Hydrocodone is one of the most popular opiates to abuse. Since doctors prescribe Hydrocodone for several reasons, including easing the severe pain caused by injury, surgery or certain diseases, there are various ways for users to get their hands on the drug and begin abusing.
Often, people don’t even realize they are abusing Hydrocodone until they are addicted. In the user’s mind, they just want to ease the pain in whatever way necessary. They will begin to take the drug more often than prescribed or in higher dosages. Soon enough, their tolerance for Hydrocodone will grow, causing them to take increasingly more to reach the same feeling of euphoria. At this stage, their body will believe they can’t function without Hydrocodone in their system, making them feel weak, helpless, and shaky until they take another dose. Their brain and central nervous system will be affected, causing hallucinations, damaging their opioid receptors, and creating other harmful effects.
At this stage, users who abuse Hydrocodone may feel helpless. They’ll turn to the drug to numb every other aspect of their life, including the several negative effects that Hydrocodone has caused on their finances, personal relationships, and overall health. When users feel like they can’t live without Hydrocodone and will do anything in their power to get ahold of it, they are dependent on the drug.
Once their addiction to Hydrocodone leads to dependency, they’ll feel the effects of withdrawal. Note that this stage can happen even within days of the first use of Hydrocodone. Withdrawal effects they may feel mentally and physically include weakened muscles, anxiety, depression, headaches, paranoia, and mood swings. Without Hydrocodone in their system, they could feel like they are dying, causing them to use even more to negate those effects.
The more the person abuses Hydrocodone, the more likely they will be to overdose on the drug. If they take too much in one sitting, they face the risk of experiencing extremely slowed breathing, slipping into a coma, and dying.
Eventually, the user will stop partaking in their favorite activities or hobbies. All their focus and attention will be spent trying to figure out how to get their hands on more Hydrocodone. While they could illegally buy the drug off the streets, abusers most likely begin to overuse Hydrocodone by lying to their doctors. They may exaggerate the pain they are experiencing so that their doctor will refill their prescription. Oftentimes, abusers will even go to more than one doctor and pharmacy to get their hands on as many prescription bottles as possible.
Their lies and exaggerations will soon seep into other areas of their life, negatively impacting their relationships and job performance. Close friends and family will typically see the user begin their downward spiral. If they try to intervene at a time when the user is in one of their angry or aggressive moods, loved ones may soon give up on their friend. Without any type of support system, the user will typically feel the need to abuse Hydrocodone even more. Calling out of work to stay home and feel the euphoric effects of the drug is common. The more users abuse Hydrocodone, the more likely their employer will terminate their position within the company.
At this point, the user will have no source of income, no support system, and intense cravings for Hydrocodone. Although they feel helpless and alone, they will still do whatever it takes to get their hands on the drug. Any money they do have will be spent on Hydrocodone, causing them to miss payments. Soon enough, their phone, water and electricity may be shut off. After time, they can even be evicted from their home because of their failure to pay. Without any type of support, the abuser may find themselves on the street. These negative effects of Hydrocodone addiction can happen within months of the first time they use.
It’s important for friends and family to recognize and understand what their loved one is going through if they truly want to get them help. If you or someone you know is suffering from Hydrocodone addiction, know that you are not alone. Rehabilitation facilities are available to help Hydrocodone abusers get back on their feet after a time of suffering. In a treatment center, they will undergo therapy to understand why they began using in the first place. They will also learn key coping skills to keep them from using again in the future, especially under stressful or triggering situations.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the stages of Hydrocodone addiction, we’re here to help. The sooner you suspect there might be an addiction, the faster you may be able to stop the effects. Call a treatment center today to get the information you need.