Stigmas Related to Hydrocodone Addiction

Stigmas Related to Hydrocodone Addiction

With the rise of narcotic painkiller abuse and the widespread awareness of their addictive potential, physicians are growing more and more cautious about prescribing hydrocodone and other painkillers. Many believe that getting relief from pain is not worth the risk of hydrocodone addiction. Those who suffer from pain themselves often feel that seeking help is not worth facing judgment or concern from others over their hydrocodone use.

Hydrocodone is a narcotic pain reliever that treats moderate to severe pain. Examples of medications that contain hydrocodone include Vicodin, Lorcet and Norco. While the drug is highly addictive, hydrocodone can effectively manage pain when used properly.

Misconceptions about Hydrocodone

Due to increasing criminal activity and deaths resulting from hydrocodone abuse and some clinics prescribing the drug too liberally, it is easy to focus on the negative aspects of the drug. The negative stigma of being on pain pills stems from various misconceptions, such as the following:

  • Because the risk of addiction is high, many people believe that taking hydrocodone for pain management means that a patient will inevitably become addicted. However, when a patient is responsible and follows a doctor’s advice, the drug can be used effectively.
  • It is a common belief that hydrocodone is prescribed too often and that a patient may not necessarily be in severe pain that would require an intense pain reliever. Truthfully, good physicians do the best that they can to make sure their patients both need the medication and can handle it. Physicians often refer patients to pain management clinics for more comprehensive treatment.
  • Many people believe that the dangers of the physical side effects of hydrocodone, such as liver damage or impaired cognitive function, outweigh the benefits of pain relief. However, good physicians offer guidance when prescribing a heavy narcotic and monitor the side effects.
  • Some hold that it is better to suffer through the pain than risk becoming addicted. However, addiction is irrelevant for terminal patients whereas comfort is of paramount importance. For those who suffer from chronic pain, the risk may be worth it.

These misconceptions have complicated hydrocodone use for legitimate pain management.

Whom Stigmas Negatively Affect

People who are prescribed hydrocodone for legitimate purposes are finding the drug more and more difficult to obtain. Those who struggle with chronic pain from cancer or other conditions pay the price of the negative attention that painkillers receive.

People who abuse hydrocodone make it more difficult for those who need true pain management and complicate their own treatment. Clinics that prescribe hydrocodone left and right also contribute to the growing crime and abuse rates.

Those who are addicted to hydrocodone may be too intimidated by the stigma to admit to their problem and seek treatment. Addiction is often viewed as a weakness, and addicts may feel as though it is better to suffer quietly than to have people in their lives be disappointed in them or judge them. However, addiction is a treatable disease, and professional treatment can help an addict regain control of his or her life. Much of the paranoia concerning hydrocodone comes from not understanding the drug or how it should be used. The key is to understand and communicate the truth about pain management and to use hydrocodone responsibly.

Treatment for Hydrocodone Addiction

If you are addicted to hydrocodone, a professional treatment plan can help you achieve a lifelong recovery. Don’t avoid treatment out of fear that others will judge you. Call our toll-free helpline to speak with a trained counselor about finding the individualized treatment program that is right for you. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Please call today.