Three Dangerous Complications of Hydrocodone Abuse

Three Dangerous Complications of Hydrocodone Abuse

Hydrocodone is a powerful prescription painkiller that is highly addictive. As with other opiates it creates strong physical and psychological dependence that requires comprehensive professional treatment to overcome. While there are countless interpersonal, physiological, emotional, financial and even legal risks associated with the abuse of this drug, the following three complications may be the most important to consider.

Increasing Tolerance Means Increased Pain

One of the first problematic results of hydrocodone abuse is an increased tolerance to the drug. Hydrocodone and other opiates block pain by binding to chemical receptors that transmit physical and emotional pain signals throughout the nervous system. When first used the drug not only blocks pain very effectively, it also blocks stress, anxiety, depression, anger, loneliness, and other emotional distress by providing the user with an overwhelming sense of comfort, peace and tranquility. The brain recognizes the drug as the source of this psychological relief and then craves it in very powerful ways. At the same time, the body develops an increased tolerance to the drug. This means that the user must take larger and more frequent doses in order to feel the desired physical and psychological effects. Eventually no amount of the drug can provide relief. The progression of tolerance often follows this pattern:

  • More frequent use to block pain (pain returns more quickly and with more intensity)
  • Dosage increases in order to feel the desired “high”
  • Increased use begins to see diminishing effectiveness very quickly, leading to increased abuse
  • Heavy users may combine hydrocodone with other drugs or alcohol in order to intensify the effects (high risk of drug interaction complications)
  • The longer the drug is abused the higher the risk of overdose
  • Increasing street prices for hydrocodone are sending millions to heroin as a cheaper alternative

In a relatively short amount of time the hydrocodone addict requires a near constant supply of the drug to function at all.

Hydrocodone Addiction Ruins Lives

Once a person becomes addicted to hydrocodone he or she will prioritize the securing and use of the drug over everything else in life. This leads to the following painful consequences:

  • Important relationships are fractured or ended as addicts choose the drug over friends and family
  • Most addicts experience financial ruin, heavy debt, the loss of employment and other major money problems
  • Addicts who fail to quit when they try may become severely depressed, despondent, or even suicidal
  • Millions of opiate addicts currently sit in state and federal prisons
  • Long term abuse causes organ damage, brain damage and serious devastation to the nervous system
  • Children frequently learn and adopt the substance abuse habits of their parents

Hydrocodone Addiction Often Leads to Heroin Addiction

As the street price of prescription painkillers continues to increase, and access becomes impeded, many hydrocodone addicts are turning to heroin, a more affordable opiate option. Heroin abuse is on the rise in many parts of the world for the first time in many years. Parents, ministers, good students, business people, religious leaders and even law enforcement officers who never did anything more reckless than fill a legitimate prescription are finding themselves seeking out dangerous drug dealers in order to get a more affordable way to meet their need for opiates.

24 Hour Hydrocodone Helpline

If you would like be immediately connected to a hydrocodone recovery specialist please call our toll-free helpline today. Our staff members are always available with confidential answers to all of your questions and access to the best treatment program for your unique needs. Call now.