Prescription Hydrocodone abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Although many people use this prescription drug as directed, it is still possible to become addicted to it. Hydrocodone addiction is an opiate addiction just like heroin or any of the other opium based medications.
Although the symptoms of opiate withdrawal are not deadly, they are said to be very unpleasant. It is little wonder that people choose to seek inpatient care when dealing with this type of addiction. In an inpatient setting it is possible to deal with the addiction away from society and the triggers you normally associate with drug use.
What is Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is a popular opiate painkiller ingredient. It is often mixed with acetaminophen and used to treat a variety of painful conditions such as arthritis. Although it is highly effective for treating pain, it is also very addictive. Like most prescription painkillers, people become addicted to it mostly by accident. By taking the drug regularly they develop a tolerance and then a craving for the drug. They begin taking it to treat:
- the pain of an injury,
- chronic pain due to arthritis,
- pain after surgery, and
- incidental pain such as a tooth ache or soreness.
People become addicted to it because of the way that it works. It binds to opioid receptors in the brain and causes them to release dopamine into the bloodstream. Under normal conditions, the cells would reabsorb the dopamine that they release but because the Hydrocodone interrupts this process, more and more dopamine is released.
Dopamine is responsible for euphoria among other feelings. This feeling is why people continue to take the Hydrocodone. When opiates become a problem, the person taking them exhibits the signs of opiate use. According to the National Library of Medicine, these signs are:
- lack of sensitivity to sensation,
- stomach pain,
- excessive fatigue.
- loss of appetite,
- foot and ankle swelling, and
- dry mouth.
Aside from the signs of use, there are also several signs that you are well on your way to being addicted to Hydrocodone. The signs of addition to Hydrocodone include:
- cravings for the medication,
- taking more than prescribed,
- going to multiple doctors to get a prescription, and
- stealing medication from friends or family.
If you exhibit these signs, it might be time for addiction treatment.
Who is at Risk for Hydrocodone Addiction?
Anyone can develop an addiction to Hydrocodone but there are two populations that are particularly vulnerable.
- chronic pain patients – many chronic pain patients are vulnerable to Hydrocodone addiction because they are dependent on pain medication to function. These patients often become addicted to the medication they use to treat their pain.
- patients with a severe injury – when someone is severely injured, doctors treat the pain with strong painkillers. Unfortunately, the stronger the pain killer the more likely an addiction will develop.
Evaluating your Treatment Needs
If you are seeking addiction treatment, you will need to decide exactly what your treatment needs are. Some people do not do well in an inpatient environment while others need the intensive treatment that a residential program provides. Those who need inpatient treatment are:
- those who have tried to quit before and have been unsuccessful,
- those who have a medical condition that could be exacerbated by withdrawal,
- those who have a known mental illness that could worsen during treatment,
- those whose home environment is unsafe due to violence, and
- those whose home environment contains other users or is in jeopardy.
Another reason to choose inpatient treatment is if you know you will do better in a closed environment. The temptation to do drugs proves too much for many people. They need the restricted environment that an inpatient center provides.
What types of Inpatient Treatment are Available?
Every treatment center should offer some basic types of treatment. These basic types are:
- Medication – doctors can prescribe medications that make the withdrawal easier. These medications can be things like:
- medications for nausea
- medications for diarrhea,
- medications for depression,
- medications for anxiety, and
- medication for any other symptoms that happen as you detox off the Hydrocodone.
- Individual Counseling – one on one counseling helps an addict discover the cause of the addiction as well as deal with the consequences of it. There are several forms of therapy that might be used. These are:
- cognitive behavioral therapy,
- dialectical behavioral therapy,
- guided visualization,
- guided meditation, and
- psychodynamic therapy.
- Group Counseling – in group counseling you have can share with the group and listen to others who experience the same problems and issues. There are several benefits to group therapy. These benefits are:
- realizing you are not alone,
- share skills and coping methods,
- helping each other with particular problem,
- helps to put your problems into perspective,
- sharing issues and stories, and
- acting as a sounding board for each other.
- Opiate Replacement Therapy – Opiate replacement therapy is another method often used in inpatient rehab facilities. This involves using one or more medications to help with the withdrawal and the cravings. Some of the more popular opiate replacement drugs are:
- Suboxone, and
- Holistic Practices – holistic practices are rapidly making their way into mainstream inpatient drug treatment. These holistic treatments help by treating the whole person rather than just the addiction. Some more popular holistic practices are:
- massage therapy,
- relaxation therapy,
- present moment therapy, and
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opiate addiction is extremely prevalent in today’s society. If you are one of those suffering from an addiction to Hydrocodone or one of its derivatives, we can help. Give us a call at 800-429-5210 (Who Answers?).