will be on your medical condition, promoting wellness of the mind, body and spirit is the ultimate mission of your detox team. Your withdrawal from hydrocodone will be safely and thoroughly monitored, and that is vitally important. But what you see, feel, learn and experience from your very first day at a FootPrints Behavioral Health Center will help prepare you for the healing challenges ahead, as you chart a brand new course and begin a whole new life.
If you want more information about our detox program for hydrocodone addiction, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Call us at (866) 623-1526 and we’ll put you in touch with a trained counselor who can answer all of your questions.
Medication for Detox?
Medications are sometimes prescribed for people attempting to overcome an opioid addiction, and they may be prescribed for you during your stay FootPrints BHC. But this will only happen if the medical experts responsible for restoring your health are convinced drug therapy is a sensible and safe option and can further your process of recovery.
Drug options for recovering hydrocodone addicts:
A milder opioid used as a temporary replacement for hydrocodone, allowing for a gradual, less stressful withdrawal. Administered during detox.
Not a replacement for hydrocodone, but helps to reduce the severity of the side effects of withdrawal. Administered during detox.
A relapse prevention drug that blocks the ability of opioids to produce their usual effects in the brain. Administered after the completion of detox.
Combo drug sold under the name Suboxone, this mixture helps to lessen the severity of withdrawal and prevent relapse afterward. First administered during detox.
For long-term maintenance following initial recovery. Can be administered at any stage and will continue to be used in aftercare and beyond.
From Detox to Treatment, Rehabilitation and Recovery
Once you’ve completed your detox program at FootPrints BHC, you’ll transition into a treatment and rehabilitation program designed to help you stay clean and free from hydrocodone for good.
In most instances this will involve a 30-90 day stay in-residence at one of our spacious and comfortable treatment facilities. While living onsite you’ll participate in a multi-level individualized healing plan that will deliver the support, encouragement and motivation you need to remain firm in your determination to recover from your addiction.
Individual, group and family therapy will be included as a part of your plan, along with classes that teach coping skills and life management skills. You’ll also be exposed to a range of holistic healing practices with a proven track record of success.
If appropriate for your circumstances you may be given the option to enroll in outpatient programs, either for day treatment or as a part of our intensive outpatient initiative. Regardless of your particular plan you’ll be provided with a complete menu of wellness-preserving practices, which will guide you into lasting recovery while strengthening and reinforcing your vow to remain hydrocodone-free.
When you come to us—or send your loved one to us—for substance abuse treatment, please know your hopes for the future are always our top priority. We will do everything in our power to assist you, or the person you entrust to our care, as you seek out a sustainable path to happiness, good health and dignified living.
No one should be denied the chance to recover from addiction simply because they face financial limitations.
If you have health insurance that should cover some, and possibly even a significant amount, of your costs for rehabilitation from hydrocodone dependency, and we will take action on your behalf to make sure you get all the compensation you’re entitled to. But regardless of your circumstances we will work with you and your family to arrange a reasonable payment plan you can afford.
Not sure where to start?
Speak to one of our treatment counselors and plan your roadmap to recovery.
Call (866) 921-8893 to speak with a treatment counselor near you.