Hydrocodone Abuse & Addiction in Ohio
All throughout Ohio and the entire country, alcohol is a substance that is used by people of all ages, cultural backgrounds, classes, etc. When used in moderation by people who are old enough to legally drink, it can be enjoyed responsibly. In other instances, using alcohol can quickly lead to the abuse of alcohol. For the alcoholic, a casual beer can begin an obsession to drink, which can lead to addiction and binge drinking.
Ohio is one of many states in the United States of America that is facing an opioid epidemic. This crisis is destroying the lives of families and individuals in cities like Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati as well as smaller towns. While illegal drugs like heroin are a huge part of this, legal prescription drugs are also a major player in this crisis. One of the most common prescription opioids that people have trouble with is hydrocodone. Hydrocodone abuse is one of the most common issues facing people in America today.
Understanding Hydrocodone and Hydrocodone Addiction
Hydrocodone is a prescription medication that is prescribed for pain. It is considered to be an opiate, which means that it treats a person’s pain by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain and changing the ways in which the body perceives and experiences pain. Hydrocodone is a generic name for the medication. Brand names include Lortab, Vicodin and Norco. In these brand name drugs, hydrocodone is combined with acetaminophen. In addition to being a pain relieving medication, hydrocodone can also be beneficial as a cough suppressant.
Opiates such as hydrocodone affect the central nervous system. These drugs are often referred to as narcotic medications.
In addition to being a pain reliever, hydrocodone can also produce feelings of euphoria in the person who takes it. Other effects can include drowsiness, numbness, reduced anxiety or a sense of well-being or relaxation.
There are other potential side effects of hydrocodone, including dizziness, headache, constipation, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, itchiness and sleep problems. These side effects are considered mild and relatively common. The more severe side effects associated with hydrocodone can include irregular or slow heartbeat, breathing problems, severe allergic reactions, bowel obstruction and urine retention.
Many of the side effects that come with taking hydrocodone are due to the fact that the drug depresses bodily functions of the person who takes it, like the respiratory system. If a person takes too much hydrocodone, they can actually slip into a coma or even die.
Is Hydrocodone Addictive?
People all throughout the state of Ohio – Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati or any other city – are suffering from an addiction to hydrocodone and other opioids. As far as prescription medications go, hydrocodone is extremely addictive. In fact, the most dangerous side effect of taking hydrocodone is considered to be addiction.
Another risk of taking hydrocodone aside from psychological addiction is the physical dependence or tolerance that can happen when someone takes hydrocodone. Even if you are taking hydrocodone as prescribed by a physician, this can happen to you. Your body becomes chemically dependent on the medication so that you will experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them. This is different from the psychological disease of addiction.
Why is Hydrocodone So Addictive?
As we described above, hydrocodone is an opioid. This means that it changes the way your central nervous system and brain responds to pain, but it can also create positive feelings of pleasure and a sense of relaxation and euphoria. This is one of the reasons it can be so addictive. When a substance causes your brain to be flooded with feel-good chemicals, your brain will seek out the substance that caused that reaction. Initially, the choice to take hydrocodone is a decision you can voluntarily make. However, once your brain is reacting in this way, it becomes a disease of addiction where cravings for the substance are not in your control anymore.
Some of the most obvious signs of hydrocodone addiction include being withdrawn from family and friends, having a poor performance at work or school, having an obsession with getting more hydrocodone, etc. Even when you take the drug as your physician has prescribed it, it’s possible to become addicted.
How Long Does it Take to Get Addicted to Hydrocodone?
The answer to this question can vary depending on the person. Some people can get addicted to hydrocodone after taking it for just a week or two. Others can take the substance for weeks or even months and never become addicted.
People who have a personal or family history of addiction or substance abuse have a higher risk of developing hydrocodone addiction.
Luckily, for those who have hydrocodone addiction in Ohio, there are many helpful resources that will assist you in finding treatment.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village Columbus aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.