Unintentional Hydrocodone Dependence

Unintentional Hydrocodone Dependence

Hydrocodone is a prescription opiate drug used as a painkiller and cough suppressant. While it can be an effective short-term treatment option, it has strong addictive properties and has effects similar to that of morphine. In some cases, a physical dependence to the drug will begin to form in as little as four days. If left untreated, hydrocodone dependence can have a devastating impact on one’s life and can cause great damage to one’s health. Regardless of how a physical dependency to hydrocodone begins, professional help is necessary in overcoming the problem.

How a Person Can Become Physically Dependent on Hydrocodone

An individual can become physically dependent on hydrocodone unintentionally and without even realizing it. Because it is a legal prescription drug, hydrocodone’s addictive dangers may be underestimated or even unrecognized. When a patient uses a medication for a legitimate medical need as prescribed by a doctor, the user likely does not associate it with great risk. However, hydrocodone has a strong effect on the chemical functioning of the brain. When the drug is taken, the mind alters the amounts of chemicals it makes to incorporate the presence of hydrocodone. Over time, the brain comes to expect the presence of the drug, resulting in painful withdrawal symptoms if hydrocodone use is stopped. Additionally, users of hydrocodone often develop a tolerance to the drug, requiring more of the drug to achieve its desired effects. This leads to individuals taking increasing doses of hydrocodone, which in turn leads to the development of a physical dependency.
How to Recognize Physical Hydrocodone Dependence

Physical dependence on hydrocodone is typically marked by withdrawal symptoms that occur when the individual stops using the drug. These symptoms can include the following:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Tremors
  • Excessive sweating
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid pulse
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

These symptoms arise hours or sometimes even days after the last dose is taken and can vary in intensity, depending on each individual’s body and the length and severity of the dependency.

How to Avoid Unintentional Hydrocodone Dependence

In order to avoid a physical dependence on hydrocodone, it is crucial that you follow your doctor’s prescription explicitly. Do not take hydrocodone longer or in greater doses than was prescribed. Do not take hydrocodone that was not prescribed to you. Recognize hydrocodone for the addictive drug that it is and use it with caution. Also, physical dependence is often a precursor of serious addiction. While physical dependence can be treated through a program of detox, addiction requires comprehensive rehab treatment. If an addiction occurs, it is a serious problem that can have devastating consequences and requires professional help.

Do You Need Hydrocodone Addiction Help?

Do you suspect you might have unintentionally developed a physical dependence on hydrocodone? Please let one of our counselors answer your questions and get you the help you need. Our toll-free number is available 24 hours a day, so call us now.