Prescription drug abuse is rampant in the US, and hydrocodone is one of the main substances. Abusing the drug is very dangerous, and can quickly lead to a struggle with addiction.
Effects of Hydrocodone Abuse
Hydrocodone is a commonly prescribed pain reliever that is classified as an opioid analgesic. Unfortunately, despite physician warnings, hydrocodone is often abused being taken for reasons other than prescribed. The effects of hydrocodone abuse can be quite devastating if the drug use continues or in some cases even with just a single case of abusive use of the drug. Sustained use is often responsible for physical and psychological dependence which can be difficult to overcome.
According to Medline Plus, hydrocodone abuse can lead to, “dangerous overdose if you take more medication or take your medication more often than prescribed by your doctor.” In addition to the increased risk of overdose when hydrocodone is being abused, users are also at risk of an array of side effects and complications related to their own individual physical and mental stability.
Long Term Effects
The long term effects of hydrocodone abuse include an array of potential health concerns such as liver and kidney damage, physical dependence and psychological dependence. Many of the effects of hydrocodone abuse are not evident until the drug has been abused for a prolonged period of time; for instance, sustained use is often responsible for damage to the organs that is not realized until long after the damage is done.
Effects of Withdrawal
Hydrocodone abuse can cause physical dependence which will result in a number of withdrawal symptoms when the user attempts to quit taking the drug. Some of the most common effects of withdrawal include flu-like symptoms, bone pain, nausea and vomiting, and anxiety. Hydrocodone withdrawal can cause irritability and an inability for the user to comfortably abstain from the use of the drug. Most of the time, it’s these very symptoms of withdrawal that are responsible for the user’s decision to continue using the drug despite a desire to quit.
Short Term Effects of Hydrocodone Abuse
In the short term, a number of effects can be attributed to hydrocodone abuse. The most common short term effects of the drug abuse include:
- dry throat or dehydration
- feeling abnormally happy
- feeling abnormally sad
- feeling disoriented
- slowed heart beat
- irregular breathing
- chest tichtness
Most of the short term effects of the drug use will go away on their own within a short period of time as the drug wears off. If you suffer from chest tightness, irregular breathing or other serious side effects, consult with your doctor immediately.