Using Hydrocodone for Pain Management

Using Hydrocodone for Pain Management

While hydrocodone as a single drug component is rarely prescribed, it is a primary ingredient in drugs like Vicodin and Lortab. When part of these formulations, hydrocodone is intended to provide relief for moderate to severe pain.

Using Hydrocodone for Acute and Chronic Pain

Everyone experiences physical pain at some point in their life. When pain is associated with a specific event and lasts for a short period of time, it is referred to as acute pain. Chronic pain is pain that lasts for an extended period of time and can no longer be associated with the original event that may have caused the pain. Chronic pain occurs because the pain receptors within the brain remain active in the nervous system. How long this reaction stays active and why it stays active is not clearly understood, but the result is that a person with chronic pain experiences the following:

  • Tense muscles
  • Anger
  • Limited mobility
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of energy
  • Depression
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fear of re-injury

Hydrocodone products are frequently prescribed for the treatment of pain, because they are effective and do not cause the severe side effects some other pain relievers can create. While safer than some alternatives, the continued use of hydrocodone puts a person at risk for tolerance which can lead to abuse and addiction.

Tolerance and Abuse of Hydrocodone

When a person uses hydrocodone to deal with chronic pain, it is not uncommon for them to become tolerant to the original prescribed dose. Because users may be fearful of experiencing the full extent of their pain, they may increase their dose or increase their frequency of use. Both of these behaviors are clear indicators of abuse. When a person believes that they may be headed towards addiction, they may try to discontinue using hydrocodone but end up experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as the following:

  • Muscle pain
  • Bone pain
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Cold flashes
  • Goose bumps
  • Involuntary leg movements
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Panic
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Sweating

When these symptoms occur, the person often returns to using hydrocodone. He or she may believe these symptoms are related to pain and will continue rather than recognize them as a result of drug use and temporary.

Hydrocodone Addiction Treatment

Users need assistance in weaning off hydrocodone in a safe manner. If hydrocodone use has reached the addiction level, medically supervised detox services are strongly recommended. Hydrocodone addiction treatment programs will provide this level of detox support and will also offer ongoing treatment and rehab to respond to the physiological, emotional, and psychological aspects of hydrocodone addiction.

Get Help for Hydrocodone Addiction

Maintaining pain management while ending hydrocodone use or addiction is possible. If you or a loved one is struggling with hydrocodone, we are here to help. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about hydrocodone addiction treatment, and all phone services are free and confidential. You find a pain-free and addiction-free life. Call now.