An addiction to hydrocodone can cause serious long-term problems in a person’s life. If you cannot control your hydrocodone intake and feel sick without it, you are likely addicted.
Top 5 Hydrocodone Addiction Symptoms
Hydrocodone, one of many prescription pain relief medications, sells under three different brand names: Vicodin, Lortab and Lorcet-HD. In spite of their “legalized” status, hydrocodone-based drugs carry a high potential for abuse and addiction.
In brand name form, hydrocodone is combined with other non-opiate drugs, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin. While these added ingredients carry no addictive properties, combining them with hydrocodone nonetheless intensifies hydrocodone addictive potential.
As a sole ingredient, hydrocodone belongs to the Schedule II class of narcotic opiates, which makes for a highly addictive substance, according to the U. S. National Library of Medicine. Intensifying this drug’s effects with other drugs only increases the likelihood a person will develop hydrocodone addiction symptoms.
Commonly prescribed to treat conditions involving moderate to severe pain symptoms, hydrocodone addiction symptoms can just as easily develop in someone taking the drug for medicinal purposes as it does for someone looking to get “high.” Ultimately, hydrocodone addiction symptoms develop as the mind and body become dependent on the drug’s effects to function normally. We can help you find treatment to help you overcome. Call (800) 407-7195 today.
Hydrocodone addiction symptoms first appear as physical ailments, which become fuel for the fire in terms of driving continued drug use. Before long, a person starts to engage in behaviors and routines that support his or her addiction habit. At this point, the addict’s thinking, motivations and overall lifestyle all cater to the needs of the addiction.
If you suspect you or someone you know may be exhibiting hydrocodone addiction symptoms, here are the top five signs to watch out for:
1. Physical Hydrocodone Addiction Symptoms
Hydrocodone’s pain-relieving effects work by preventing pain signals from reaching the brain. With each dose of the drug, large amounts of the brain’s natural pain-relieving chemicals, also known as endorphins, release into the central nervous system.
In effect, hydrocodone depresses or slows down central nervous system functions. By doing so, the drug’s effects muffle any pain signals headed for the brain.
With continued drug use, certain key bodily processes start to malfunction over time because of hydrocodone’s slowing effects. Hydrocodone addiction symptoms start to develop as a result.
Bodily processes most affected include:
- The digestive tract – constipation, loss of appetite, nausea
- The body’s energy levels – symptoms of fatigue become more pronounced as damage done to the digestive tract impairs the body’s ability to extract nutrients from food
- Body temperature regulation – a person starts to experience fluctuations in body temperature in the form of chills and hot flashes
- Movement and coordination – hydrocodone’s slowing effects throw off a person’s sense of balance and coordination
2. Loss of Control
The brain naturally develops a tolerance for hydrocodone’s effects, which drives users to take increasingly larger doses of the drug or else pain symptoms will return. In the case of recreational users, larger dosage amounts must be ingested in order to experience the desired “high” effect.
Before long, a person loses control over the amount of drugs he or she takes in an effort to meet the brain’s every-increasing need. This hydrocodone addiction symptom becomes a driving force throughout the course of a person’s addiction.
Loss of control is very dangerous. If you’re experiencing this addiction symptom, call (800) 407-7195 to get help today.
3. Withdrawal Effects
Before long, increasing tolerance levels gives way to physical dependency as the brain comes to rely on hydrocodone’s effects to produce needed endorphin chemical supplies. Once physical dependency sets in, users start to experience withdrawal effects when needed amounts of the drug are lacking, according to the Tennessee Institute for Substance Abuse Treatment Evaluation.
In effect, hydrocodone’s ability to trigger endorphin secretions eats away at the brain cell sites that release these chemicals. As brain cells deteriorate, they become less responsive to hydrocodone’s effects.
As a result, larger doses must be ingested in order for a person to experience the desired pain-relieving and/or “high” effects of the drug. These interactions play a pivotal role in causing hydrocodone addiction symptoms to develop.
After tolerance level increases, withdrawal effects mark the second stage of hydrocodone addiction symptoms. Withdrawal effects can take different forms depending on any one person’s overall state of physical and psychological health, some of which include –
- Muscle aches and pains
- Tremors in the extremities
- Increased breathing rates
- Intense drug cravings
- Bouts of anxiety
Considering how the drug continues to eat away at brain cell structures, these hydrocodone addiction symptoms will only worsen in severity over time. The sooner you get help, the better. Call (800) 407-7195 for a free addiction treatment consultation today.
4. Psychological Dependence
The chemical imbalances brought about by hydrocodone inevitably start to affect critical cognitive areas of the brain. One area in particular, known as the brain reward system, lies at the heart of how hydrocodone addiction symptoms take root.
The brain reward center relies on balanced levels of dopamine (one of the more prominent endorphin chemicals) to regulate a person’s overall sense of purpose in everyday life. In essence, this area of the brain determines a person’s motivations, belief systems and priorities in life.
Hydrocodone’s effects greatly affect how dopamine is distributed throughout the brain. Over time, the brain reward center starts to depend on hydrocodone’s effects just like the rest of the body.
When this happens, a person’s belief systems, motivations and priorities all start to skew in favor of hydrocodone’s ability to produce feelings of calm of well-being. This hydrocodone addiction symptom marks the start of a full-blown addiction problem.
5. Compulsive Drug-Seeking Behavior
Once a full-blown addiction sets in, most every major area of a person’s life will start to show signs of hydrocodone addiction symptoms. Hydrocodone’s influence over the brain reward center essentially drives a person to alter his or her lifestyle in order to accommodate the addiction.
Consequently, compulsive drug-seeking behavior becomes the addict’s sole purpose in life. As one of the most apparent hydrocodone addiction symptoms, compulsive drug-seeking behaviors start to take precedence over other important areas of the addict’s life.
Lifestyle changes may take the form of:
- Disregarding family obligations
- Neglecting important relationships
- Decline in hygiene and personal appearance
- Decline in work performance, possibly leading to job loss
- Financial problems
- Problems with the law
Much like how withdrawal effects only get worse over time, this group of hydrocodone addiction symptoms can slowly wreak utter destruction throughout a person’s life. We can help you find the treatment you need. Call (800) 407-7195 today.