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Hydrocodone is an opioid and a powerful pain ingredient in narcotic painkillers, prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain that no other medication can reduce. It is usually administered orally, but those abusing the drug may crush their pills and snort or inject the drug contents. It is also an effective cough suppressant and is sometimes used in combination with acetaminophen.

It is marketed under different trade names:

  • Vicodin
  • Lortab
  • Lorcet-HD
  • Hycodan
  • Vicoprofen

Though the drug has legitimate medical uses, it also has a high potential to lead to dependence and addiction. Hydrocodone addiction is a serious problem today. According to reports, in 2016, the most commonly misused subtype of prescription pain relievers consisted of hydrocodone products with an estimated 6.9 million Americans (aged 12 or older) misusing them in the past year.

Hydrocodone abuse

Hydrocodone works by binding to opioid receptors located in the brain, spinal cord and other areas of the body. Once bound to these receptors, it blocks pain signals from reaching the brain. It also interacts with other brain chemicals like endorphins to create feelings of euphoria and sedation.

When taken as prescribed, the drug is effective in relieving pain, but its non-medical use can result in a variety of side effects. Some of them are:

  • Sedation
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Confusion
  • Physical dependence
  • Tolerance
  • Respiratory depression

Prolonged hydrocodone abuse can lead to irreversible health consequences, including judgment lapses, psychosis and liver damage.

Patients, at times, resort to various means to procure drugs for non-medical purposes. One such method is the practice of doctor shopping, wherein patients visit different doctors in order to get numerous prescriptions for the medication. Illicit sale of hydrocodone via internet is also a serious problem. Opioid abuse may force users to switch to heroin, a cheaper alternative with similar effects.

Hydrocodone addiction: Signs and symptoms

Highly addictive in nature, regular use of hydrocodone may develop into drug tolerance, drug dependence and eventually lead to hydrocodone addiction. Symptoms of the abuse and addiction may vary according to the duration, frequency and amount abused.

Following are some of the common signs and symptoms of hydrocodone addiction:

  • Obsession with use
  • Slowed or shallow breathing
  • Drowsiness
  • Seizure
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Muscle ache
  • Insomnia
  • Continued use even when experiencing negative consequences
  • Denial of a problem
  • Presence of withdrawal symptoms when trying to reduce or stop use

Over time, the user’s body develops a tolerance to the drug, resulting in cravings that make the user consume a higher quantity to achieve the desired effects. Additionally, users continue to abuse the drug in order to avoid painful hydrocodone addiction withdrawal symptoms, such as muscle cramps, irritability, diarrhea, insomnia and vomiting. If someone is struggling with hydrocodone addiction and trying to combat the associated withdrawal symptoms, he/she should seek professional treatment immediately.

Treatment for hydrocodone addiction

Comprehensive treatment for hydrocodone addiction consists of a medically supervised detox followed by therapy or counseling sessions. Considered to be the first step in addiction treatment, detoxification focuses on decreasing drug dependence by gradually flushing out toxic substances from the body and easing the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Post a successful detox, the patient undergoes therapy that helps him/her identify the underlying causes of addiction, and trigger situations and maintain sobriety post successful completion of the treatment.

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Why choose Sovereign Health

Licensed by the State of Texas as a substance abuse treatment facility, Sovereign Health of El Paso, Texas provides specialized treatment for hydrocodone addiction to both male and female patients over the age of 18 years.

Hydrocodone addiction treatment at our facility usually begins by helping the individual undergo a medically supervised detox program. Owing to the drug’s uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, the detoxification treatment should be done with careful medical supervision, which is why our medical staff monitor the patients throughout the initial stage of recovery. They treat any uncomfortable or potentially dangerous side effects using medications, such as buprenorphine or naloxone, or the ones recommended by the consulting expert. Patients then continue with the recovery process through our residential treatment program, partial hospitalization program (PHP) or intensive outpatient program (IOP).

Our holistic approach to treatment rests on our belief that every patient with addiction to hydrocodone has a unique set of requirements. Recognizing that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment, our patients undergo individualized treatment programs that are best suitable to them and their families. In addition to clinically proven treatment modalities like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and individual, group and family therapy, we also offer a range of experiential therapies that catalyze the recovery process.

Following are some of the treatment modalities offered at our state-of-the-art treatment centers:

  • Individual and process group therapy
  • Stress and anger management groups
  • Schema treatment
  • Narrative treatment
  • Neurofeedback
  • Experiential therapies such as art therapy and expressive arts therapy
  • Mindfulness training
  • Biopsychosocial assessment
  • Life skills education
  • Experiential outings
  • Couples therapy
  • Continuing care program

For those looking for a professional hydrocodone addiction treatment, look no further. To know more about our top-notch hydrocodone abuse treatment programs or to locate the finest hydrocodone detox centers near you, call our 24/7 helpline and speak with our admissions specialist. You can even chat online with our representatives for further assistance.

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Success Story
Success Story

“The therapy here helped me really look at myself and find that I am a strong individual that can deal with this and move forward in my life.”- Katie