Placed in the category of opiate analgesics and antitussives, hydrocodone is prescribed for treating pain and cough. The following HealthHearty write-up provides information on the signs of hydrocodone addiction.
Hydrocodone is a prescription drug that contains codeine and thebaine, which are constituents of opium. It is a semi-synthetic opiate that is prescribed in case of severe back pain and chronic cough. It is sold under the brand name of Vicodin. This drug is classified as a controlled substance, and there are guidelines and laws to control its use, as well as sales. It comprises hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen.
Though the former helps in decreasing the intensity of pain and cough, it might lead to mood changes. The latter is a painkiller that also helps in reducing fever. People often experience a state of euphoric calm after taking this drug. However, it is this feeling of euphoria that causes people to abuse this drug. Around 40% of the people who have been prescribed this drug, get addicted to it.
Signs of Hydrocodone Addiction
This feeling of calmness leads to increased levels of happiness and well-being. The person begins to enjoy these psychological effects and realizes that his/her body is dependent on this drug. There are a few signs that will help you identify if a person is dependent on this drug.
Doctor shopping is one of the signs of addiction. Those who are addicted to this drug start looking for new doctors to get multiple prescriptions. They visit new doctors and get prescriptions for the drug so that they can visit different pharmacies to get their supply of drug. Also, they will purchase the drugs for cash, as they do not want insurance companies, or the EDA, to get a wind about their actions.
Stocking More Drugs than Needed
Those who are addicted to the drug tend to stock more drugs than needed. They begin to ask for more pills, citing reasons such as traveling. Many addicts tend to show an increased level of anxiety, before their stock even runs out. They may commonly complain of losing, misplacing, or forgetting their prescription. They make excuses to get a new prescription so as to get more drugs. They might keep the pills stashed in different bottles or packages.
Apart from changes in behavior, they might exhibit the following signs of addiction:
- The person will begin to steal, lie, and act dishonestly to get more pills.
- They will spend more money on the drug and will run out of cash.
- These people will never have a satisfactory answer for the increase in expenses.
- They will avoid their friends and family. Instead they begin to seek new friends.
- These people have mood swings and behavior changes. They become aloof.
- Physical symptoms include agitation, restlessness, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, involuntary leg movement, etc.
Apart from the aforementioned changes in behavior, they might suffer from nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, anxiety, drowsiness, frequent urination, skin rashes, irregular breathing, or lightheadedness.
For a person who is addicted to this drug, abrupt withdrawal from the drug would give rise to certain symptoms. The severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms depends on the length of time of the addiction, and varies in every individual. However, it must be noted that the withdrawal symptoms are not serious or life-threatening. These include:
- Craving for hydrocodone
- Watery eyes
- Dilated pupils
- Runny nose
- Sweating and chills
- Muscle ache
- Difficulty in sleeping
As you can see, a person begins to find different ways to lay their hands on the drug. If you know someone who is taking this drug under medical supervision, keep an eye on him/her. In severe cases, the affected person should go to a drug rehab center for detoxification.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.