How Hydrocodone Addiction Affects the Brain

How Hydrocodone Addiction Affects the Brain

Hydrocodone is a narcotic pain reliever that produces effects similar to heroin or morphine. Regardless of the medicinal effects, hydrocodone is proving to be a chronic danger for addiction. Hydrocodone alone is a Schedule II drug, which means it is closely controlled and has restrictions for its use. However, very few drugs are pure hydrocodone. Instead, smaller amounts of hydrocodone are mixed with other non-narcotics to create medications such as Vicodin or Lortab. For this reason, many drugs containing hydrocodone are classified as Schedule III and therefore are easier to obtain.

Hydrocodone Abuse and the Brain

Hydrocodone is an opiate. Opiates work by binding with specific receptors in the brain. These may be the neurotransmitters that control movement, mood, and physiology (digestion, body temperature, and breathing). By doing so, they cause these neurotransmitters to discharge at a rapid rate, as they would in times of extreme stress.

The brain already produces its own opiate-like chemicals to control pain, immune responses and other body functions. Manufactured opiates work to mimic those created naturally in the body. The brain will stop producing its own, and rely solely on the opiates found in drugs such as hydrocodone.

You may have had a positive reaction to hydrocodone the first time you used it, but this does not mean that you became addicted right away. Opiates are considered highly addictive substances and they affect the structure and function of the brain. As the brain changes, so do your motivations and emotions. By changing the way your brain works, the way in which your nerve cells communicate can change as well. This change can make you compulsive and out of control when it comes to using, despite experiencing side effects.

Waiting too long to receive treatment for hydrocodone addiction can result in permanent brain damage. The only way to fight the effects of hydrocodone, and get your life back, is to enter a treatment facility. There, you will receive the tools necessary to begin your journey back to normalcy. Be sure you find the treatment option that best fits your needs and not one that ignores your individual problems.

Seeking Hydrocodone Treatment

If you are seeking treatment for hydrocodone abuse, please call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline today. Lines are always open, and a counselor is standing by ready to assist you with treatment needs. We will even check your insurance coverage to see what can be paid for you. Get your life back. Call today!