Norco Abuse and Addiction

Norco Abuse and Addiction

Last Updated: October 25, 2022

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Many people suffer from Norco addiction and abuse in Ohio. Norco contains the opioid hydrocodone. Each year, over 11 million people misuse hydrocodone nationwide. When opioids are used beyond their prescribed recommendations, a person’s tolerance to the drug potentially increases and dependence and addiction can soon follow.

Is Norco Addictive?

Continued use of opioids such as hydrocodone leads to tolerance, dependence and addiction. The more that opioid receptors in the brain activate, the less responsive they are to opioid use. When this tolerance increases, more of the opioid must be taken to achieve the same effect of pain relief (or pleasure). This cycle of increased use can quickly spiral into dependence and addiction.

While people may initially misuse Norco for the high or to relieve pain faster, over time they can find themselves trapped in the cycle of continued misuse because of the impending withdrawal symptoms they’d have to face without the drug. As tolerance increases and dependency develops, stopping opioid use altogether will often lead to dangerous withdrawal symptoms. This reason is why some people continue to take Norco even when they don’t need it.

Signs of Norco Abuse

Norco misuse has specific side effects that can be identified as signs of addiction and misuse. In addition, drug use generally creates a variety of noticeable behavioral changes that can be observed by others.

Some common side effects of Norco misuse include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Tightened muscles
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Back pain
  • Sleeping issues
  • Digestive issues, such as constipation
  • Slowed breathing
  • Shakiness
  • Swelling in the lower body
  • Difficulty urinating

A few general signs of drug use include:

  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Sadness or depression
  • Hyperactive or euphoric behavior
  • Erratic speech
  • Problems at work or school
  • Issues with family, friends and loved ones
  • Strange or inconsistent sleep schedule
  • Hygiene problems

Finding Treatment for Norco Addiction

When patients discontinue Norco use, doctors often taper them off their dosage over time. If you are dependent on or addicted to Norco, it’s never advised to stop usage suddenly. Ceasing drug consumption can lead to life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, so it’s always important to speak with a medical professional before ending use.

medical detox is used to purge the system of toxins and begin the treatment process. Medicine may then be used to relieve withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

What Is Norco?

Norco is an opioid-based prescription pain reliever taken by patients suffering from chronic or severe pain. Norco’s main ingredients are hydrocodone and acetaminophen. As an opioid, hydrocodone attaches to opioid receptors in the central nervous system and blocks sensations of pain.

When taken, Norco can also create feelings of pleasure and euphoria in receptors throughout the body. After opioid use, these pleasure receptors in the nervous system can bring about intense cravings. Due to the pleasurable response and the likelihood of cravings, it can be easy for people to use more Norco than what was prescribed or seek it out for recreational use. This misuse often leads to Norco addiction.

Norco Uses

Using opioid-based prescriptions such as Norco often occurs when non-opioid medications are unable to treat a patient’s pain sufficiently. When prescribed, the tablet should be taken as needed every four to six hours.

Because of Norco’s addictive nature, there are general guidelines that patients are recommended to follow:

  • Never take more than the prescribed dose
  • If a dose is missed, wait until the correct time to take the next one
  • Take the prescribed dose at the same time each day

By following prescribed directions, patients will take the lowest dose of Norco possible for the shortest amount of time needed. However, regular users should speak with their doctor before ending usage altogether.

There are currently three concentrations of Norco available:

  • Norco 5/325 — 5 mg of hydrocodone and 325 mg of acetaminophen
  • Norco 7.5/325 — 7.5 mg of hydrocodone and 325 mg of acetaminophen
  • Norco 10/325 — 10 mg of hydrocodone and 325 mg of acetaminophen

Norco 5/325 is taken as needed one to two times every four to six hours; consuming no more than eight tablets per day. Norco 7.5/325 and Norco 10/325 are taken as needed once every four to six hours; take no more than six tablets per day.

Taking more than the prescribed dosage can lead to heart issues, respiratory failure, coma and death. Always consult with your doctor before adjusting your medical regimen.

Potential for Abuse

Medication containing hydrocodone can lead to drug tolerance, dependence and subsequent abuse. As an opioid, hydrocodone affects the opioid receptors in the brain and not only relieves the user’s pain but also triggers feelings of pleasure. Essentially, the reward system wants more, which is why opioid pain medication is monitored closely and prescribed with very specific instructions.

When opioid-based drugs like Norco are used outside of their prescribed dosage, the medicine becomes less effective. As a result, the person may feel motivated to continue misusing it further. More is taken to achieve a pleasurable sensation, and the cycle of increased tolerance, dependence and misuse grows.

If you or a loved one are ready to address an addiction to Norco, hydrocodone or any other substance, contact The Recovery Village Columbus. Speak to a representative who can discuss how individualized treatment programs help you achieve a healthier future. Call today to start your recovery journey.


Our Recovery Advocates are ready to answer your questions about addiction treatment and help you start your recovery.