Hydrocodone is one of the leading opiate painkillers prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain.
In many users, especially those using the drug to fight chronic pain, hydrocodone addiction becomes a problem. For those who fear they have or will develop hydrocodone addiction, the following frequently asked questions will help you to recognize hydrocodone addiction and find a hydrocodone rehab that can help you fight the problem.
Does Everyone with a Prescription Develop Addiction?
No. Though almost everyone who takes prescribed hydrocodone will develop a tolerance to the drug and need to take more and more of the pills in order to experience effective pain relief, it is not automatic that everyone with a hydrocodone prescription will develop hydrocodone addiction.
In order to develop an addiction to hydrocodone, the user must have or do one or more of the following:
- Take a larger dose of the drug than prescribed
- Take the drug more often than prescribed
- Supplement the prescription with other drugs and/or alcohol
- Crush extended-release tablets and take them all at once
- Procure multiple opiate painkiller prescriptions fraudulently
- Have a genetic predisposition to addiction
- Have a co-occurring psychological disorder like bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or other issues
Does Dependence Equal Addiction?
No. Almost anyone who takes hydrocodone regularly for an extended period will become physically dependent upon the drug. Physical dependence is defined by withdrawal symptoms that the individual experiences when he or she stops taking the pills. Physical dependence, however, does not define addiction. Though it is part of it, psychological cravings and dependence are also necessary in order for hydrocodone addiction to be defined.
When Does Use Become a Problem?
There is a process by which hydrocodone use becomes hydrocodone addiction. First, the user begins with a legitimate prescription or takes the drug recreationally. Though recreational use is considered abuse of the drug, abuse that invites the development of addiction begins when the individual takes the pills in large amounts, crushes them before ingesting or consumes other drugs and/or alcohol in addition to the pills. When the user begins to crave hydrocodone in addition to becoming physically dependent upon the drug, hydrocodone addiction is an issue.
Is It Possible to Beat Addiction at Home?
Hydrocodone is an opiate painkiller. It works by binding to the opiate receptors in the brain and effectively blocking the user’s experience of pain.
Over time, the brain comes to expect that a certain amount of the drug will always be in the blood stream and adjusts its production of certain chemicals as a result. Should the user miss a dose or take less than the body is wired to expect, withdrawal symptoms develop. These symptoms are to be expected during hydrocodone addiction detox, but they can be dangerous. If there are underlying medical issues or if the user has a psychological condition, complications can develop. It is not recommended that anyone addicted to hydrocodone stop taking their prescription abruptly. Instead, contact a medical professional immediately and arrange for a hydrocodone detox that includes medical supervision.
How Is It Treated?
Hydrocodone addiction is most effectively treated through detox followed by extended addiction treatment.
Though some do well with an outpatient program that allows them to continue to work and/or attend school, a higher percentage enjoy longer recoveries free from relapse when they opt for an inpatient hydrocodone rehab. If you opt for a cold turkey detox, inpatient rehab is a necessity. You will need the 24-hour care and medical monitoring provided by a residential treatment facility.
For others, however, inpatient treatment is too expensive or the time commitment is too long. In these cases, outpatient hydrocodone detox using Suboxone or methadone may be an appropriate option as long as extended addiction counseling is also a part of the treatment plan. It is important to develop a strong support network in recovery and learn how to build a new life without hydrocodone dependence. There is an art and a skill to recovery; the only way to learn it is to take part in a hydrocodone addiction treatment program.
How Do I Find Treatment?
Finding a hydrocodone addiction treatment program that will suit your schedule, your budget and your family’s needs is as easy as dialing the phone.
Contact us at the phone number listed above to learn more about your hydrocodone rehab help options and to locate the most effective treatment facility for you and your needs.