Hydrocodone, a codeine-based derivative, is commonly prescribed as a pain-relief medication. According to the International Narcotics Control Board, the United States consumed 99 percent of the world’s supply of hydrocodone in 2007. Much like with various other opiate drugs, hydrocodone addictions have become a growing epidemic in the United States.
As with most opiate addictions, the potential for relapse remains an ongoing challenge for people wanting to break an addiction as well as for people in recovery. hydrocodone addiction treatment provides the type of medical care and counseling needed to overcome an addiction habit.
While hydrocodone is intended to treat conditions involving pain, when used for recreational purposes, the drug creates a pleasant sense of well being and an easy-going nature in most users. For these reasons, people become tempted to take the drug as a way to better handle everyday stressors and daily interactions with others. Unfortunately, the pleasant effects produced by hydrocodone ultimately wreak havoc on a person’s central nervous system.
For medicinal purposes, hydrocodone should not be prescribed for longer than three months; however a person can become addicted to the drug in less than five weeks. Once the body and brain become dependent on hydrocodone’s effects, it’s all but impossible to stop using through sheer willpower. Hydrocodone addiction treatment makes it possible for a person to live daily life without the need of the drug.
Even in cases where a person stops using hydrocodone on his or her own, the drug’s withdrawal effects make life all but unbearable. In effect, the body’s pain/pleasure receptors have suffered considerable damage from ongoing hydrocodone abuse. Feelings of fatigue, fever, chills, depression, nausea, jitteriness and cloudy thinking processes eventually drive a person to start using again, according to a University of Hawaii report.
Hydrocodone addiction treatment uses medication therapies to help ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce the likelihood of relapse. These medications enable a person to make it through detoxification without the discomforts that occur from going “cold turkey.”
Eliminating all traces of hydrocodone, while necessary, does little good in breaking an addiction habit unless a person deals with the psychological motivations that underlie the addiction. Hydrocodone addiction treatment uses intensive, ongoing psychotherapy to help a person eliminate the psychological motivations that drive his or her addiction.
Opiate drugs like hydrocodone tend to make users believe they can’t function, or at least feel normal without the drug. Hydrocodone addiction treatment helps a person recover from this destructive mindset by learning healthy ways of functioning in everyday life.
As part of the hydrocodone addiction treatment process, many people require ongoing medication therapy to deal with ongoing withdrawal effects from the drug. Withdrawal effects continue as the brain and body attempt to repair damaged central nervous system functions. While a person is using, hydrocodone takes over these functions. Over time, the body craves more and more of the drug to maintain so-called normal functions. When a person stops using, the body has to “re-learn” how to manage its central nervous system functions.
Hydrocodone addiction treatment uses medications, such as buprenorphine and naltrexone to help this repair process along. Medication therapies mimic hydrocodone effects according to a controlled treatment protocol. Over time, dosage amounts are tapered down to the point where a person’s body can function normally on its own.
Addiction Treatment for Pain Conditions
Even when hydrocodone is prescribed to treat pain conditions, a person can still become addicted to the drug’s effects. The potential for addiction remains, even in cases where a person takes the drug as prescribed.
Hydrocodone creates a self-reinforcing effect that can cause a person to take the drug when no pain symptoms are present. This results from hydrocodone’s effects on the brain’s reward system or pain and pleasure centers. This coupled with the need to take larger dosage amounts to achieve the same pain-relieving effects leaves pain suffers at the mercy of the drug.
When further pain treatment is needed, hydrocodone addiction treatment includes a pain control program to address existing pain symptoms while treating the addiction problem.
While medication and psychotherapy treatments remain essential steps in hydrocodone addiction treatment, having a social support system in place can make it easier to face tough times throughout the recovery process. Most treatment programs offer recovering addicts referrals to community-based groups as part of hydrocodone addiction treatment. Narcotics Anonymous groups are an example of a community-based group that offers a lifetime’s worth of support to recovering addicts.
Hydrocodone addiction treatment programs may also make it a point to pull friends and family members into the treatment process through group therapy sessions. These measures combined enable recovering addicts to create a positive support network that keeps them focused on their recovery.