Chronic Back Pain and Hydrocodone Addiction

Chronic Back Pain and Hydrocodone Addiction

Hydrocodone is a common semi-synthetic opiate derived from codeine, so it is highly addictive. Much like morphine and heroin, it can cause both physical and psychological dependence, especially under the following circumstances:


  • When used for a longer period than prescribed
  • When used by a person with a personal or family history of drug or alcohol addiction
  • When used at a higher dosage than prescribed
  • When used in combination with other drugs or alcohol to intensify its effects

Hydrocodone can be an effective painkiller for short-term use, but it is still dangerous. It has been safely prescribed millions of times to relieve pain, but it is not recommended for long-term treatment.

Hydrocodone and Chronic Pain

Hydrocodone blocks pain by binding to receptors in the brain that send and receive pain signals. This means the drug prevents pain for a time, which can promote drug abuse, because these receptors are also involved with emotional pain and distress. In other words, hydrocodone blocks anxiety, fear, sadness and a wide range of other psychological issues. By blocking these emotional signals, users feel a sense of euphoria that the brain will recognize and crave.

Unfortunately, any hydrocodone use can be addictive, because the body will quickly become tolerant to the effects of the drug. This means that users will require larger and more frequent doses to feel the same relief. Because chronic back pain is a long-lasting problem, people who use hydrocodone to treat pain tend to experience less relief with time. This often leads users to take more drugs or to combine use with alcohol or other substances.

People with chronic back pain may not realize that they are becoming addicts, because addiction has incredible psychological power. However, you can identify an addiction through any of the following symptoms:

  • Dishonesty with doctors, pharmacists, friends or family to secure more drugs
  • Loss of interest in previously important activities or relationships
  • Feelings of anxiety, depression, anger or fear when unable to take the drug regularly
  • Using more of the drug over time and feeling decreased effectiveness
  • Defensiveness or anger when confronted by loved ones about the possibility of addiction

Hydrocodone addiction can be especially difficult for some people to accept if they never used the drug. Prescription addiction affects millions of people, so seek help to get clean as soon as possible.

Help Managing Hydrocodone Abuse and Chronic Back Pain

Because hydrocodone addiction has both physiological and psychological effects, users need fully integrated rehab to achieve long-term recovery. This often involves a combination of counseling, education and skill-development, as well as medical supervision and Dual Diagnosis treatment of any co-occurring disorders. If you would like more information about hydrocodone addiction treatment, then please call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators will confidentially answer your questions and will match you to the best treatment program for your individual needs.