Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid derived from the naturally occurring opiate, thebaine. Technically, hydrocodone is prescribed for the relief of moderate to moderately sever pain, but in reality, it is being over prescribed for many types of pain that could be treated with a non-narcotic analgesics. Hydrocodone is taken orally and is also added to a variety of cough syrups to aid cough suppression. Here’s some information about its side effects and the abuse leading addiction.
Side Effects of Hydrocodone
Because this drugs acts on the brain, its major side effects are related to the central nervous system and include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, light headedness, confusion and the psychologically addictive and sought after side effect of euphoria.
In the last ten to twenty years, the sales of hydrocodone have increased dramatically. This narcotic can only be prescribed by licensed physicians that have a DEA license to prescribe narcotics, however, there are internet pharmacies that employ physicians that will write a prescription for hydrocodone containing medications with minor medical documentation. Recently, Senator Hatch passed a Federal law that requires patients to have a face-to-face interview with any physician that is prescribing this and other drugs that are physically addicting.
In the United States, hydrocodone is almost always combined with acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, or antihistamines and rarely available hydrocodone-only tablets. Hydrocodone combined with these other analgesics is classified as a Schedule III narcotic, whereas straight hydrocodone is a Schedule II narcotic and requires a higher level of medical documentation and increased scrutiny from DEA and other regulators that watch for the validity of prescribing classified drugs.
Hydrocodone containing drugs:
- hycodan and
Because hydrocodone has become an “acceptable” painkiller, many patients are not aware that when they take this narcotic on a regular basis for two or more weeks, they will experience less of the painkilling benefits without increasing their dosage. This is due to their bodies building up a tolerance for opiates and this factor is indicative that they are also becoming physically addicted as well.
In time, the euphoria that comes from taking hydrocodone is diminished, but one still develops a psychological dependence on these drugs since they take the emotional edge off of personal and interpersonal problems. Emotional problems do not resolve by themselves, but as time passes, actually tend to become harder to confront. Patients who are still weak from withdrawal begin to feel the overwhelming magnitude of these problems that still need to be resolved and when these feelings are compounded with physical cravings for the drug, you find a very high percentage of individuals having a hydrocodone addiction resort to seeking ways that they can continue compromising their better intentions to stop these medications and resign themselves to a chronic diet of narcotics.
At some time in the future, these individuals find that the downside of continued hydrocodone use and addiction is stifling their production, prosperity and hurting their interpersonal relationships.
It has been described many times that withdrawals from opiates are analogous to a severe case of the flu. However, even though they are not life threatening, the physical discomfort, along with intolerable anxiety and depression cause most people to need professional assistance to withstand a week or more of this level of pain without relapsing. Not only is this initial withdrawal hard for most people to confront, one can also expect to feel lethargic and depressed for weeks after the initial withdrawal symptoms have subsided. The successful termination of this torturous addiction cycle is to find a biophysical detox program that removes the residues of these drugs from the body and gives the excitement of life back to those that have only found it as a side effect of hydrocodone abuse.