How to Prepare for a Conversation about a Loved One’s Hydrocodone Addiction

How to Prepare for a Conversation about a Loved One’s Hydrocodone Addiction

Hydrocodone is the narcotic element in popular pain mediations like Vicodin, Norco and Lorcet, and it is derived from the same opium poppy as heroin. Whether taken for legitimate pain or recreational highs, hydrocodone can ensnare users in a dangerous addiction. When this occurs, the addict changes in many ways, including the following:

  • Becomes adept at hiding the addiction and denying its existence
  • Develops an obsession with procuring additional pills
  • Displays a willingness to strain finances, relationships and work stability
  • Exhibits an inability to decrease or stop usage with will power alone

When behavioral patterns such as these begin to emerge, it is important to address the addiction, and there are ways to help facilitate a more productive conversation.

Understanding Hydrocodone Addiction

When preparing for a conversation about hydrocodone abuse, it helps to recognize the drug’s side effects, which include the following:

  • Unexplained aches
  • Respiratory problems
  • Scratching at the skin
  • Constipation

As the abuse progresses, signs begin to include trembling, anxiety and memory loss, and the risks elevate to overdose, respiratory failure and potential death. To understand why someone would take such risks, consider the basics of addiction, which include the following:

  • Addiction is a neurobiological disease that causes chemical changes in the brain.
  • Hydrocodone’s opiate base can result in addiction levels similar to that of heroin.
  • Addiction should be treated as a health issue and not a will power issue.
  • Genetics are a primary enabler of addictive predispositions.
  • Most addicts require help from loved ones and professionals.

It also helps to know the extent of the dangers involved. According to the government’s Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) report, two out of every 1,000 adult citizens were rushed to the emergency room in 2010 due to improper pain medication use.

Talking about Hydrocodone Addiction

If you need to address someone’s substance abuse, you must decide whether the conversation should be one-on-one or a group intervention. Either way, you can make the conversation more effective by doing the following:

  • Consider getting the family doctor involved.
  • Have the conversation in a non-threatening place.
  • Make it a proactive talk when the person is not high.
  • Practice what you want to say and pay attention to tone.
  • Be careful not to sound condescending or judgmental.
  • Stay calm yet resolute in the face of angry retorts.
  • Be prepared with rehab information and brochures.

It is also recommended that people speak with an addiction counselor before the conversation. The counselor can make recommendations, provide materials and assist with an interventionist if desired.

Hydrocodone Addiction Treatment

The addict may want to know more about treatment itself, which generally includes the following:

  • Tapered detox to wean the person off the pain medication
  • Integrated treatment for co-occurring mental health issues
  • Behavioral therapies that improve how patients process emotions
  • Examination of hydrocodone-use triggers and stumbling blocks
  • Holistic alternatives to pain management
  • In-house and local aftercare group therapy

Rehab centers also work with loved ones to help the recovering addict during post-treatment care.

Painkiller Addiction Helpline

Do you or a loved one struggle with hydrocodone addiction? Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to provide assistance. Call our toll-free helpline for more information on interventions, treatment options and addiction. We can also check health insurance policies for benefits. The stakes are too high not to call today.