Hydrocodone is an opioid or narcotic pain medication prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. It’s similar in nature to other substances in the opioid drug class, such as oxycodone, morphine, and codeine. Hydrocodone is available in both immediate and extended-release formulas and is often prescribed for pain relief following surgery or injury or for chronic pain management. Although an effective medication for pain management, hydrocodone addiction is a concern for individuals who misuse or abuse the drug. Below is the reason behind addiction to hydrocodone and signs to look out for.
Why Is Hydrocodone Addictive?
Hydrocodone is addictive because it binds to opioid receptors in the brain, which can activate the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure, reward, and motivation. The longer and more heavily a person uses hydrocodone, the brain becomes increasingly accustomed to the presence of the drug, leading to the development of tolerance.
Tolerance is when a person needs to increase their doses to achieve the same level of pain relief or euphoria. This can then give way to physical dependence on hydrocodone, which means that the individual may experience withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop taking hydrocodone. In addition to its impact on the brain, hydrocodone can also produce a sense of relaxation and well-being, which can appeal to people looking to escape from emotional or physical distress.
Unfortunately, this can contribute to the development of psychological dependence on hydrocodone, as a person may come to rely on the drug to cope with difficult emotions or situations. Overall, the combination of physical and psychological dependence and the high it produces makes hydrocodone highly addictive and dangerous when abused.
How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted to Hydrocodone?
How long it takes to become addicted to hydrocodone can vary depending on different factors, such as the person’s physiology, their pattern of use, and whether they have a history of drug abuse. However, hydrocodone is generally considered to be a highly addictive substance that can lead to dependence in a short period of time, especially when it’s taken in higher doses or for longer than prescribed.
Some research suggests that it only takes a few weeks of consistent use for a person to become dependent on hydrocodone, while psychological dependence may develop even more quickly. It’s important to note, however, that not everyone who uses hydrocodone becomes addicted to it. Even so, the risk of addiction increases with the dose and duration of use and, therefore, is something that all users should be aware of.
Furthermore, if you’re prescribed hydrocodone for pain management, it’s important to take it as prescribed and directed by your healthcare provider and monitor your use carefully to avoid developing hydrocodone addiction. If you’re concerned about your use of hydrocodone or believe you’ve developed a dependence on the drug, seek opioid or prescription drug addiction treatment immediately.
Signs & Symptoms of Hydrocodone Abuse
Common hydrocodone addiction symptoms to look out for include:
- Changes in mood, behavior, or personality.
- Increased irritability, aggression, or social withdrawal.
- Continuing to use hydrocodone despite negative consequences, such as relationship, work, financial, or legal problems.
- Engaging in risky behaviors while under the influence of hydrocodone, such as driving or engaging in unprotected sexual behaviors with strangers.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop or reduce the use of hydrocodone.
- Needing higher doses of hydrocodone to experience the same level of pain relief or euphoria.
- Neglecting personal hygiene, work, or social obligations due to hydrocodone use.
- Spending significant time obtaining, using, and recovering from hydrocodone side effects.
- Using hydrocodone for reasons other than what it’s prescribed, such as alleviating stress, anxiety, or depression.
If you or someone you know is displaying any hydrocodone abuse symptoms, it’s important to seek help right away. Our nationwide addiction treatment centers offer various levels of substance abuse treatment ranging from inpatient care to telehealth services to support individuals with all kinds of addiction recovery. We can support you or a loved one in getting sober from hydrocodone dependence and abuse.
Hydrocodone Addiction Treatment at Banyan
Our Banyan rehab locations offer opioid addiction treatment to help people dependent on drugs like hydrocodone get sober. Our treatment involves a combination of medication-assisted care, behavioral therapies, and support groups to ensure clients receive well-rounded support.
Working closely with addiction specialists and healthcare providers is important when quitting drugs or stopping alcohol abuse. If you or someone you care about needs help to get sober, call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763 or send us your contact information to learn more about our substance abuse treatment programs.