Why Hydrocodone Recovery Is a Lifelong Commitment

Why Hydrocodone Recovery Is a Lifelong Commitment

The abuse of hydrocodone and related narcotic painkillers continues to increase in the United States and around the world. With chemical profiles similar to opium, heroin and morphine these drugs create both physical and psychological dependence when used for as little as a few weeks. Millions of people who never did anything more reckless than filling a legitimate prescription following a surgical procedure or injury find that when it comes time to stop using these medications they simply can’t. Physiological and emotional cravings cause them to make excuses to themselves and others about why they need just a few more pills.

How Hydrocodone Addiction Works

Hydrocodone blocks physical pain by binding to the chemical receptors the brain uses to send and receive pain signals throughout the central nervous system. These same receptors, however, also transmit signals associated with the following emotional pain sources:

  • Panic
  • Anxiety
  • Obsession
  • Self-loathing
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Shame and embarrassment
  • Depression
  • Anger or rage
  • Fear
  • Loneliness
  • Insecurity

Individuals suffering from emotional issues such as these might take hydrocodone to block pain following surgery, but when their brain senses that it offers relief from these psychological pains as well it will work to keep that relief coming. These cravings are more powerful than rational thought or willpower.

Successful Hydrocodone Recovery is a Long-Term Process

Once an addiction to hydrocodone is established recovery requires treatment of both the body and the mind. The body’s physical need for the drug will pass in a matter of days or weeks. Though the withdrawal symptoms can be painful and difficult, the most effective modern treatment centers are often able to relieve those symptoms through the careful administration of special medications. The real challenge, however, is overcoming the psychological power of the disease.

When a person becomes psychologically dependent on a drug like hydrocodone her brain builds new neurological pathways that drive the behavior of taking the pills. The addict feels psychological distress and the brain drives her to relieve that distress by taking another pill.

The process of reprogramming the brain to its pre-addiction functioning is complicated and fragile. While the physical aspects of hydro addiction tend to pass in as little as a week, these psychological cravings can function for months, years or even an entire lifetime. Relationship stress, financial problems, loneliness, feelings of futility or hopelessness or symptoms of depression can all become triggers for continued abuse of the drug. New neural pathways must be established by cultivating healthier ways of experiencing pleasure and relief. This comes through counseling of various types, coping skill development, support groups, and education. In most cases the best environment for this type of comprehensive treatment is full-time, residential treatment. But once that type of intensive therapy is completed most addicts require long-term aftercare in the form of sponsor meetings, group meetings, spiritual support and parental or family support to maintain their sobriety. Because relapse triggers can happen five, ten, twenty or even fifty years after treatment it is critical that the recovering addict has access to recovery support on an ongoing basis.

Finding the Best Hydrocodone Rehab

Call our toll-free helpline right now for immediate answers to all of your questions and access to the best hydrocodone treatment programs in the country. The call is confidential and free so you have nothing to lose. Call now.