How Common Is Hydrocodone Addiction?

How Common Is Hydrocodone Addiction?

Many people believe that prescription drugs aren’t as dangerous as street drugs, or don’t have the same addiction risks. Many prescription drugs, however, can be highly addictive and can cause great harm. Because of the misconceptions about their dangers and because they’re so widely available, addiction to prescription painkillers like hydrocodone is a large and growing problem.

The Extent of the Hydrocodone Addiction Problem

It isn’t easy to quantify the rate of addiction to any drug, but one way to help determine the extent of the problem is to monitor the number of hospital emergency room visits related to specific substances. The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) monitors and publishes this information. DAWN has noted the following in regard to hydrocodone:

  • In 2009, there were more hospital emergency room visits resulting from the misuse or abuse of pharmaceutical drugs like hydrocodone than from the use of illicit drugs like heroin or cocaine
  • About half of the incidents related to pharmaceutical drugs involved prescription pain relievers like hydrocodone
  • Between 2004 and 2009, the rate of emergency room visits involving hydrocodone increased 124.5 percent
  • Problems associated with pharmaceutical drugs like hydrocodone were found in every age group. For patients under age 21, incidents involving prescription drugs increased 45.4 percent between 2004 and 2009, and for those 21 years of age or older, the rate of increase was 111 percent. For adults aged 50 or older, the rate of increase between 2004 and 2008 was 121.1 percent

Another group that monitors drug abuse trends is the Community Epidemiology Work Group sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In a 2006 meeting the group noted the following:

  • In Atlanta, hydrocodone was the most commonly abused narcotic painkiller
  • In Chicago, hydrocodone was noted to be among the top three opiate-related drugs abused
  • In Detroit, law enforcement viewed hydrocodone abuse as a problem
  • In Hawaii, the abuse of prescription painkillers like hydrocodone is increasing and involves an increasing number of drug-related deaths
  • In a number of places, including Los Angeles, San Diego and the state of Texas, hydrocodone was found to be abused more often than other painkillers like oxycodone

Hydrocodone Addiction Help

Hydrocodone addiction is widespread, and anyone regardless of age, race, family history, or social standing can become addicted. If you find yourself addicted to hydrocodone, you aren’t alone, either in your addiction or on your path to recovery. Rehab counselors know how to help you.

If you are ready to break the bonds of hydrocodone addiction, give us a call. Our toll-free helpline is available 24 hours a day, and we can answer your questions about rehab. We can also check your insurance coverage to give you a better idea of your treatment options. Call now and begin the process of reclaiming your life.