Schizophrenia and Hydrocodone Use

Schizophrenia and Hydrocodone Use

Schizophrenia is a complex mental illness characterized by the inability to tell the difference between what is real and what is unreal. People with the disorder also have difficulty thinking clearly and struggle to act normally in social situations and to have normal emotional responses. There is no known cause of schizophrenia, but genetics, as well as family history, may play a role. Schizophrenia can be triggered by certain events, and those with a family history of mental illness or a genetic predisposition are more likely to develop the disease. Schizophrenic episodes can be triggered or made worse by alcohol or drug abuse. Because hydrocodone is an opiate narcotic that works in the brain, people with an underlying mental illness like schizophrenia are more likely to show signs of the disorder when taking the drug. Drug addiction and mental illness often go hand in hand, and those who have these co-occurring disorders need treatment for both to recover successfully.

Hydrocodone Abuse Symptoms

Hydrocodone is a drug used to treat moderate to severe pain and is in a group of drugs called narcotic pain relievers. Hydrocodone is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone works in the brain to change how the body perceives pain, and the acetaminophen increases the effectiveness of the hydrocodone. Hydrocodone also produces feelings of euphoria after prolonged use of the drug. This makes hydrocodone both physically and psychologically addictive. Those who use the drug can become dependent after just a few doses. People with an undiagnosed mental illness like schizophrenia are at greater risk of addiction from hydrocodone. Symptoms of hydrocodone addiction include the following:

  • Using more of the drug to get the same results or taking the drug before the next dose is due
  • Doctor shopping to get new prescriptions when others have expired
  • Uncharacteristic drug seeking behavior like lying or stealing to get more of the substance
  • Preoccupation with getting and using the drug
  • The appearance of withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped or before the next dose is due

Hydrocodone addiction can mask the symptoms of an underlying mental disorder like schizophrenia. Getting the proper diagnosis and treatment for both conditions is vital for recovery.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual Diagnosis treatment for hydrocodone abuse and schizophrenia begins with medically supervised detox in a rehab facility. This part of the process is important, as the person with schizophrenia may be abusing more than one substance to deal with his or her mental illness. Giving the body the opportunity to rid itself of drug toxins allows the diagnosis and treatment to go forward. Once detox has ended, the individual will undergo a period of diagnosis with doctors and psychotherapists to determine whether the drug addiction is causing the mental illness or vice versa. In either case, a treatment plan including appropriate medications, psychotherapy, individual and group counseling and follow-up care will be put into place. Through an appropriate rehab program, the person struggling with schizophrenia and addiction can learn to live a life free from substance abuse.

Find Help for Schizophrenia and Addiction

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness 50 percent of those with complex mental disorders also struggle with substance abuse. Forty-seven percent of those with schizophrenia also abuse drugs. If you or a loved one struggles with mental illness and drug addiction, we are here to help you. Our helpline counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and help you find the right treatment program for your unique situation. Call our toll-free number now.